Slaven Bilic has dismissed reports linking West Ham striker Andy Carroll with a return to Newcastle.
The Magpies have been linked with a pre-deadline move for the injury-plagued Carroll, who they sold to Liverpool in 2011.
But Hammers boss Bilic, whose team play Newcastle this weekend, suggested the reports are mere speculation.
Speaking at a news conference on Tuesday, Bilic said: “He’s always a very interesting character to be in the papers for whatever reason.
“I think it’s because we play Newcastle, he’s from Newcastle, he’s on the verge of coming back and you have to fill the papers.”
Bilic added that he has been working to improve his team’s defending following their poor start to the season.
They have lost both their opening matches and conceded seven goals in the process, going down 4-0 at Manchester United on the opening day and then 3-2 against Southampton.
“It is a thing that we are talking about,” Bilic admitted.
“Those three goals we conceded (against Southampton) came from individual mistakes and the players are very frustrated.
“You can very easily stop these kind of situations, like the first goal against Southampton when it was obvious what they were going to do.
“We are analysing it and encouraging the players to do what they have to do – and they will do it.