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Ivan Toney, the 27-year-old Brentford striker, has been a central figure in the club since signing from Peterborough United in August 2020. With 89 goals across 124 appearances, Toney has attracted attention from several Premier League clubs, including Arsenal and Chelsea.
Despite the interest from top Premier League clubs, the high transfer fee demanded by Brentford seems to be a significant deterrent. Arsenal, for instance, has been reported to find a £34m alternative in Bayer Leverkusen's Victor Boniface, indicating that a deal for Toney, who Brentford expects to fetch more than £100million, seems unlikely.
Arsenal and Chelsea have been heavily linked with a move to sign Toney. Arsenal, in particular, has been urged to sign a clinical striker to reinforce their challenge for the Premier League. However, recent reports suggest that Arsenal may have been forced to reconsider their options due to Brentford's high financial demands. Brentford's manager confirmed that it would take "crazy money" to prize Toney away this winter, a package that is currently too expensive for Arsenal.
Chelsea, on the other hand, remains in the race to sign Toney. However, according to David Ornstein, Chelsea does not currently have Toney on their shortlist of January transfer targets. This could potentially clear the path for Arsenal, but the financial constraints remain a significant hurdle.
Toney's current contract with Brentford expires in June 2025, and he will enter the final 18 months of his contract this January. This situation has led to speculation that Brentford might be more open to letting Toney leave next summer when he enters the final 12 months of his contract. However, Brentford's technical director, Lee Dykes, has warned that any club interested in Toney will have to pay a "decent transfer fee" to acquire his services.
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Ivan Toney, the Brentford striker, is set to return to competitive football on January 17, 2024. He was banned from all soccer and soccer-related activity until January 16, 2024, due to breaches of the Football Association's (FA) betting rules.
Toney was diagnosed with a gambling addiction, which led him to bet on his own clubs to lose matches. He was charged with 232 breaches of the FA's betting rules, which included 13 bets on his own team to lose. The independent commission that imposed the ban concluded that Toney was a "prolific gambler". However, the length of Toney's ban was reduced due to his gambling addiction, which was considered a "significant mitigation".
During his ban, Toney was not allowed to train with his Brentford teammates for the first four months. He returned to the club's Robert Rowan Performance Centre on September 18, 2023, and has been training with his team for three-and-a-half months. Toney's first scheduled game back will be Brentford's home game against Nottingham Forest in January 2024, unless he leaves Brentford before then.
Despite the ban, Toney has expressed his readiness to repay Brentford with goals upon his return. He has also spoken of his gratitude for the way Brentford stood by him during his ban. However, the January transfer window may not see Toney moving to a new club, as Brentford's manager, Thomas Frank, has stated that Toney will remain at Brentford this season and won't be sold during the January transfer window unless an "unbelievable price" is offered.