West Ham co-owner David Sullivan insists the newly-promoted Premier League club were prepared to blow their budget "for several years" in order to snare Andy Carroll from Liverpool.
Carroll was the subject of a successful £19 million bid from the London-based club earlier this month, but the striker opted instead to stay at Anfield and fight his place in the first team.
Hammers boss Sam Allardyce made public his desire to bring the striker to the club, and Sullivan says the club was willing to back his judgement, despite needing to spend "too much" for Carroll and Wolves' Matt Jarvis.
"I can only talk about this because it has been put in the public domain already," Sullivan told the Mirror. "My manager wanted Andy Carroll, so we backed him. Andy was the perfect player for him and the style of football we play.
"We play a lot of high balls, a lot of crosses - quite exciting football, not just humping it but clever crossing - and Sam wanted Jarvis to supply the crosses because he is a fantastic crosser.
"We had a deal in place with Liverpool to borrow the player which automatically became a purchase if we stayed up.
"We hoped, as he had the same agent as our manager - a man we had done a lot of business with - and he was very friendly with Kevin Nolan, our captain, that Andy would want to come.
"But he really wants to stay at Liverpool. He believes that he will get back into the side by his performances - coming off the bench or for the reserves. He believes the manager will have to put him back in the side. But it's wrong to discuss what is in his mind. Only he knows that."
Sullivan added: "It was a terribly expensive deal with the loan fee and with his wages, which were enormous - too much for a club like ours.
"But, as the manager really wanted him, we were prepared to pay it. Then there was a huge transfer fee which would have blown our budget for several years. So, as we buy players, the door shuts."
Carroll has also been linked to his former side Newcastle United. But Sullivan claims Liverpool were not willing to loan the striker back to his hometown club.
"We were paying all of his wages and a huge loan fee," he said. "Newcastle didn't even want to pay all of his wages. This is what we are led to believe. So Liverpool were not prepared to let him go to Newcastle. But it may all change. Who knows?"
West Ham have since used some of the available funds to sign midfielder Alou Diarra for £3 million.