Rafa Benitez is an admirer of prolific Brentford striker Scott Hogan – but Newcastle United will NOT be drawn into a bidding war.
West Ham United have had a £10million offer for the 24-year-old turned down.
Brentford, Newcastle’s next Championship opposition, value Hogan in the £15million-bracket.
Hogan – who has 18 months left on his Griffin Park contract – has scored 14 league goals so far this season.
And his form has alerted a clutch of clubs, including West Ham, Newcastle and Watford, who offered £8million plus add-ons.
Hogan, likened to his former Halifax team-mate Jamie Vardy, has overcome two series knee injuries and is understood to be willing to leave Brentford in this month’s transfer window.
United manager Benitez, preparing for tomorrow’s FA Cup tie against Birmingham City at St Andrew’s, is looking to strengthen his midfield and attacking options in the window.
Benitez has looked at Hogan, who joined Brentford from Rochdale in the summer of 2014 in a £750,000 deal and can also play on both flanks.
However, Newcastle, two points behind league leaders Brighton and Hove Albion, are unwilling to be sucked into an auction.
Benitez, looking to find the right players at the right price, gave a transfer update after United’s defeat to Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park on Monday.
And he hinted at the difficulties of working in a transfer market which has been inflated by the Premier League’s latest multi-billion pound TV deal.
“We are trying to find the right players,” said Benitez. “January is not an easy transfer window. Hopefully, we can do something.
“They have to be players to give us some balance or be better than what we have at the moment.”