We're not even a month removed from the summer transfer window slamming shut, and the rumour mill has already selected its next victim. Brentford are no strangers to having their best players linked with other clubs - it's an inevitable part of life outside the Premier League's top table. However, the recent reports linking Ivan Toney with a move to either Arsenal or Chelsea will be of particular concern.
This does not appear to be idle gossip, either,with Bees boss Thomas Frank failing to rule out Toney heading off in January recently. "I think every club in the world are a selling club except five or six clubs. We are a selling club, if the right price is there," he told Sky Sports' Jamie Carragher and Dave Jones on 'Monday Night Football'.
"I think if it’s the right time for the player to go, from my perspective that’s not my decision. That would be Phil [Giles, director of football] or Matthew [Benham, Brentford’s owner] in the end. Then I think if they have developed well with us, been on the journey, and now they’re proven good enough to go to the top clubs, then I think it’s the right thing, if it’s the right price."
Initially, it was claimed that Toney could depart Brentford for as little as £60 million ($73m), but more recent reporting suggests that his current employers will demand something closer to the £80m ($97m) mark. That would make him Arsenal's second-most expensive signing of all time, should they decide to pull the trigger.
It's quite the investment for a 27-year-old who was playing in League One just four years ago, but Toney's recent performances suggest that he would have little issue justifying his price tag.