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As the transfer window opens, Brentford have immediately been linked with a move for Coventry defensive midfielder Ben Stevenson.

In an attempt to be pro-active in the window, Brentford are lining up a bid  – rumoured to be around £1m- for the 19 year old Coventry starlet.

It’s been an amazing rise of fame for the Coventry academy graduate who has played just over a dozen first team matches – making his debut for the Sky Blues in a EFL cup match against Portsmouth at the start of this season. He signed a four year contact in October committing him to the club for 2020. However, financially-strapped Coventry have not ruled out the prospect of losing their top players of the right offer comes in.

He may not have the experience of a player of Alan McCormack’s caliber but he fits right in with Brentford’s theory of signing up-and-coming youngsters. And the price tag – albeit a tad hefty for a player with such little first team experience – shows how the club is willing to take risks on young players with the right credentials.

Chairman Tim Fisher has indicated that the whole club infrastructure is based on selling the finest talents. He believes that the January gives another opportunity for the club to cash-in.

“Whether it’s Ben Stevenson or not, we have to look at balancing the books,” Fisher said in a recent radio interview.

“I want to be crystal clear, I’m not going to sit here and say ‘no we are not selling a footballer’ I want to sit here and say ‘look if we have to sell a footballer we’ll sell a footballer.’

“But equally, on the other side of the equation, if we can bring some footballers in using some of that monies then we will do. Because this squad will require some surgery as loan players leave and other players come in. We need the money to do that and I’m not ruling out selling.”

Meanwhile manager Russell Slade didn’t did not rule out the possibility of Stevenson leaving in the window but hoped – if any business was to be done – it would be done sooner rather than later to enable him to be pro-active in the transfer window rather than losing a player at the end with no opportunity to replace him.

“I speak to a lot of managers, coaches, scouts and he (Stevenson) gets mentioned in conversation as do one or two of the other young players that we’ve got at the football club and have already had experience in the league”

“Ideally nobody wants to lose anybody in the last hour; unless you’ve got something in place it makes life very difficult and leaves you at a disadvantage.”

An early deal will suit Brentford who look to have a busy window ahead of them – with the Bees looking to strengthen in a number of areas including defensive midfield, attacking midfield and up-front.

With the rumours flying around of Scott Hogan leaving the Brentford fold if Brentford’s valuation of £15m is met, the Bees have also been linked with another Coventry player – striker Dan Agyei who is on loan from Burnley. Whether that deal will materialise or not, only time will tell.

Billy Grant