SOUTHEND United manager Phil Brown has dismissed speculation linking goalkeeper Daniel Bentley with a move to West Ham United.

The Hammers had been rumoured to be interested in bringing the Wickford based shot-stopper to Upton Park.

But, after checking with West Ham boss Sam Allardyce, Brown knows that is not the case.

“I heard the rumour and wanted to check it out so I gave Sam a call in New Zealand, “said Brown.

“You have to do these things to cover yourself, especially if you’re going to lose your first choice goalkeeper.

“However, Sam never made any reference to wanting to bring Daniel in.”

As a result, Bentley will be remaining at Roots Hall.

And Brown feels he could be under pressure for his place from Paul Smith who impressed the Shrimpers chief during yesterday’s 2-1 win against Colchester United in a behind-closed-doors friendly at their Boots & Laces base.

“We witnessed a good display here from Paul Smith and I just wish 5,000 fans could’ve seen that because they’ve given him a bit of stick over the years,” said Brown.

“He’s fitter than he’s been in a long time and he’s had a good pre-season as well which is something he hasn’t had for a couple of years now.

“He might even challenge Dan for the number one slot and we have a great number three in Ted Smith, so the goalkeeping position is looking very strong indeed.”