Toner, 18, started all but one game with Villa’s Under-21s last season after making the step up from the Under-18s and also captained the team from mid-September onwards.
In addition, the emerging centre-back trained with Tim Sherwood’s first-team on several occasions during the final months of the campaign and has established himself as a regular in the Republic of Ireland Under-19s side.
However, his current deal is set to expire this summer and the likes of Newcastle, Leicester City, Stoke City and Premier League newcomers Norwich City were all said to be monitoring his situation back in April [h/t Daily Mail].
Villa have been working hard on an extension in the meantime, though, and now look to have made a breakthrough, with the Birmingham Mail reporting that Toner will sign a one-year extension with an option of another 12 months in the club’s favour included.
Furthermore, it is claimed that the teenager could be sent out on loan next season in order to gain first-team experience, having seen Under-21s boss Gordan Cowans label him their star performer last term.
Speaking to AVTV after his side finished the Under-21 Premier League campaign in seventh place in Division 2, having recorded eight wins, three draws and 11 defeats, the claret and blue legend said of Toner: “He gets his head onto everything. He’s a throwback to the old days. He just heads it, kicks it, clears it and he’s comfortable on the ball.
“He’s got a bit about him.”
Given Sherwood’s noted trust in homegrown talent, Toner could well have a bright future at Villa Park and it will be interesting to see how he develops going forward as the new manager bids to remodel his squad to his liking.