Newcastle United boss Rafael Benítez has played down rumours linking the club to a move for West Ham striker Diafra Sakho - claiming that the fact both clubs are now relegation rivals means they are unlikely to engage in business.

The Magpies have been linked with moves for Sakho, and also Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart - who has had a disastrous loan spell at the Hammers that has seen him relegated to the substitutes following a series of blunders. Discussing the possibility of making a move for the players, via the Chronicle, Benítez said:

"No, we are not going to talk about names, but it is very difficult for a team in their position to do a deal with us."

Benítez's comments come after reports claimed that Toon midfielder Jonjo Shelvey is top of West Ham boss David Moyes' shopping list - as he looks to improve his much maligned midfield. Despite his reputation as a volatile and unpredictable force on the field, Shelvey's long-range passing ability is among the best in the league on his day.

Both sides have had there own issues this season: Newcastle's owner Mike Ashley has once again failed to deliver a suitable transfer budget for the Premier League, which has seen the club struggle with their lack of quality options. West Ham meanwhile sacked their manager Slaven Bilić in November, and continue to struggle in their cavernous London Stadium home.

In a tightly packed lower end of the table, both clubs have found themselves embroiled in a hotly contested battle to stay out of the relegation zone. The Hammers are currently lying in 15th place, just two points off the relegation zone. The Magpies meanwhile are in marginally better circumstances - in 13th place with a superior goal difference but with the same points.