Ivan Toney keeping focus on England amid more transfer speculation

Ivan Toney insists he is focused more on England’s Euro 2024 hopes than his own future.

The 28-year-old is widely expected to leave Brentford this summer and has been linked with a host of other Premier Leagues sides.

Having returned from an eight-month ban for breaching Football Association betting rules, Toney did enough to earn a spot in Gareth Southgate’s 26-man squad.

England’s Ivan Toney and Joe Gomez during a training session at the Spa & Golf Resort Weimarer Land at Euro 2024

Brentford boss Thomas Frank was asked about Toney’s future while working as a pundit for BBC Sport and he said the club have “prepared” for the striker to leave by signing Igor Thiago from Club Brugge.

When Franks’ comments were put to Toney at England’s Blankenhain training base on Sunday, he replied: “I didn’t hear him say that!

“I can’t predict the future and if I could I wouldn’t be sat here in front of you guys. What will be will be and my main focus is playing well and doing well for me country.

“I’ve been through it (transfer speculation) before. There’s been lots of talk of me going here, there and everywhere before in my career and I just don’t let outside noise get to me.

“I’m here with England now, and the main focus is doing well for England and whatever happens, happens. I can’t control it.

“From 18 when I was supposed to go to Wolves and I was all excited and getting involved in all of it, then it didn’t happen, it hurt me.

“So since then I thought, ‘why am I trying to take control of things when I don’t need that pressure?’ I just let people who take care of those things to do it and I focus on the pitch.”

Toney and Ollie Watkins are the back-up options to captain and all-time leading goalscorer Harry Kane for England this summer.

Brentford manager Thomas Frank (right) and Ivan Toney at the end of the Premier League match at Bournemouth

But, while Watkins was given 20 minutes off the bench in place of the skipper during the 1-1 draw with Denmark, Toney has had to remain patient.

“It is tough,” he said about needing the right mentality to go into games knowing he is unlikely to start.

“Near enough everyone in the team starts with their club and there is a way to adapt to being a sub or being a non-used sub. It is tough but you have to stay ready, be ready.

“There are times I have done it before in my career, when I went to Peterborough and wasn’t playing and was on the bench. When my chance came I took it and hopefully I can do the same if I get a chance here.

“Anything can happen in football. Things can change. You just have to be ready.”

England’s Ollie Watkins replaces team-mate Harry Kane during the Euro 2024 game against Denmark
England’s Ollie Watkins replaces team-mate Harry Kane during the Euro 2024 game against Denmark. (Bradley Collyer/PA)

Toney also revealed he has not been seeking an arm around the shoulder from Southgate as he waits for his opportunity.

“I spoke to him before coming here and I am the type of player who does not really want reassurance,” he added.

“He has 25 other players. We are all adults, we are all footballers. Sometimes you start, sometimes you won’t be used at all. You have to get your head around it.

“The main thing is that the manager has a job to make sure the whole team is ready and win the game so you cannot be sulking about not playing. The gaffer knows best.”