Magpies back out of running for Brentford striker

Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez. Picture by Frank Reid

Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez. Picture by Frank Reid

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Rafa Benitez is an admirer of prolific Brentford striker Scott Hogan – but Newcastle United will NOT be drawn into a bidding war.

Premier League club West Ham have had a £10million offer for the 24-year-old turned down.

Brentford, the Magpies’ next Championship opponents on January 16, value Hogan in the £15million bracket, following 14 league goals so far this season.

The form of Hogan – who has 18 months left on his Griffin Park contract – has alerted a clutch of clubs, including West Ham, Newcastle and Watford, who offered £8million plus add-ons.

Hogan has overcome two series knee injuries and is understood to be willing to leave the Bees in this month’s transfer window.

Newcastle manager Benitez, preparing for tomorrow’s FA Cup tie at Birmingham City, is looking to strengthen his midfield and attacking options in the window.

Benitez has looked at Hogan, who joined Brentford from Rochdale in 2014 in a £750,000 deal and can also play on both flanks.

However, the Tynesiders are unwilling to be sucked into an auction.

Benitez, looking to find the right players at the right price, 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.

“January is not an easy transfer window. Hopefully, we can do something,” he said.

“They have to be players to give us some balance or be better than what we have at the moment.”