Brentford forward Ivan Toney has said he plans to play for a “top club competing for trophies,” and has not ruled out leaving the west London club this month amid transfer links with Chelsea and Arsenal.
In an interview with Sky Sports, Toney also said he is aiming to be included in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for this summer’s European Championships after his eight-month ban for breaches of the FA’s betting rules ended on Wednesday.
The 27-year-old, whose last appearance for Brentford’s first team was against Liverpool on May 6, 2023, has been permitted to train with his teammates since September and scored a hat trick in a behind-closed-doors friendly for Brentford B’s against Southampton under-23s on Jan. 6.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Toney was diagnosed as a gambling addict after he accepted 232 breaches of the FA’s rules on betting.
Asked what it is like to be in the grip of an addiction, Toney said: “I couldn’t tell you perhaps as much as other [addicts]. Sometimes, you don’t realise what you’re doing in the moment. You only realise afterwards you’re doing something you shouldn’t be doing.
“But it’s sorted out now. I’ve been speaking to people about it and I feel it’s sorted now. Hopefully, I will now be focusing on doing the right thing moving forward and there won’t be any more silly punishments like this.
“I don’t have the urge to do anything like this now so it’s all good. As men, you find it hard to open up about certain things. I tend to keep everything inside. I don’t like sharing anything. I’ve changed a bit as I’ve had to share certain bits of information, but not loads.
“It’s still hard for me to open up and share certain emotions but that’s me as a person. Maybe that will change, but as humans we need to open up more in certain situations.”
Brentford have struggled for form in Toney’s absence and have failed to win any of their last seven matches in all competitions, leaving them in 16th place in the table, just three points above the relegation zone.
Toney was Brentford’s top-scorer last season having netted 21 goals and helped the club finish in the top-half of the Premier League for the first time in their history.
The forward has been the subject of interest from Chelsea and Arsenal but Brentford boss Thomas Frank has been adamant that Toney won’t be sold in the January transfer window unless a significant offer is made.