EXCLUSIVE: Brentford set to open new contract talks with Ivan Toney despite his eight-month ban, as Man United, Arsenal and Newcastle lead the lurking pack who won't match his £50m value
Brentford are set to open contract talks with Ivan Toney at the end of the season despite his eight-month ban from football for betting offences.
Owner Matthew Benham had been planning to listen to offers for Toney this summer, but given the England striker will be out of action until January at the earliest there is an acknowledgement at the club that other Premier League sides are unlikely to match a valuation in excess of £50million.
Brentford attempted to tie Toney down to a new deal earlier in the season without success before the emergence of the betting charges.
The club want to show their support for a player who has been instrumental to their extraordinary achievement of securing a top-10 Premier League finish despite having the division’s lowest wage-bill, as well as protecting his transfer value.
Toney has two years left on the £20,000-a-week contract he signed when making a £10m move from Peterborough three years ago, and although he received a modest pay-rise when Brentford were promoted to the Premier League two years ago given his goal-scoring exploits since he could command wages of over £150,000-a-week elsewhere.
Brentford are set to open talks with Ivan Toney about extending his contract with the Bees
Manager Thomas Frank and the rest of Brentford want to reward Toney for his performances
Manchester United, Arsenal and Newcastle expressed interest in Toney earlier this season, while Tottenham and Chelsea could also be in the market for new strikers this summer.
Brentford operate a strict pay-scale however, with Ben Mee currently the club’s highest-paid player on around £55,000-a-week, and were unwilling to meet Toney’s demands during negotiations last year.
One possible compromise that could suit both parties would be for Toney to accept lower wages than he could obtain elsewhere in return for the club inserting a release clause in his contract that would enable him to leave for a fixed price next summer.
Without signing a new contract Toney’s transfer value would drop significantly in 12 months time.
Brentford also have the option to terminate Toney’s contract as admitting to 232 charges of betting on football represents a clear breach of his terms.
While such a move would save Brentford around £640,000 in wages in the short-term based on Toney’s current deal it would cost them millions in a potential transfer fee as it would enable him to leave the club as a free agent.
Brentford and Toney are waiting to see the FA’s written reasons before deciding whether to appeal against the severity of the punishment, and any talks over a new deal will not begin until the process has run its course.
Toney is believed to be unhappy with the length of the ban, but may not choose to appeal it
While Toney is believed to be unhappy with the length of the ban mounting an appeal would be risky strategy.
Even if successful it could result in delaying Toney’s return to action as his current ban includes two months of the close-season.
Any appeal would be heard by a new independent commission which could take several months to convene.
The FA are planning to apply to FIFA to make sure that Toney’s suspension applies worldwide, thus denying him the chance to move abroad this summer, which is regarded as a formality.
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