Arsenal target Ivan Toney explains transfer stance as Brentford star addresses speculation

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Brentford striker Ivan Toney has admitted that he is ‘flattered’ by speculation linking him with a summer move to Arsenal, but the 25-year-old also suggested that he could look to stay with the Bees if they manage to seal promotion to the Premier League via the Championship play-offs. Arsenal are expected to be in the market for attacking reinforcements ahead of next season, with the futures of Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah far from certain.

The former will be out of contract next summer and has recently been linked with Atletico Madrid and Juventus, while the Gunners are said to be open to offers for Nketiah, who has struggled to hold down a spot in Mikel Arteta’s side since the turn of the year.

A number of players have been mentioned in connection with Arsenal ahead of the upcoming transfer window, including Lyon forward Moussa Dembele and Celtic’s Odsonne Edouard.

Toney is also believed to be on the north London club’s radar after a hugely impressive season with Brentford.

The former Newcastle United man set a new Championship record by scoring 31 goals for the Bees in league action, beating Glenn Murray’s previous benchmark of 30.

He will be hoping to carry his unstoppable form into this month’s play-off campaign, with Brentford set to entertain Bournemouth over two legs for a place in the all-important final.

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Although the majority of players would jump at the chance to join a club like Arsenal, Toney has played down the rumours surrounding his future by underlining his commitment to achieving the Premier League dream with his current employers.

The forward told FourFourTwo that he has been aware of reports linking him with the Gunners since January, but suggested that he could opt to stay with Brentford if they manage to seal a top-flight berth.

“It was flattering, but I’m a Brentford player,” said Toney when quizzed on the speculation.

“You read things, but I don’t look too deeply into it. I have to keep doing what I can to get Brentford promoted, and then I won’t have to worry about other clubs so-called buying me.”

Arsenal are unlikely to be the only side keeping tabs on Toney ahead of the summer transfer window, with Leeds United and Leicester City among the other Premier League clubs to have been credited with a reported interest.

A move for his services will certainly not come cheap, with Brentford slapping a £35million price tag on their star man to ward off any potential suitors, according to The Sun.

Toney previously opened up on his ambitions of playing at the highest level, claiming that he is more than capable of mixing it with the country’s top sides.

“People are going to have their opinions and just because it’s their opinion to have, it doesn’t mean it’s factual,” he told Sky Sports back in November.

“I see myself as a Premier League player. If I see myself as a Championship player, that’s not good enough.

“You have to aim higher and if you come just short then it’s not too bad. You must have high ambitions and high ambitions scare small-minded people.

“I’m excited to be in the Championship and I’m sure I can play a big part in taking Brentford to the Premier League.”

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