Brentford manager Thomas Frank has expressed his hope that star striker Ivan Toney will not leave the club during the January transfer window, despite interest from Arsenal and Chelsea.
Toney scored 20 Premier League goals last season and made his senior England debut. The 27-year-old, who had spent most of his career prior to 2020 playing in League One, is currently banned over betting offences but will be eligible to return to action in the second half of January.
“Everyone saw what he did last year. It’s not like he broke a leg or did his ACL, so he’s fit and probably even more ambitious to get success. I’m convinced he will be absolutely on it,” Frank has told the Evening Standard as Toney’s return date gets closer.
“I don’t want to lose him. I hope, and think, he’ll be a Brentford player on February 1.”
With Toney’s future uncertain, 90min understands that Brentford – by Frank’s own previous admission a “selling club” by nature – have been considering striker options to replace him since September. The Bees are open to cashing in on Toney but would likely ask more than £75m or £80m.
Arsenal and Chelsea are the clubs leading the interest, with both lacking a goalscoring ‘number nine’. Meeting Brentford’s cash valuation hasn’t been ruled out but each is willing to offer players to their London neighbours in an attempt to bring down the price tag.
90min explained earlier this month that Toney is ready to push for a transfer in January, with representatives already holding talks with both Arsenal and Chelsea. The player has been left surprised that Brentford are asking so much as it could price him out of a move.
One alternative option is for Toney to sign a new Brentford contract that includes a release clause. He is open to agreeing a fresh deal but still sees his future elsewhere and would demand that a reasonable exit fee is inserted into any proposal from the club. A new contract and release clause could be mutually beneficial, preserving Toney’s market value given that his current deal expires in 2025 and securing him a pay rise, but also making a future transfer a smoother process.