West Ham boss Slaven Bilic laughs off dispute over William Carvalho approach

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Carvalho (left) has been capped 38 times by Portugal

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic says he can see the funny side of the dispute over their pursuit of Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho.

Sporting say they will report West Ham for an alleged illegal approach and made personal comments about Hammers owners David Sullivan and David Gold.

The Premier League club have considered legal action over the claims.

“It was funny for me to read some of those comments. It made me laugh,” Bilic said.

“I wanted the player, Carvalho. We kept it low profile for the whole summer and it looked promising. What I know is West Ham spoke to Sporting Lisbon and told them we wanted the player.

“But for me to say something about that – I’m not afraid of saying my opinion but that is not the way I work. I don’t want to talk publicly about dirty laundry.”

The Hammers say they made a bid for the 25-year-old Portugal international and have released emails which claims to show their official approach.

But Sporting’s communications director Nuno Saraiva questioned the validity of the leaked emails which purport to show a 25m euros (£22.8m) offer, calling Sullivan a “liar” and a “parasite” in a Facebook post.

West Ham refuted the claims and called them “attention seeking”.

Earlier Sullivan told West Ham’s official website that Sporting had initially rejected an approach for Carvalho before accepting the offer too late on transfer deadline day for a deal to be completed.

Bilic is seeking his first points of the season against Huddersfield on Monday

‘David Sullivan likes to talk’ – Bilic

Sullivan’s claim that Bilic turned down the chance to sign midfielders Renato Sanches and Grzegorz Krychowiak has been interpreted by some fans as the chairman leaving the under-pressure manager open to criticism.

Portugal international Sanches subsequently moved to Swansea while Poland’s Krychowiak is now at West Brom.

Bilic said: “David Sullivan likes to talk – it’s his right to be able to. I wanted the player [Carvalho] but that is not exactly what happened with those two.”

His side lie bottom of the Premier League after defeats in their first three matches.

West Ham finally get to play their first home game of the season – because of London Stadium hosting the World Athletics Championships – when they face Huddersfield on Monday.

“My job is to raise the performance,” said Bilic. “We didn’t start well but Monday is a good opportunity to start winning games and get on the right track.”

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