DEAN KEEN TO HOLD OUT ON HOGAN BIDS
BOSS Dean Smith says highly-rated Brentford striker Scott Hogan will only leave the club if their valuation is met.
Hot-shot Hogan has been the subject of intense interest from a number of clubs, with West Ham favourites to capture the player valued at £15m.
Hogan – who came on as a 64th-minute sub in the FA Cup defeat at Chelsea – has bagged 14 goals in 25 Championship appearances this season.
But Smith confirmed the Bees will not let their prized asset go for a cut-price fee.
“As we said earlier in the week, we will let any of our players move on from this club if the money is right for us,” he said.
“Everyone has a value at Brentford, but that does not mean we will sell players for less than they are worth to us.
“Scott’s a great player and it’s no surprise that there is plenty of interest in him.
“We’ve had offers from different clubs, but all of them have not met the valuation.
“We work privately on any transfer deal, but it is up to the clubs that are interested to come up with a bid that matches our valuation for Scott before we talk about selling him.
“(Chelsea) probably didn’t deserve that, the difference was really just the quality of the finishing.”
The Championship side were no match for the Premier League leaders as Chelsea cruised into the fifth round with ease.
Willian got the Blues on their way with a brilliant curling freekick after 14 minutes, before Pedro gave Chelsea a 2-0 lead at half-time, coolly finishing a freeflowing move seven minutes later as Chelsea’s slick passing cut through the Bees.
Michy Batshuayi had a shot blocked on the line by Daniel Bentley, before the busy Brentford shot-stopper also denied both Cesc Fàbregas and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
The impressive Loftus-Cheek then rattled the Brentford crossbar on 58 minutes after a brilliant counter attack.
But Nico Yennaris squandered a great chance to get Brentford back in to the game as Asmir Begovic got the better of him in a one-on-one on 64 minutes. And he was made to pay for his mistake as substitute Branislav Ivanovic made the game safe five minutes later, after latching onto Pedro’s perfect pass.
The impressive Batshuayi then completed the scoring from the penalty spot nine minutes from time after Ivanovic was fouled.
Bees boss Smith added: “In the first half it was very tough. We started off ok on the ball and passed it quite well but then Willian sticks one in the top corner which made it difficult from there.
“We tried to put some pressure on them but they broke away and scored to make it 2-0 after 20 minutes. It became a monumental task against a top team.
“If you want to be aggressive in the first 20 minutes against a team like this, then you can have your face slapped very quickly because they have quality players.”
It was a win that left Chelsea boss Antonio Conte delighted with the performance of his squad players.
“I am happy with the players who came in,” he said.
“It is pleasing to be able to make nine team changes and still get a good performance.
“The young players did well for us; they have an important part to play.
UNDER-PRESSURE: Brentford’s John Egan in action with Chelsea's Ruben Loftus-Cheek, while, inset, Lasse Vibe has an effort blocked