Thomas Frank hopes Ivan Toney will remain at Brentford “forever” but did not categorically rule out the England striker leaving the club in January.
Both Arsenal and Chelsea have been linked with a swoop in the winter transfer window for Toney, who by January 17 will be available again after serving an eight-month ban for breaching betting rules.
It has been reported that Brentford have slapped a £100million price tag on a player who scored 20 goals last season and made his England debut against Ukraine in a European Championship qualifier in March.
Frank was reluctant to confirm the accuracy of the valuation but recognises Toney’s importance and insisted the 27-year-old, who returned to training in September, is content to stay with Brentford.
Speaking ahead of Brentford’s match against West Ham on Saturday, Frank told a press conference: “I want him to stay. Ivan is happy to stay.
“He is happy at the club. What happens in the future is impossible to guess about.
“He’s a top player, one of our most important players, if not the most important last year. Any player that can score 20-plus goals in the Premier League are very, very important.
“Ivan’s skillset in terms of finishing abilities with his left and right (foot), heading and his composure in those moments and his link-up play and his presence, character, is a very good package.
“It’s not (up to) me to put a price tag on him, it’s down to the club. But I’m happy with him, I hope he plays here forever and I’m the coach.”
Midfield trio Mikkel Damsgaard, Keane Lewis-Potter and Josh Dasilva resumed light training this week. Damsgaard and Lewis-Potter are likely to return to practising with the first-team next week.
Brentford go into this weekend looking for a third successive win, having seen off Burnley and Chelsea in the last fortnight, and the Bees have beaten West Ham in all four of their Premier League meetings.
But Frank added: “West Ham are a very good side with a very good and experienced manager (in David Moyes).
“They’ve had a good start to the season, they top their group in the Europa League and are in the quarter-final of the Carabao Cup.
“They are a strong opponent but we trust ourselves and believe and if we top perform, we have a good chance of winning.”