As Rafa Benitez aims to get Newcastle’s Championship show back on the road, it is music to his ears that Brentford are set to lose star player, Scott Hogan.

A bit harsh to say that they are a one man team but Scott Hogan has scored 14 of their 32 Championship goals (only Dwight Gayle and Glenn Murray have scored more) this season.

As well as this, Hogan has scored in six of the club’s nine league wins this campaign. He isn’t just a flat track bully either, having scored in the 3-1 defeat at St James Park in October, scoring both goals when Brentford became the only team so far to win at Brighton, plus scoring against third placed Reading when Brentford stuffed them 4-1 at home.

Since recovering from a bad injury towards the end of last season, Scott Hogan has scored 21 goals in 27 Championship starts (plus five as sub), so no wonder he has been targeted in this transfer window.

Happily for Newcastle it looks like the striker has played his last game for Brentford, with the press in London saying that even if a deal isn’t agreed before Saturday’s match with Newcastle, the club’s biggest asset won’t be risked.

West Ham had already had two bids of £10m and £11.5m rejected by Brentford but the London Evening Standard say that this has now been improved to £12.5m.

Brentford are said to be holding out for £15m and West Ham will surely make sure they get their target, with only 23 goals in 20 Premier League matches so far.

Brentford especially need to maximise the amount as 30% of any transfer fee will go to Hogan’s previous club, Rochdale.

Despite having started all 25 of Brentford’s Championship games this season, Scott Hogan was said to have a ‘minor injury’ which kept him out of Saturday’s FA Cup win over Eastleigh.

No doubt that same ‘minor injury’ could last another week if West Ham fail to complete on the forward before the weekend.

Either way, if Scott Hogan is absent it will surely be a massive help in Rafa Benitez’ and Newcastle’s search for three points, as they set off on this long promotion run-in.