“I feel like a free man, I can’t wait to play” | Ivan Toney on his return after 8-month betting ban

Ivan Toney speaks to Sky Sports News on the day his eight month ban from football for betting comes to an end.

Ivan Toney has served his eight-month ban for breaches of the FA’s rules for betting on football;

Ivan Toney has reiterated his desire to play for a “top club competing for trophies” with the Brentford striker set to end his eight-month ban from football.

Toney’s last competitive match was in the 1-0 defeat at Liverpool on May 6, but he has been allowed to train with his team-mates since September.

He made his England debut during a European Championship qualifying win against Ukraine last March and has scored 32 goals in 64 Premier League appearances for Brentford.

Toney – who was fined £50,000 and warned about his future conduct for 232 breaches of the FA’s betting rules – has been linked with both Arsenal and Chelsea during the transfer window.

Speaking exclusively to Sky Sports, the 27-year-old has not ruled out leaving the Gtech Community Stadium this month.

“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 still has his sights on being part of England’s Euro 2024 squad, and says he looks to the country’s captain as a source of inspiration.

“To be the best, you have to play with the best and compete against the best,” he added. “We all know Harry Kane is one of the best strikers in the world and he’s been doing it for some years now.

“If I want to be England’s No 1, then I have to compete against him. He’s not a bad striker to be taking tips off and be training with. I just have to keep scoring goals, keep playing well and then who knows what could happen?

“If I just fall short, then hopefully I can become the second best in the world.”

Kane, who scored 10 more than Toney last term, left Tottenham for Bayern Munich for more than £100m with just a year left on his contract, while Toney will still have 18 months left in January and is three years younger than Kane at 27.

Toney admits he has a goal target for the rest of the season, without disclosing it, with the collective focus being on keeping Brentford in the Premier League.

The West London club have stood firmly by Toney and his family since he admitted to 232 FA betting charges, putting everything in place for him to return and make an impact.


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