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Ivan Toney: Brentford boss Thomas Frank admits striker 'will probably be sold this summer'

Thomas Frank on Ivan Toney's future: "It is relatively obvious that Toney will probably be sold this summer. We also know what he is worth. He is a really skilled striker who is in his prime football age"; Brentford call for tougher action after more Toney online racist abuse

Ivan Toney
Image: Ivan Toney is likely to depart Brentford this summer, boss Thomas Frank has admitted

Ivan Toney "will probably be sold this summer", Brentford boss Thomas Frank has admitted.

Toney recently returned to action after serving an eight-month ban for 232 breaches of the FA's rules for betting on football.

His comeback took place amid speculation over his Brentford future, with the England international on the radar of several top clubs across Europe and the Premier League, including Chelsea, while Arsenal are also reported to be keen, but the west London club kept hold of their talisman in the January transfer window.

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A look back at Toney’s best goals in the Premier League

However, interest in Toney is set to ramp up again at the end of the season and Frank has admitted the 27-year-old is likely to leave Brentford this summer

"It is relatively obvious that Ivan Toney will probably be sold this summer," Frank said to Danish media, via Tipsbladet.

"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.

Thomas Frank and Toney share a warm embrace
Image: Frank and Toney share a warm embrace

"He is a really skilled striker who is in his prime football age. Personally, as a coach, I would prefer to keep Toney but one day it could be fun to see him on a top team.

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"This winter we actually had no offers for him, but it will surprise me if there aren't a lot of clubs that will be interested in him."

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Brentford boss Thomas Frank admits Ivan Toney's departure is inevitable and speculates when this could happen.

Speaking ahead of Brentford's weekend game with Wolves, Frank warned against reading into any mistranslations of his original Danish interview, but confirmed the possibility of Toney leaving the club either in the summer transfer window or next January.

"You always need to be aware of translation. Google translate is not always the best," he joked before adding: "It's the same message I've said the whole time.

"I would love him to stay forever, but the reality is he has one year left on his contract. He's been pretty open about playing for a top club in the future, so there's a couple of scenarios. He leaves in the summer, he leaves in the winter, or he stays until the end.

"If he leaves whenever, it would be fantastic to see him for a top club."

How much will Toney cost?

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Sky Sports' Peter Smith and Lyall Thomas discuss whether or not Toney is worth the £100m price tag Brentford have given him

Back in November, Sky Sports News reported Brentford valued Toney at £100m, with reports of a £50m-£60m fee meeting with derision in the club's boardroom.

It reiterated Frank's valuation, with the Dane stating last summer he believed Toney to be worth £100m.

Frank said: "£100m plus?... What would you pay for a striker that guarantees you 20-plus goals? And this is 20 goals for a mid-table club. What can he do in a bigger club?"

Toney: 'I'd like to play for a top club'

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In an interview last month, Toney refused to rule out a January move away from Brentford, admitting he wants to play for a 'top club'

Toney reiterated his desire to play for a "top club competing for trophies" in an exclusive interview with Sky Sports ahead of his return to football last month.

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Toney makes his return for Brentford following his ban for breaching the FA's betting rules

He said: "You can never predict when is the right time to move elsewhere, but I think it's obvious I want to play for a top club.

"Everybody wants to play for a top club, that is fighting for titles. Whether it's this January that is the right time for a club to come in and pay the right money, who knows?

"But my main focus is to do what I do on the pitch, and let the background work take care of itself."

Brentford strongly condemn more Toney racism

On Wednesday afternoon, Brentford also confirmed Toney had been subject to racist abuse once again this season, in the wake of Monday's defeat to Manchester City.

A club statement read: "We have initiated investigations into this vile harassment which we condemn in the strongest terms.

"Sadly, this isn't the first time Ivan has had to deal with this. A similar incident occurred just four weeks ago, leading us to identify an alleged perpetrator whom we reported to the authorities. To date, we have yet to see any action taken against that individual.

"In general, the response from social media platforms to these ongoing issues has been underwhelming. Their solutions, such as filters to simply hide the abuse may safeguard the players, miss the mark entirely and do not discourage the offenders. Without real consequences for those responsible, the cycle is doomed to repeat.

"We do have faith that things can change. We appreciate the dialogue that we have with the likes of Meta but we call for more decisive and urgent action to combat online hate. We call for prompt investigations, and importantly, we call for criminal prosecutions.

"We will continue to work with the authorities and the Premier League and to support our players as we tackle this awful online abuse."

Barnett: We will never give in to intolerance or hate

On Wednesday evening, Toney's agent Jonathan Barnett, head of ICM Stellar, released a statement condemning the racist abuse directed at the Brentford striker.

It read: "I unequivocally condemn the racist abuse our player Ivan Toney has been subjected to on social media.

"Everyone at ICM Stellar is shocked that these types of unconscionable and vile behaviours are still prevalent in society today.

"This is sadly not the first time Ivan has received racist abuse online and social media can no longer ignore a widespread and recurring problem across its platforms.

"We call on all forms of social media to do more to prevent, address and combat unacceptable and distressing incidents of discrimination such as this.

"My team will conduct an investigation and pass on any findings to the appropriate authorities - we will not just be bystanders.

"Some time ago I personally instituted a diversity and inclusivity department at our agency and headed by Pokuaa Ansere, we have taken considerable action against all forms of discrimination.

"We continue this fight and will never give in to prejudice, intolerance or hate.

"We now call upon all clubs, institutions, fellow agencies and governing bodies to join us and send out a clear message that we stand united against racist, discriminatory or unacceptable levels of abuse.

"I personally stand with Ivan, his family and friends, as well as anyone else who has been subjected to discrimination.

"We implore the football world to kick it out - once and for all."

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