West Ham United will not be signing striker Scott Hogan on transfer deadline day, according to manager Slaven Bilic. The 24-year-old had been linked with a move to London Stadium throughout the January window and was subsequently dropped by Brentford boss Dean Smith before making his first appearance in nearly four weeks on Saturday (28 January) as a second-half substitute in the 4-0 FA Cup fourth round drubbing at Chelsea.
Bilic previously described Hogan as a "young and a good prospect" and confirmed that he had been watching the player. Brentford's dogged refusal to budge on their £15m ($18.6m) valuation was reported to be a major sticking point, although it now appears that West Ham are content with their current attacking options having recently seen off rival Premier League interest to seal a £10.2m deal for Hull City forward Robert Snodgrass.
"Of course he [Hogan] is a good player and we watched him many, many times," Bilic told reporters at a press conference held before the visit of Manchester City on Wednesday. "I just feel that we have a really good set of strikers in our squad. That's the only reason why I didn't want that deal to happen.
"He's definitely a good player, he's young and scoring goals in the Championship but it's not a question of 'Is he good enough?'; it's a question of what we have. We have Andy Carroll, Michail Antonio, Ashley Fletcher and Jonathan Calleri and plus players who can play second striker like Andre Ayew and Robert Snodgrass. We have to stay fit but that's the reason behind my decision."
West Ham co-chairman David Sullivan confirmed during an interview with Talksport earlier this morning that the club had initially looked into resigning Demba Ba from Chinese Super League outfit Shanghai Shenua on a loan basis, only to be told that he would be unable to play for three weeks due to injury. The 31-year-old subsequently passed a medical at Besiktas, where he played under Bilic during the 2014-15 season.
"We're not looking for [any late deals]," the manager insisted. "We got [Jose] Fonte who we really wanted, we got Snodgrass who we really wanted from day one, and we were maybe looking for a right-back. We couldn't find someone who would improve our squad or first XI and that's why we didn't get one. I'm very happy with the squad now.
"For example Demba Ba; He's a player who has proved himself in the Premier League and he's a player who I managed at Besiktas. I spoke to him on the phone a couple of weeks ago and the problem was that he got very badly injured and he told me he would be fit in March. That's too late for us. [We'll keep the money until the summer], definitely. If we want to do something, it's too late. There's no reason to act like that because we have some extra money. That would be without really planning. I'm happy."
In terms of rumoured late outgoings, Bilic claimed that Ashley Fletcher will not be joining Leeds United. However, defensive prodigy Reece Oxford appears to be heading to another Championship promotion hopeful in Reading, where he will learn under Jaap Stam.
"Going out, Reece Oxford is doing a medical with Reading and will hopefully go. That's a great loan move for him. He's going to a club who are trying to get promotion and what's really important for me is that the manager is one of the best centre-backs to have played in the last 20 years in the world. It's a move that we should all benefit from; Reece, Reading and West Ham. I'm expecting him to come back here and play for us."