Lucas Paqueta has been charged by the Football Association (FA) over alleged breaches of betting rules, with the West Ham midfielder accused of intentionally seeking to receive a card in four different games.

Last August, it was reported that the FA had opened an investigation into suspicious betting activity surrounding Paqueta.

In March, the Brazil international said he was cooperating with the FA's probe and was "happy to be helping".

On Thursday, the FA brought charges against Paqueta, who is accused of attempting to get himself carded in four different Premier League fixtures, three in the 2022-23 season and one on the opening matchday of 2023-24.

An FA spokesperson said: "West Ham United's Lucas Paqueta has been charged with misconduct in relation to alleged breaches of FA Rules E5 and F3.

"The player has been charged with four breaches of FA Rule E5.1 in relation to his conduct in the club's Premier League fixtures against Leicester City on 12 November 2022; Aston Villa on 12 March 2023; Leeds United on 21 May 2023; and AFC Bournemouth on 12 August 2023. 

"It's alleged that he directly sought to influence the progress, conduct, or any other aspect of, or occurrence in these matches by intentionally seeking to receive a card from the referee for the improper purpose of affecting the betting market in order for one or more persons to profit from betting."

Paqueta, who has until June 3 to respond to the charges, immediately addressed them on social media, vowing to clear his name.

He wrote on Instagram: "I am extremely surprised and upset that the FA has decided to charge me. For nine months, I have cooperated with every step of their investigation and provided all the information I can.

"I deny the charges in their entirety and will fight with every breath to clear my name."

The news comes after Brentford striker Ivan Toney served an eight-month ban following his admission of 232 breaches of betting rules between 2017 and 2021.

Newcastle United's Sandro Tonali, meanwhile, is midway through a 10-month suspension for breaking the Italian Football Federation's gambling rules and was recently given a suspended two-month sanction over 50 breaches investigated by the FA.

Andoni Iraola sees his nomination for the Premier League's Manager of the Season award as something for everyone at Bournemouth to be proud of, vindicating their progress in 2023-24.

Bournemouth welcome Brentford to the Vitality Stadium for their penultimate game of the campaign on Saturday, with a top-half finish still on the cards.

The Cherries have already surpassed their previous record points haul in the top flight, accumulating 48 despite failing to win any of their first nine matches under Iraola – a run which led to suggestions he could lose his job.

However, they have been rewarded for sticking with the Spaniard, who is up against Pep Guardiola, Mikel Arteta, Jurgen Klopp and Unai Emery in the Manager of the Season voting.

"I think it's something for the club. People think that we have done a very good season and it's good to see yourself get this kind of recognition," Iraola said on Friday.

"I think we still have a lot of room to grow and we have to continue improving because, in the end, the Premier League is very demanding.

"I think the other nominees are on another level, I would say. They are the top four teams in the league.

"It's good that a club like us receives this kind of recognition but in the same way it could have gone to Sean Dyche or Gary O'Neil, they are also doing very good jobs."

Brentford boss Thomas Frank has heaped praise on his opposite number, saying: "He's done well this season. Praise to him and everyone around Bournemouth. 

"He had a tricky start and it's just another example that there are a lot of good coaches out there and that football is brutal and unpredictable.

"But the best leaders are there with a calm head and a steady hand – they keep going. They've done well in many ways, definitely."

PLAYERS TO WATCH 

Bournemouth – Dominic Solanke

Solanke has opened the scoring in nine different Premier League games so far this season, more than any other player. 

His goals have also been worth a league-high 15 points for the Cherries this term – can he fire them one step closer to a top-half finish?

Brentford – Ivan Toney 

Toney has failed to score in any of his last 10 Premier League games for Brentford. 

Only in his first 11 Football League appearances for Northampton Town in 2013-14 has he failed to find the net in more consecutive league games for a single team. With time running out to impress England boss Gareth Southgate ahead of Euro 2024, he needs to end his drought.

MATCH PREDICTION – DRAW

Brentford's last two Premier League games have seen them lose 1-0 to Everton and draw 0-0 with Fulham. They have not failed to score in three or more consecutive league games since a run of four in March and April 2019.

The Bees have, however, kept a clean sheet in their last two away league games against Bournemouth, last doing so on three consecutive visits between 1991 and 1994 in the third tier.

