Dean Smith has given an all clear on the buttock of Scott Hogan but as yet he can’t say whether he will play his star man against Newcastle United.
West Ham are reported to have now made three ever increasing bids for the 14 goal striker, with £12.5m the latest, though Brentford are claimed to be holding out for £15m, especially as the player’s previous club Rochdale are entitled to 30% of any fee.
The Brentford boss says he will see if Scott Hogan is mentally ready to face Newcastle, though of course the player could also be pulled out of the game if a transfer is imminent.
The striker had started all 25 Championship matches, until the mystery buttock injury was claimed for his absence in the FA Cup game with Eastleigh last weekend.
Sounding more in hope than expectation, Smith says that they want to keep Scott Hogan at Brentford but more realistically, admits to having already looked at players to replace the forward in January if he leaves.
The bottom line must be that there is little chance of Scott Hogan playing if there is any reasonable chance of him becoming a West Ham player in this transfer window.
Dean Smith declaring though that his star man will play like somebody with a point to prove if he does face Newcastle, the Brentford boss saying Hogan will want to score a hat-trick against the Magpies to ‘show people who may question his Premier League credentials’.
Best all-round if West Ham get the cheque book out and make Newcastle’s job a little easier on Saturday.
Dean Smith speaking to official Brentford website:
“Scott Hogan’s buttock is fine, he has trained all week and is available for selection. I will speak to him tomorrow morning and see how he is (mentally).
“I fully expect him to want to score a hat-trick against Newcastle United and show people who may question his Premier League credentials that he can do it.
“There has been a lot of speculation and offers from clubs for him but we have said all along that he has a value to us and we want to keep him at the football club if we can.
“We will certainly have to bring people in if Scott goes. When you see the valuations that are put on Scott Hogan already then we don’t have that money to go and get somebody in.
“We have been looking throughout in case anything did happen so we have a number of different options. We feel that we have a balanced squad so if people come in then people would go out. You don’t want to stockpile a squad because then you have players who are unhappy because they are not involved.”