Dean Smith is adamant Scott Hogan is still a Brentford player after the striker was benched for Brentford's 2-1 defeat against Newcastle United.
The Bees striker, who has been subject to speculation for a Premier League move to West Ham, was left on the bench by the manager despite being available for selection.
Smith said he had come to a decision to leave the 24-year-old out of the team for the 'long-term interest' of the club, opting to start Romaine Sawyers and goalscorer Lasse Vibe after their performance in Brentford's 5-1 FA Cup win over Eastleigh.
"I made a decision on Thursday not to start Scott, I made Scott aware of that and Scott was happy with that. I felt that Romaine Sawyers and Lasse Vibe deserved to keep their place in the team," said Smith.
"There has been a lot of speculation and offers for Scott, so it has been very difficult for him.
"Scott was available for selection, I decided not to select him for the long-term interest of the football club because the two players last week have done really well.
"If I was to leave one of them out and put Scott in and he was to go on Monday it wouldn't help - the long-term interest of the football club has always got to be at the front of my mind.
Despite offers for the club's top goalscorer this season, Dean said nothing could be expected as far as a transfer goes, and he didn't feel it was right to sub Hogan on - opting to bring on Josh Clarke for Sawyers in the closing stages.
Smith continued: "We can't expect anything, he is still a Brentford player and he is in contention to play.
"I had to make a decision that was right for the football club. I didn't think it was right to start him, and I don't think Scott felt it would have been right to start him.
"I has quite happy with the decision I made and as the game went on, I also didn't think it was right to bring him on."
Dean has said in his pre-match press conference on Thursday how Hogan would be available following a buttock injury, but said he would see on Friday where the former Rochdale player's head was at.