The Cherries are winless in their last six league games against Brentford since a 1-0 Championship victory back in August 2014, drawing two and losing four.

With little of substance on the line, it would be no surprise to see this one fizzle out into a draw. 

Bournemouth have only won their final home league game in one of the last four seasons, beating Millwall in the Championship in 2021-22 but losing their other three in that span.

Brentford, meanwhile, have seen four of their last seven Premier League matches finish level, their only defeat in that run coming at Goodison Park two weeks ago.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY 

Bournemouth – 32.6%

Brentford – 39.1%

Draw – 28.3%

Marco Silva believes Fulham's displays have been more "complete" this season than they were last term, and he is desperate to give their fans another result to savour ahead of Saturday's West London derby at Brentford.  

While some expected Fulham to struggle this season after talismanic striker Aleksandar Mitrovic left for Al-Hilal, they sit safely ensconced in 13th in the Premier League table with 43 points.

Fulham have only taken four points from their last five Premier League games, though, and Silva is aware their next match carries more importance than most for supporters. 

"These types of games are special for our fans, Silva said. "I prepare my team in the same way for every match, but we want our fans to have a good feeling after tomorrow.

"We have to recognise that this group of players have been doing a fantastic job for this football club in the last two seasons in the Premier League.

"With the way we have played in some matches, this season has been more complete than last season."

Brentford, on the other hand, have fallen short of expectations this season but saw their safety confirmed before they took to the field for a 2-0 defeat to Everton at Goodison Park last week. 

Thomas Frank's men are almost certain to record their lowest finish since their 2021 promotion, but forward Yoane Wissa is relieved that they can plan for another year at the top level.

"Everyone is happy to be safe. We have been a bit unlucky this season overall in terms of the injuries and some of the results we have had," Wissa said.

"There is always room for improvement, but we know the main aim is always to be safe.

"We are settled as a Premier League club, but we know it is always difficult in this league. We have seen how hard it has been at times this year and we are ready to do better next season."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Brentford – Ivan Toney

Having netted four goals in his first five Premier League games after returning from suspension in January, Toney has not scored in any of his last nine. 

It is his longest run without a league goal since a run of 10 with Peterborough United between February and April 2019, something he will be looking to end on Saturday.

Fulham – Timothy Castagne

With a goal against Liverpool and an assist against Crystal Palace, Castagne is looking to register a goal involvement in three consecutive Premier League games for the second time, previously doing so in September 2020 in his first three appearances in the competition for Leicester City.

MATCH PREDICTION – BRENTFORD WIN

Brentford have won five of their last seven matches against Fulham in all competitions (two losses), winning their last two in the Premier League against their London rivals.

However, since enjoying a 14-match unbeaten Premier League run in London derby matches between October 2022 and November 2023, Brentford have lost five of their last six (one draw). 

Indeed, before this, the Bees had only lost five of their first 27 London derbies in the competition (12 wins, 10 draws).

Fulham have lost six of their last seven away games against Brentford in all competitions, winning the other game 2-0 in November 2016 under Slavisa Jokanovic.

Fulham have won two of their last five Premier League away games (one draw, two defeats), after only winning one of their first 12 on the road this season (four draws, seven defeats). The Cottagers are looking to win back-to-back away league matches for the first time this campaign.

Having beaten Sheffield United 2-0 in their last outing at the Gtech Community Stadium, Brentford are targeting just their second set of back-to-back home wins in the Premier League this season, and with the pressure lifted against poor travellers, they are favourites to achieve that feat. 

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Brentford – 43.8%

Draw – 28.3%

Fulham – 27.9%

Rob Edwards backed Luton to respond after their Premier League survival hopes were dealt a devastating blow following a painful 5-1 home loss to Brentford.

The 18th-placed Hatters knew victory would take them out of the relegation zone, but they were undone at Kenilworth Road by a slick attacking display from a Bees side without Ivan Toney due to his ongoing hip issue.

Thomas Frank watched Brentford run riot with Yoane Wissa scoring twice in the first half before Ethan Pinnock, Keane Lewis-Potter and Kevin Schade netted after the break.

Luke Berry hit a stoppage-time consolation for Luton, but they remain a point behind Nottingham Forest in 17th and two off Everton ahead of those clubs playing at Goodison Park on Sunday.

