Thomas Frank insists Ivan Toney wants to remain at Brentford despite the talismanic striker still not signing a new deal with the club.
Toney, whose contract expires at the end of next season, is currently serving an eight-month ban for breaching the FA’s gambling regulations and unavailable to play until January 16.
Despite his absence, the Bees have the same number of points this season as they did after 10 games 12 months ago with Toney in the team and will be targeting a third successive Premier League victory against West Ham at the Gtech Stadium on Saturday.
Earlier this year Frank claimed Toney should be worth in the region of £100 million after defensive midfielders Declan Rice and Moises Caicedo joined Arsenal and Chelsea respectively for fees in excess of that amount.
However, Frank is hopeful the 27-year-old will remain a key figure in the Bees team when he makes his long-awaited return to action despite clubs set to test Brentford’s resolve during the January transfer with the threat of him leaving for a cut-price fee in the summer.
“I do think he is a very good player but what I said at the time was that players in the No.6 position have been sold for £100 million which is rare,” Frank said.
“So to have a proven goalscorer in the Premier League that is very, if not more valuable.
“Ivan’s skillset, finishing composure, link-up play and character make him a very good package.
“I want him to stay, Ivan is happy to stay and happy at the club but who knows what will happen in the future.
“I would like him to stay forever while I am coach at the club.”