By Harry Sykes
West Ham have wrapped up the signing of striker Scott Hogan from Brentford after being given the green light to push through the transfer, according to a reliable journalist.
The Mail claimed that the Hammers were working on a £12.5million deal to sign the prolific front man from Championship outfit Brentford after holding talks this weekend.
Sun correspondent Alan Nixon, who has a transfer column in the newspaper and is renowned for breaking news, reported on Sunday morning that the deal is now all but done.
Nixon stated on his personal Twitter account that Brentford “will clear Hogan to join West Ham shortly” and have lined up Watford’s Jerome Sinclair to replace him at Griffin Park.
The revelation is a huge boost to West Ham fans, who have grown frustrated at the lack of form and fitness of their senior strikers this season.
None of the club’s forwards have scored more than the two league goals accumulated by Andy Carroll, who has suffered another injury-blighted campaign.
With Diafra Sakho also unable to clock up a regular sequence of matches and Simone Zaza back at Juventus after a wretched loan spell, manager Slaven Bilic has pushed for a proven scorer to beef up his attack.
Hogan, 24, has been in prolific form this season, scoring 14 goals from 25 Championship matches for Brentford, who ended the festive period at 14th in the table, nine points adrift of the play-off places.
With 18 months remaining on the former Rochdale’s striker’s contract, West Ham have made a concerted attempt to land him this month.
Slaven Bilic’s side were thrashed 5-0 by Manchester City in the FA Cup on Friday night and will now concentrate on securing a top-ten league finish demanded by their owners.
Football Insider verdict:
Some West Ham fans might have mixed feelings about signing Hogan. He has a poor injury record and has never played a single Premier League match. Indeed, he has played remarkably few top-level matches – 33 in the Championship and 33 in the League Two – for a player of 24. But lower league gems appear to be all the rage after Jamie Vardy’s rise through the leagues, and West Ham are banking on Hogan being another unpolished diamond who is a late developer. His goal record is impressive and his price is not overly steep, by modern striker standards. This deal is a relative gamble but one worth taking.
In other West Ham transfer news, the club have been installed odds-on favourites to sign a Premier League midfield goal machine this month.