With the transfer window in full flow – if not a tad quiet at the moment – Billy Grant looks at the Scott Hogan West Ham transfer and asks – with Watford supposedly entering the race – how much of a done deal is his move to East London?
The madness of the transfer window is upon us. And we got a taste of things to come early when Ademole Lookman got transferred to Everton from Charlton for a fee of £11m.
Lookman is a very good player. But the reality is he was playing Sunday league football until he signed for Chalton in 2014. Since then, he’s played 45 games for Charlton’s first team – the majority of those in Division 1.
The madness has not bypassed Griffin Park. Brentford are also in the thick of a transfer storm with the ongoing shenanigans surrounding the proposed Scott Hogan move to West Ham.
Depending on what source you read, the deal is nearly done … or the deal is nowhere near done.
The Hammers seem delighted with doing their business in public. Quite coincidentally, every move of the chess pieces has cropped up in one form or another in the press. Inflated figures of £12.5m and £10m and £8m have been flying around for a week now. But there has been no pen being signed on any paper.
Why is that then?
I suppose if you look at the deal that was done for Ademola Lookman (I’d be very surprised if he cost £11m on the nose. More likely £11m INCLUDING all the add ons), that’s no surprise.
TALKSPORT’S Moose Abrahams tweeted on Thursday “I’m told Scott Hogan should sign for West Ham in the next few days”.
Whereas Jacob Murtagh of the Daily Mirror wrote “West Ham and Brentford yet to agree a deal for Scott Hogan. Told clubs are still quite far apart in valuations”.
Who to believe eh?
According to Beesotted sources, it seems that The Daily Mirror’s assessment is far closer to the truth than Mr Moose’s at this current time. The clubs are a long way from agreeing a deal so Hogan remains a Brentford player for the foreseeable future.
As we all know, things can change in a minute.
Meanwhile, with the Newcastle game approaching this weekend, the question currently on every Brentford fans’ lips is “Will the Bees risk Hogan this weekend knowing a potential £15m deal is on the cards?”
This is a dilemma for the club.
And the player.
And the fans who just want to see their strongest team fielded for every match.
There is a train of thought .. if Hogan is to go, he’s better to go now so that the club can move forward and get on with buying new players and playing their strongest team without fear of the bigger picture associated with certain key players getting injured.
But it’s up to Brentford and any bidding club to come up with a deal.
Until that happens, Hogan is a Brentford player.
There has been massive presumption that West Ham will be signing Hogan this window – with the West Ham PR department no doubt (allegedly) working overtime to ensure that it does its a good job in sowing those seeds.
However, as we discussed in the Pride Of West London Podcast this week, who says it will be West Ham to do the deal?
A number of clubs were associated with Hogan at the beginning of this window. Watford were reported in The Guardian to have offered £8m for Hogan (which was denied by them) and Reading, Derby and Norwich have also been linked. These rumours died out rapidly as the real early contenter – West Ham – paved the way.
However, as the transfer window moves into second gear, we have been tapping up our characters up and down the country and have come to the conclusion that there may be a few more twists in the tale of the Hogan transfer saga before the month is up.
At the back end of the last window (August/September), two teams were very seriously sniffing around Scott Hogan (read into that what you want). Bristol City from Division One. And Hull from the Premier League.
Hogan had scored 7 goals 7 games and less than 180 minutes of play at the back end of last season – most of those in cameo appearances off the bench in the last 10 minutes of the game – and this made teams’ ears prick up.
There was no movement last summer in the end. However, Hogan has gone on to be even more prolific – scoring for fun since that last batch of enquiries.
There are a few whispers going around that Hull City are looking to wrestle themselves back in the Scott Hogan game in an attempt to find a striker to fire them out of the Premier League relegation zone.
On top of that, a story from one of our Hertfordshire sources which seems to be have some real legs is the introduction of Watford to the Hogan race. The Hornets – who were in reality not in the Hogan game at the beginning of the month – are supposedly preparing themselves for an initial bid with ex-Liverpool striker Jerome Sinclair making his way to Griffin Park as part of the deal.
Will this come off?
That’s part of the fun of being a fanzine and being able to print stories like this early.
And with the madness of the transfer market at the moment, things seem to be changing every minute.
But saying that, as people who read us regularly know – we don’t print everything we hear. Not at all.
We almost cried with laughter when we saw the Akpom to Brentford rumours.
As for the Ross McCormack rumours …… please don’t start.
So Hogan for West Ham yeah??
I’m not too sure at the moment.
And as more clubs start coming to the Hogan party ….
…. this may just be one deal that goes on
… and on
… and on.