“Yeah, I am deflated and I am hurting right now because of the manner of the performance. I have never really had to come out too many times all year and say that wasn’t us. Today it wasn’t us,” Edwards reflected.

“How I feel is we’re in this. Today was a bad day for us as a club but the teams directly above us play each other and we will not be out of it this weekend. It’s important we all remember that.

“What we have to try and harness now is the spirit, quality, fight and intensity we’ve shown that has kept us in and around it this season. We know we have to go and show that with four games to go.”

A raucous reception greeted both players, but Brentford could have scored three times before Wissa rifled them ahead in the 24th minute with a superb snapshot.

The brilliant Bryan Mbeumo had set up that chance and created the next for Wissa when his cross was scuffed home by the Bees forward in first-half stoppage-time for his 10th goal of the season.

While Edwards introduced Berry at the break, the visitors hit Luton with a double sucker-punch when Pinnock powered home a header from a Sergio Reguilon corner after 62 minutes before Lewis-Potter nodded in Mbeumo’s centre two minutes later.

Brentford substitute Kevin Schade slotted home a fifth after Mbeumo had set Vitaly Janelt away with four minutes left before Berry grabbed an added-time consolation, which was followed by applause at full-time from the Luton fans.

Edwards added: “I have got to say thank you to the supporters who stuck with us. I apologise to them as well for having to live through that. A difficult day for them. We don’t want to go through that again so we’ve got to respond.

“The players know there needs to be a response. As I say, we still have an opportunity to be in the Premier League next season and we don’t want to give that up easily. After today I am pretty confident we will respond in the right way.”

After Brentford moved on to 35 points and 10 above Luton, Brentford boss Frank said: “Of course it was an important game but it was still one of the next five.

“I also know it would be good to beat Luton because then that little sneaky feeling in the back of the head in this relentless league is more or less out of the question.

“Five games unbeaten now, we need to continue playing well and doing well to end the season on a high.”

Luton’s Premier League survival hopes were dealt an enormous blow after they suffered a 5-1 home defeat to Brentford, which virtually guaranteed the visitors of a fourth consecutive season in the top flight.

The 18th-placed Hatters could have moved out of the relegation zone with a win, but were undone by a slick attacking display from the Bees led by Yoane Wissa and Bryan Mbeumo.

With Ivan Toney not involved due to his ongoing hip issue, Thomas Frank watched his fluid front four run riot at Kenilworth Road with Wissa on target twice in the first half to reach 10 goals for the campaign.

Ethan Pinnock made the points safe with a third in the 62nd minute before Keane Lewis-Potter claimed a deserved goal two minutes later.

The brilliant Mbeumo had a hand in Brentford’s fifth when Kevin Schade fired home after 86 minutes and despite a stoppage-time consolation for Luke Berry, the afternoon belonged to Brentford after they moved on to 35 points – 10 above Rob Edwards’ strugglers with four matches left.

Luton were boosted before kick-off with Gabriel Osho and Albert Sambi Lokonga surprisingly declared fit and a raucous atmosphere greeted the players, but it was the visitors who started the strongest.

The fit-again Pinnock headed wide before Lewis-Potter squandered a golden opportunity when he fired into the side-netting after being played through by Mikkel Damsgaard.

While the Hatters responded with Alfie Doughty able to test Mark Flekken, Brentford continued to create chances and Thomas Kaminski produced a fine save to thwart Lewis-Potter’s 19th-minute header after an excellent Sergio Reguilon cross.

It felt only a matter of time before the Bees’ attacking quartet punished the home team and it duly arrived with 24 minutes played.

A crucial interception by Kristoffer Ajer found Mbeumo in space and he touched on for Wissa, who rifled beyond Kaminski from 20 yards for a superb opener.

Luton almost equalised immediately when Jordan Clark played through to Tahith Chong, but he smashed over before they suffered another setback when Issa Kabore went off with an ankle injury.

Brentford continued to threaten and only a block by Teden Mengi denied Lewis-Potter after a dangerous run before a sumptuous curled effort by Mbeumo smashed against the crossbar.

Yet Luton’s luck did run out in first-half stoppage-time as Mbeumo dribbled into the area and his cross rolled into the path of Wissa, who scuffed home.

Edwards reacted by bringing on Berry, but Brentford’s attacking prowess remained the difference and Kaminski had to be alert to save Damsgaard’s low strike before the hour mark.

