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Brentford’s plans to cash in on Ivan Toney this summer amid reported interest from Manchester United and Newcastle United are at risk after the striker admitted to breaching FA betting rules. The Bees could instead lose millions on their prized asset if he faces a lengthy ban.
Toney’s admission of guilt to many of the 262 betting charges imposed by the FA could lead to him missing a sizable chunk of next season, all but ruling out a summer move.
And according to the Mail, the situation has jeopardised Brentford’s transfer strategy as they gear up to sell him in the upcoming window.
Brentford have utilised their impressive recruitment system to generate huge profits in recent years, and the plan for Toney was no different.
The Londoners were resigned to losing their star striker this summer after failing to agree terms over a new contract earlier in the season.
But they are now faced with a tricky ultimatum as the risk of a prolonged spell on the sidelines looms ever larger.
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Toney is entering the final two years of the deal he signed when joining from Peterborough in 2020, on which he earns around £20,000 a week – a modest salary for one of the Premier League’s hottest goalscorers.
For that reason, the 26-year-old is eyeing a significant pay-rise on his next contract, whether at Brentford or another club.
But with interest likely impacted by the prospect of his ban, Brentford must decide whether to agree a contract that could see them paying millions while he’s unavailable.
Or they will likely watch his £50million valuation collapse as he nears his current deal’s expiry, which would be good news for his suitors once he is clear of his charges and punishment.
Brentford manager Thomas Frank has admitted he is disappointed by the prospect of Toney facing a ban.
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He said: “We share Ivan’s disappointment with leaks in a confidential case and the timing of them just before this international break. The talk of a potential ban is disappointing.”
Toney will fight to limit the consequences, reportedly appointing leading KC Nick De Marco to defend him against the FA’s charges.
De Marco has grown a reputation for defending big-name players in FA disciplinary cases, recently winning Newcastle United’s takeover battle with the Premier League.
It allowed Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund to buy the Tyneside giants, so there will be confidence he can work the same wonders with Toney.
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