By Noel Whelan

2nd Aug, 2021 | 6:00pm

Pundit verdict on West Ham spending £40m windfall after Maguire reveal

West Ham may be forced to use their Europa League prize money to “pay off debts” associated with the pandemic.

So says ex-Milwall forward Noel Whelan, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about the Hammers’ transfer window so far.

Alphonse Areola recently joined on loan and became only the club’s second summer signing after Craig Dawson for £2million earlier in the window.

Finance expert Kieran Maguire told Football Insider when West Ham qualified for the Europa League in May that it could net them £30-40million.

And Whelan suggests that this cash may be used to keep the club afloat rather than invested in the transfer market.

“They have been through a pandemic, lost a lot of money and paid out a lot wages,” he told Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams.

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“Your Liverpools, Man Uniteds, Chelseas, they can get by with no fans given the resources they have.

“Unfortunately, other clubs have got to be sensible after this. If there’s no investment coming in, you’ve got to be clever.

“No one wants to put themselves in any financial difficulty, Yes, they are in Europe but a lot of that money probably went to paying off debts from the Covid situation.

“So right now, teams will be looking to get what they can, when they can, at the best price.

“They are looking to progress but they are going to do that by being clever with their money.”

In other news, West Ham tell youngster he is free to levae this week after Football League club swoop this week.