A third goal came soon after when Pinnock powered in a header from Reguilon’s corner, which sparked ‘we are staying up’ chants by the away fans.

Two minutes later they had a fourth to celebrate after Damsgaard’s lofted pass found Mbeumo, who knocked on for Lewis-Potter to head home at the back post.

Mbeumo had been superb and he was again involved in Brentford’s fifth after his defence-splitting pass found Vitaly Janelt, who set up Schade for a simple tap-in.

Luton did have the final say as Berry latched onto a mistake to round Flekken and make it 5-1 in the second minute of added time, but their hopes of beating the drop look even slimmer now despite being applauded off by the home fans at full-time.

What the papers say

Manchester City will be hoping to stave off competitors Liverpool, Barcelona and Paris St Germain for 21-year-old Bayern Munich forward Jamal Musiala according to the Independent. The 21-year-old from Germany has scored 10 goals in 23 matches in the Bundesliga this season.

The Mirror says Arsenal are now rethinking their plans for Brentford striker Ivan Toney due to the form of German forward Kai Havertz. The 24-year-old has scored five goals in his last seven matches, with the club now considering looking for a younger forward.

Chelsea could let 11 players leave the club this summer, the Sun says, with 24-year-old midfielder Conor Gallagher expected to be one of those players.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Viktor Gyokeres: The 25-year-old Sporting Lisbon forward is a top transfer target for Arsenal, but they will have to pay £85million to match the club’s release clause.

Piero Hincapie: Tottenham could look to sign the 22-year-old Bayer Leverkusen defender as manager Ange Postecoglou has made a defender one of his priorities in the summer, Teamtalk says.

Ivan Toney scored on his first England start in the friendly draw with Belgium and is now aiming to make up for lost time by securing a place at Euro 2024.

The Brentford striker won and scored a penalty either side of a Youri Tielemans brace for the visitors, who looked on course for a Wembley win before Jude Bellingham’s last-gasp effort secured a 2-2 draw.

It was Toney’s full England debut and just his second cap, coming exactly a year after his first.

For the majority of that year Toney was sidelined through suspension, having been banned for eight months after breaching Football Association betting rules.

He returned to action for Brentford in January and has scored four goals for the Bees since, while England boss Gareth Southgate kept a watching brief.

“It was always going to be hard to watch knowing I should have been there,” Toney said of England games he missed while banned.

“But that’s done and dusted now. I can’t change it. There’s no point dwelling on something I can’t change because it’ll just hurt me even more.

“But hopefully I can make the Euros squad and put things right. I try to be confident, but let’s see what happens.”

There was a long delay between Toney winning the spot-kick for a foul by Jan Vertonghen and then coolly converting from 12 yards.

For Toney, though, the outcome of the penalty was never in doubt.

“It felt very good,” he told BeIN Sports.

“This morning I spoke to my friends and I said I feel a penalty today and when I ran in behind, I felt the contact and there was no doubt that it was a penalty.

“So it is just patience, really – wait for the keeper to get on the line and do what I do best.

“I practise them all the time, every day and just pretend it is a training pitch and put in the back of the net and I’ve done that.”

While Toney impressed and got off the mark for England, there were other standout displays.

Manchester United teenager Kobbie Mainoo’s midfield performance was particularly eye-catching, while Jarrod Bowen enjoyed arguably his best night in an England shirt too.

The 27-year-old West Ham forward looked sharp on his seventh cap but saw his first England goal chalked off when VAR ruled him offside as he headed home in the first half.

Bowen is also hopeful of squeezing into Southgate’s ranks in Germany.

“There is no question I want it more than ever,” he told BBC Radio 5Live. “The main thing now is to go back to West Ham, hit the ground running there, keep doing what I’ve been doing all season and hope I get the opportunity.

“There is a lot of football to be played before that squad is named. I have been in a good place this season and the main thing was to continue to do what I’ve been doing.”

Gareth Southgate praised Jude Bellingham’s never-say-die attitude after saving England from defeat against Belgium at the end of an international break that provides plenty of food for thought ahead of the Euros.

Among the favourites for glory this summer, the side third in FIFA’s world rankings stepped up preparations with a pair of high-level friendlies against the nations directly behind them in those standings.

Brazil are fifth and struck late on Saturday to inflict a first defeat on England in 15 months, which fourth-placed Belgium looked set to compound at rainy Wembley three days later.

