Chelsea are firmly in the mix to land Ivan Toney from Brentford and his signing will see an attacker pushed out of Stamford Bridge, according to a report.
Toney has been in fantastic form for Brentford this season. He has managed 11 goals in 16 appearances, while also chipping in with three assists for his team-mates. Only Erling Haaland and Harry Kane have scored more goals than Toney in the Premier League this term.
The striker was hoping his exceptional performances would get him into Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the World Cup. However, he narrowly missed out on the 26-man setup.
Instead, Southgate went with Callum Wilson. The Newcastle forward has been in good form of late, notching four goals and two assists in eight league outings.
While Toney didn’t quite do enough to convince Southgate, he has done enough to set himself up for a big transfer away from Brentford.
The 26-year-old is on the radars of Arsenal and Manchester United, as the two English giants look to improve their respective forward options.
And Brentford will not stand in Toney’s way if such an opportunity comes about. Reports state the Bees will accept bids of £40m for their main goalscorer. That represents good value, given how huge transfer fees can be in the current market.
Now, it seems Arsenal and Man Utd will face competition from Chelsea for Toney. One journalist believes Graham Potter wants to sign the former Newcastle man as a replacement for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Reporter reveals Chelsea transfer plans
During an interview with GiveMeSport, transfer insider Pete O’Rourke said: “I think Chelsea long-term will be looking to bring in a number nine, probably this summer.
“I don’t think Pierre Emerick Aubameyang is the long-term answer due to his form and his age probably.
“So, I think Chelsea will be looking at him [Toney]. If you’re looking at Premier League strikers and ones that are probably more gettable than others, Ivan Toney definitely comes into the reckoning.”
Chelsea paid Barcelona £10m to sign Aubameyang on the summer transfer deadline day, while they also sent Marcos Alonso to Camp Nou as part of the deal.
Aubameyang arrived with high expectations thanks to his great goalscoring record at Arsenal. And then Blues boss Thomas Tuchel believed he could get the best out of the 33-year-old due to their great relationship.
But Aubameyang played just once for Chelsea before Tuchel’s sacking and the subsequent arrival of Potter. While the new Chelsea manager rates Aubameyang, he wants a younger striker to join and potentially take his starting spot.
This is not the first time Toney has been put on Chelsea’s radar. In October, Potter apparently gave majority Chelsea owner Todd Boehly a three-man striker wish list. Toney was on it, alongside Rafael Leao and Jonathan David.
It looks like Potter has made Toney his main transfer target out of those three forwards. One reason for this could be Toney’s Prem experience, which David and Leao are lacking.
Toney is certainly a player to keep an eye on once the summer window opens. Brentford are unlikely to allow him to leave mid-season, given how important he is for them.
But next summer, Arsenal, Chelsea and Man Utd will all probably contact the Bees about Toney’s availability. And this could set up a bidding war for him.
Meanwhile, a Chelsea player has reportedly rejected the offer of a new £200k-a-week deal, with Liverpool alert to the situation.