Brentford would consider selling Ivan Toney ‘if the right price is there’, according to head coach Thomas Frank.
Toney is currently serving an eight-month ban for breaches of betting regulations and is not eligible to play again until January 2024. He was only allowed to return to first-team training by the FA on Monday.
During the 2022/23 Premier League season, Toney was one of just three players to break the 20-goal barrier, joining Harry Kane and Golden Boot-winner Erling Haaland in an exclusive club.
Toney has gone from strength to strength since joining Brentford from Peterborough United in 2020, and there is understandably speculation over his long-term future at the Gtech Community Stadium.
During an appearance on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football, Frank admitted the Bees are a ‘selling club’ and would have to consider offers for Toney.
“So far we’ve only sold one [key player] in the Premier League, David Raya – that’s a loan but we will probably sell him [to Arsenal] in the future,” Frank began.
“I think every club in the world are a selling club except five or six clubs. We are a selling club. If the right price is there and I think if the timing is right for the players to go, I think if they have developed well with us and been on the journey, they have proven to be good enough to play at the top clubs, then I think it’s the right thing [to sell them] at the right price.
“Yes [this applies to Toney], I understand why there are a lot of rumours about him. For me, I think he is one of the best strikers. As a number nine, I don’t see many in the world that are better than him. You have [Harry] Kane, [Robert] Lewandowski, these types, but not many.
“He scored 20 goals in the Premier League last year in, of course, a very good Brentford side. But we are not making as many chances as the top six or seven teams. Imagine him in a top team. He would easily score 20 to 25 goals [a season], for me. I think he is composed, a good finisher, and has a top mentality.
“He is a Brentford player now and in today’s market, the price for players in the number six [is high] and everyone knows that goal-scorers and attackers are the most expensive. I guess that would be very expensive.”
In an interview on The Diary Of A CEO podcast, Toney admitted that he grew up as a supporter of Liverpool, though he also admired Arsenal, fuelling speculation that he would like to join either of those clubs.
Sources have confirmed to 90min that though Liverpool are not interested in Toney, Arsenal have been keeping a watchful eye on him. However, they are unlikely to move for a new striker unless they encounter an injury pile-up, while long-term target Dusan Vlahovic is believed to be more easily attainable.