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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Dom Smith

Ivan Toney: Brentford boss Thomas Frank dismisses rumours over cut-price striker sale

Thomas Frank says it would be bad business for Brentford to sell Ivan Toney for a reported cut-price fee of just £30-£40million, and has revealed the England striker is fit to start Saturday’s crucial match against Sheffield United.

Toney, who scored 20 Premier League goals last season, has made no secret of his desire to play at the highest level, and Frank has mentioned on numerous occasions that Brentford may cash in on him this summer.

The 28-year-old, who has recovered from a hip injury that kept him on the bench for last weekend’s 3-3 draw with Aston Villa, has been tracked by the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea in recent months and joked recently that he is waiting for Real Madrid to tempt him away.

A report this week suggested Toney could be available for as little as £30m this summer, but Frank was quick to insist such a fee would be too low for a player of Toney’s pedigree.

“Normally I don’t go into these price labels, but I would say that’s very cheap for a 20-goal goalscorer in the Premier League”, he said on Friday.

Brentford are just four points off the bottom three and winless in nine games, with Saturday’s home match against 20th-place Sheffield United a huge chance for a rare victory.

“Everyone from last week when we faced Villa is available”, Frank revealed.

“Ivan is fine. Good news: [Kevin] Schade is available and will make the squad, so that’s very good news. And Ethan Pinnock is available and will make the squad.”

Frank added that Toney is “definitely” in line to start but that Schade and Pinnock are only fit enough to make the bench.

Providing an update on Christian Norgaard’s back problem and Aaron Hickey’s hamstring injury, Frank added: “Norgaard is progressing fine on the grass and is looking hopefully promising for next week.

“Hickey, I think saw him running out on the grass today. It’s just, I don’t expect him to be available before the end of the season, so it’s a big positive if he is.”

Rico Henry had surgery in September after suffering a season-ending ACL injury for the second time in his Brentford career.

“He’s progressing in the right direction”, said Frank. “He will hopefully most likely be fit for pre-season. That’s the thing we are looking at.”

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