West Ham United assistant manager Alan Irvine insists the club have not made any approach to Everton for teenager Tom Davies and claims that wantaway striker Diafra Sakho does still have a future at the London Stadium.
Toffees manager Sam Allardyce has expressed an intention to trim his bloated first-team squad during the current January transfer window in order bring in more players and adjust the balance, with the likes of Davy Klaassen, Oumar Niasse, Muhamed Besic and Sandro Ramirez among those who could follow contract rebel Ross Barkley and Kevin Mirallas out of Goodison Park.
Davies would be a surprise candidate to depart given his status as a popular academy graduate. But The Mirror reported over the weekend that ex-Everton stalwart David Moyes, seeking to sign at least one new midfielder this month, was eager to test his former employers' resolve with a bid for the 19-year-old England Under-21 international, who only signed a new five-year contract in April 2017.
However, Irvine, a former Everton player who initially served as Moyes' understudy on Merseyside before returning as academy manager in 2011, is adamant that no move has been made.
"I know him [Davies] well, worked with him since he was 13 or 14 and is a really talented player but to my understanding, we have not made any approach to Everton," he said while appearing in place of Moyes at a press conference held prior to Tuesday night's (16 January) FA Cup third-round replay against third-tier promotion hopeful Shrewsbury Town, per football.london.
Irvine was also clear that injury was the only reason for the recent absence of Sakho, who was subject to a £10m ($13.8m) offer from Premier League rivals Crystal Palace last week. The Frenchman came close to joining Rennes last summer and is believed to be on the radar of several clubs including Swansea City, West Bromwich Albion and Brighton & Hove Albion as he attempts to secure a transfer away from east London.
"Absolutely [Sakho has a future at West Ham]," he said. "He is injured at the moment, has been since the window opened so he's not been on the training ground at all, I've seen very little of him to be honest. He is not available for selection, it's as simple as that."
It has also been speculated that Moyes is eager to recall Robert Snodgrass early from his impressive season-long stint at Aston Villa, only for the potential repayment of a £2m loan fee to scupper any chance of a premature return.
"I don't think so," Irvine said when asked if West Ham were trying to bring back Snodgrass. "I believe that he is there for the year, I don't know what the arrangement was, I am not aware of any opportunity for us to recall him.
"He is doing really well, I saw a bit of him at the weekend and the quality he has and funny enough, he's a player I tried to sign at West Brom but didn't get to him. But I don't think that we can call him back."
Irvine stressed the importance of keeping the likes of influential playmaker Manuel Lanzini and record signing Marko Arnautovic at West Ham and said that "as far as I know, nobody has come in and made any offers for our players".
However, he is unsure if experienced defender James Collins will be offered an extension to his expiring contract or indeed what the club's plans are for his own future.