John Still has updated supporters on Dagenham and Redbridge’s sought-after striker Oliver Hawkins.
The 25-year-old netted 18 goals last season as the Daggers reached the play-offs but he’s still with the club despite rumours that he was on his way out.
Hawkins had reportedly attracted the interest of Brighton and Hove Albion, Ipswich Town and Nottingham Forest in January.
And following plenty of discussion in the last few weeks over his future, manager Still set the record straight after yesterday’s pre-season defeat to a West Ham XI.
“I want to bring everyone up to date because I hear things,” he told the club’s website. “Along with other players, we had offers for Oliver Hawkins. We set a value to him because we were offered last year the value we asked for this year.
“No one has come up to the value, some no where near. We’re not changing the value. Someone was saying we’re not going to play him – he played today.
“There is no change to anything, we are a club that, over the years, has sold players but we turned down four offers before we sold Paul Benson and we did the same for Craig Mackail-Smith, because they have values. We turned down three offers before we sold Dwight Gayle.
“We just feel there was a value attached that wasn’t met. Now if it’s met during the course of the season, we have no problems at all to help him on his way.”
Still continued: “If people want us to give them away for less than the value, it’s not going to happen because it’s a football club and a business. We never over-price, that’s why we’ve sold so many.
“As far as I’m concerned, if Hawks is here for another year, he’s here for another year – if he doesn’t sign a new contract we have to make a decision on whether we would lower that price in January or not – it’s as simple as that.
“We would want all of our players to achieve all of their dreams because it’s what we do, but somewhere along the line a value has to be set. Oliver Hawkins turned down a move last year himself and said he wasn’t interested, and that was the highest offer we had.
“None of the offers this year have been as much as what we were offered last year. He didn’t want to go then, which is his right and we didn’t feel the value was right.”