Downes reluctant to lose Smith
By Simon Fudge
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The former Carshalton Athletic keeper has attracted the interest of a host of Premiership clubs, having also earned a week's trial with Southampton in October.
Both The Saints and Spurs have shown interest in signing the 23-year-old, who is reportedly valued at around £750,000 by The Bees.
Despite interest and Brentford's need of cash to deal with their debts, Downes sees no footballing advantage to selling the talented Smith.
"Southampton had a look at Paul earlier in the season and Tottenham got wind of it and asked to have him down for a couple of days," Downes told the Ealing Times.
"I am not a big fan of doing it but I thought it would only be fair for him to go down.
"Tottenham have been down at a few games and I spoke to David Pleat and he wanted his goalkeeping coach to have a look at him.
"From my point of view I hope it doesn't happen but if a Premier League club comes in and Paul wants to leave I am not going to stand in his way if the price is right.
"I believe he is the best keeper outside The Premiership. He is definitely the best I've seen.
"I am not going to be able to replace him because you don't often come across players of that ability."