Youri Tielemans opened the scoring after a Jordan Pickford error, with a Lewis Dunk mistake resulting in the Aston Villa midfielder scoring again after Ivan Toney had converted a penalty on his first senior start.

Fellow full debutants Ezri Konsa and, in particular, 18-year-old Kobbie Mainoo also impressed in a friendly that ended 2-2 after Bellingham struck at the end of second half stoppage time.

“I liked it because I know the rubbish we would have got if we lost two games on the bounce,” the Real Madrid midfielder told Channel 4.

“These are two games that are going to stand us in good stead going into the Euros. I know people will be negative but you have to take these games for what they are.

“You’ve got to keep perspective. We had a lot of lads making debuts (this week) and a lot of lads I’ve never played with. We created a lot of chances. I should have scored (previously). I was happy I could make it up to the team.”

England boss Southgate told the post-match press conference: “Jude, of course, is the headline.

“That competitive spirit, that desire not to lose, desire to win in the end, was decisive in getting the late goal.

“But I thought the whole team showed that throughout the game and recovered from setbacks with a pretty inexperienced team, really, against a team that have got some very, very good players. Very pleased with a lot of what I saw tonight.”

Bellingham pulled the Euro 2024 hopefuls through at the end of a challenging international meet-up marred by injuries.

John Stones joined England’s eye-watering absentee list when limping off with an adductor issue within 10 minutes on Tuesday, when Mainoo’s man-of-the-match performance was among a number of impressive displays.

“The great thing is definitely some players have emerged positively from the opportunities they’ve had,” Southgate said reflecting on the Brazil and Belgium friendlies.

“We’ve perhaps got more depth in one respect, but the injuries are a concern. We’ve got so many players missing at the moment, and we’ve still got the real heat of the season to come, with the intensity of the games, what’s resting on the games.

“We’re not going to know what we’re left with until right until the end but we’ll just have to make the best decisions that we possibly can.”

Southgate praised Toney, Jarrod Bowen and James Maddison for their attacking impact against Belgium, while Anthony Gordon has also earned plaudits during the week.

Southgate has plenty to mull over ahead of announcing his provisional squad on May 21, which has to be whittled down to a 23-man group by June 8.

“In terms of knowing the 23, there’s so many unknowns at the moment in terms of who might be available,” Southgate said.

“So, yes, these performances were very important for players to be able to see whether or not they could play against high level opposition.

“But equally the way they play between now and the end of the season with their club, in big matches is going to have a high tariff as well so we will track all of that.”

Jude Bellingham struck at the death to salvage England a deserved draw against Belgium on a night of impressive auditions in the final match before Gareth Southgate’s Euro 2024 selection.

Three days on from the late loss to Brazil, the absentee-hit Euro 2020 runners-up faced another high-level test as the side third in FIFA’s world rankings hosted the team in fourth.

England were heading for another Wembley defeat after Youri Tielemans punished first-half errors either side of Ivan Toney’s penalty, only for Bellingham to secure a 2-2 draw in stoppage time.

Toney did well on his first start, as did fellow full debutants Ezri Konsa and, in particular, 18-year-old Kobbie Mainoo in the final friendly before Southgate names an expanded Euros squad on May 21.

What the papers say

Gareth Southgate is the top choice of Manchester United co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe to replace Erik ten Hag as manager in the summer, reports the Star.

According to The Times, Nottingham Forest may be forced to sell star players by the end of June to avoid losing more points for breaching financial rules.

Tottenham, Chelsea, and West Ham are all keen on England striker Ivan Toney, reports The Sun.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Jack Grealish: HITC writes that Manchester City might let the England forward leave this summer, with the club understood to be raising funds to boost their squad.

Alexander Isak: The Newcastle and Sweden striker is on Arsenal’s summer shortlist, says Football Insider.

Erling Haaland: The Manchester City striker limped out of training while on international duty with Norway, alarming his club, writes The Guardian.

Jarrad Branthwaite and Anthony Gordon have received their first England call-ups but there was no place for Kalvin Phillips in Gareth Southgate’s last squad before making his Euro 2024 selection.

Joe Gomez, who won the last of his 11 senior caps in October 2020, has returned from the international wilderness for March’s Wembley friendlies against Belgium and Brazil.

