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Thomas Frank hinted Ivan Toney could stay at Brentford beyond the end of the season but accepted the striker’s long-term future lies away from the Gtech Stadium.

A magazine in his native Denmark this week quoted Frank saying the 27-year-old is likely to be sold in the summer but he has now clarified that “a couple of scenarios” remain on the table.

Toney, who returned in January from an eight-month ban for breaching FA gambling rules, is out of contract at the end of next season and has stated his desire to play for a club higher up the Premier League table than the Bees.

Ivan Toney, right. scores against Nottingham Forest
Ivan Toney has returned in goalscoring form (John Walton/PA)

He scored on his comeback as Brentford beat Nottingham Forest and again in defeat against Tottenham, but the team remain in relegation trouble with just three points separating them from the bottom three.

Frank, who gave his interview to Tipsbladet in Danish, urged caution in relying on translated text but affirmed the point that Toney ultimately will leave.

“You always need to be aware of translation,” he said. “Google Translate is not always the best.

“It’s the same message as the whole time, I would love him to stay forever. The reality is he’s got one more year left on his contract in the summer. I think he’s been pretty open about playing for a top club in the future.

“There’s a couple of scenarios; he leaves in the summer, he leaves in the winter, or he stays until the end.

“If he’s leaving – whatever, summer, winter or the summer after – I think it will be fantastic seeing him playing for a top club.”

Frank would not be drawn on reports that Neal Maupay was threatened by Manchester City’s Kyle Walker during Monday’s meeting, after the Brentford forward allegedly made remarks about Walker’s family.

Maupay, who has scored five goals in his last five games including the one that gave his side the lead against the champions before going on to lose 3-1, has been accused of provoking the England defender.

“I don’t want to go into speculation about that,” said Frank. “For me, it’s done, it’s over. I don’t know what they said.

“I see a player that played a year and a half at another club, didn’t score a goal, now he’s got five on the bounce for us. He’s doing very well for us.

“I understand the question. He can get a little bit in the middle of things sometimes. Life is balance.

“I think some players need it more than others to get going, and we need him to get going. But I think there’s a balance where you don’t cross the line.

Brentford's Neal Maupay, right, shields the ball from Manchester City's Kyle Walker
Neal Maupay, right, and Kyle Walker clashed on Monday night (Adam Davy/PA)

“It’s important he does enough so he can be firing but also maybe not attract so much attention.”

Frank confirmed midfielder Josh Dasilva will undergo surgery on a knee injury sustained in training and will be out for a significant period.

“I feel for Josh massively,” he said. “He has been very unlucky and he’s a player I’ve been working with for a long time, so our relationship has grown.

“He’s a lovely person so it’s tough to take. We will give him the best support”