In news broken by Italian sources such as Goal and Corriere dello Sport (CdS), Serie A side Crotone, managed by Walter Zenga, have parted company with Bulgarian striker Alexander Tonev.
A statement released by Crotone, and quoted in CdS says: “The Football Club Crotone announces that, today, an agreement was reached for the consensual termination of the economic contract with the player Aleksandar Tonev.” In being released from his contract, Tonev becomes a free agent and, as he has only featured for the Italians this season, he is available to play elsewhere should a team wish to sign him up.
Tonev has been at Crotone since arriving from fellow Italian side Frosinone in mid-July 2016 on a free transfer. Whilst at Crotone, Tonev made 24 appearances, scoring just the one goal and providing one assist.
As the above picture illustrates, Tonev also featured for Aston Villa, arriving at the then Premier League club at the opening of the summer transfer window in July 2013 from Polish side Lech Poznan for a fee nearing £3 million. Tonev featured in 20 games for the Villans that season, heading out on loan to Celtic in mid-August 2014
The loan move to Celtic didn’t really work out for the 25-cap Bulgarian international, Tonev featuring in just 13 games for the Bhoys – registering just the one assist. More striking was his seven-match ban for racially abusing Aberdeen defender Shay Logan in a game whilst on a season-long loan at Parkhead.
An SFA Judicial Panel hearing, quoted in the Telegraph, heard that after a foul both players came together, with Shay Logan placing his arm around Tonev’s chest. The on-loan Villa player is quoted to have responded with “Don’t touch me, you black c***.”
After returning to Villa Park from his loan spell at Celtic, Tonev was transferred to Frosinone in late August 2015 on a free transfer – Villa losing £3 million in two years and gaining only a handful of games from the Bulgarian.