Ivan Toney is back involved at the first opportunity after serving an eight-month Football Association betting ban, but Raheem Sterling was conspicuous by his absence once again.

Phillips has been dropped after a torrid run of form since he joined West Ham on loan in January.

Phillips was at fault for a goal on his debut against Bournemouth before he was sent off at Nottingham Forest last month and hooked at half-time of Sunday’s 2-2 draw at home to Burnley.

England boss Gareth Southgate said: “Well, I think he knows exactly what we think of him. A good version of him is an important player for us and that’s why we’ve supported him as we have.

“Unfortunately his form hasn’t been good enough and I’ve spoken to him about that. He understands.

“He has all the attributes to force his way back in. He just needs to find that rhythm and confidence because there is an outstanding player in there.”

Mohamed Salah scored on his Premier League return as Liverpool eased to a 4-1 win at Brentford.

Coming off the bench for his first appearance since injuring a hamstring on duty with Egypt at the Africa Cup of Nations, he netted his side’s third goal moments after making a brilliant assist for Alexis Mac Allister to make it 2-0.

Darwin Nunez had opened the scoring with a superbly-taken chip to cap a wonderful counter attack in the first half as Jurgen Klopp’s league leaders ensure they would finish the weekend still on top.

Ivan Toney continued his goalscoring form since returning from his gambling ban to briefly give Brentford hope at 3-1.

It was a fleeting moment of optimism, quickly extinguished when substitute Cody Gakpo stroked home Liverpool’s fourth in the closing minutes.

What the papers say

Manchester United have reportedly determined their ceiling for Brentford striker Ivan Toney. According to the Daily Star, the Red Devils value the 27-year-old at £70million, and will not be drawn into a bidding war should competition arise for Toney’s signature.

Elsewhere, the Daily Mirror says Arsenal scouts are keeping a close eye on Athletic Bilbao winger Nico Williams. The Gunners could chase Williams as an option to ease the pressure on Bukayo Saka, however the 21-year-old is also said to be attracting interest from a number of heavyweights including Real Madrid and Liverpool.

The Evening Standard reports AC Milan lead several Serie A sides in expressing interest in 23-year-old Arsenal defender Jakub Kiwior.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Thomas Partey: Spanish outlet Fichajes says the Arsenal midfielder is being circled by Juventus.

Alphonso Davies: Real Madrid, Manchester City and Liverpool are all tracking the Bayern Munich left-back, according to the website HITC.

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.

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.

“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”

Brentford are expecting to sell Ivan Toney this summer – manager Thomas Frank has revealed.

Toney was linked with a January move away from west London but Frank insisted no bids were received for the England striker.

The 27-year-old has recently returned to action after an eight-month ban for breaching Football Association gambling guidelines.

Frank had maintained throughout January that Toney, who made his England debut in 2023 and has hit 34 goals in 71 Premier League appearances, would stay put.

But now he seems to be bracing to lose one of his key men at the end of the season.

“It is relatively obvious that Ivan Toney will probably be sold this summer,” Frank told Danish magazine Tipsbladet.

“It can be ‘expensive’ to sell your best player, but conversely I also know that this summer he only has one year left on his contract with us.

“We also know what he is worth. I don’t think there are many strikers in the world who are better than him right now.”

Asked on transfer deadline day whether keeping Toney in January proved Brentford have grown as a club, Frank said: “I think with any player we have a contract in general so at the end of the day we decide if they leave or not.

“Of course money talks and we also know that we are a ‘selling’ club as you could call it – we know that is part of the strategy.”

Frank doubled down on that outlook in his Tipsbladet interview, adding: “I would prefer to keep Toney but one day it could be fun to see him in a top team.

“This winter, we actually had no bids for him, but it would surprise me if there aren’t a lot of clubs interested in him.”

Meanwhile, Brentford also confirmed Josh Dasilva has suffered another serious injury setback.

The 25-year-old has struggled with a number of issues in recent seasons and will now go back under the knife.

“Unfortunately, Josh suffered an injury in training over the weekend, while preparing for the Man City game,” head of medical Neil Greig told the club’s official website.

“Subsequent imaging has shown a significant injury to ligaments in his right knee, which will require surgery to repair.

“He’s previously shown an outstanding attitude to adversity and injury recovery, and we have absolute confidence in his capability to fully recovery from this setback.”

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