Ivan Toney announces return from betting ban after clear statement on Brentford future

Ivan Toney celebrated his return to football after his eight-month ban for breaking betting rules ended on Wednesday.

The Brentford striker admitted to 232 breaches of the FA's rulebook last year, ruling him out of the entire first half of the season.

While out of action, Toney has opened up on the gambling addiction he suffered that led to his suspension and was allowed to return to training in October.

Now officially back in contention ahead of Saturday's clash with Nottingham Forest, the 27-year-old announced his comeback with a post on X of a gif, involving American comedian Dave Chappelle and the caption "free!".

Toney's return coincides with Brentford facing a relegation battle and talk of a move to Arsenal or Chelsea in the January transfer window.

However, he has quashed talk of a move away by declaring on a club YouTube video that he is "staying".

Earlier this month, he had told Sky Sports: "I have a lot to repay them and I can't wait to try and do that."

Brentford hope to extend Toney's contract past its June 2025 expiry date and will not want to cash in on him while facing a fight for Premier League survival.

Speaking ahead of the FA Cup replay defeat at Wolves, manager Thomas Frank laid out his belief that the England forward will stay put.

"I don't want to let him go, I want to keep him as long as possible," he said.

"I only have that in mind, every single time I've spoken with him it was focused on getting ready for Nottingham Forest.

"In football you never know, it's so crazy... we've seen several stories about that. I'm 99 per cent sure Ivan will be playing here."