Premier League • England

Liverpool transfers: Klopp urged to offload £37m star in ambitious swap deal to land Ivan Toney

Ivan Toney, Brentford, and Cody Gakpo, Liverpool

Could Liverpool land Ivan Toney with a player-plus-cash swap deal involving Cody Gakpo?

Former Liverpool forward Stan Collymore has urged Jurgen Klopp to join the race for Ivan Toney, proposing a player-plus-cash swap deal involving Cody Gakpo.

Toney is poised to make his first Premier League appearance since last May on Saturday following the end of his eight-month ban for betting breaches, with Brentford manager Thomas Frank confirming the 27-year-old will start against Nottingham Forest.

“He will start tomorrow and will captain the side,” Frank said on Friday. “I’m pretty sure he’s ready.

“He’s a special character, a fantastic person to be around. The energy he brings, the smile, the positivity, is a massive thing.

“He drags people – he wants to win. It’s a massive boost. It’s like a new signing. There’s an argument for him being the second-best striker in the league, in my opinion.”

By virtue of that high ability, the England international was frequently linked with a move away from Brentford during his ban, with the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea keen on the forward.

TEAMtalk exclusively revealed this week that Toney has emerged as a priority target for Arsenal this summer, with Toney’s representatives in constant contact with the club.

That comes despite Brentford’s optimism over tying Toney to a new contract, which could contain a release clause as high as £80million.

Yet Collymore has identified Liverpool as the “perfect” destination for the Brentford star, claiming he could form part of a devastating front three alongside Mohamed Salah and Luis Diaz.

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Liverpool urged to swap Cody Gakpo for Ivan Toney

And he urged Liverpool manager Klopp to consider offering Gakpo, who has largely disappointed since arriving from PSV in January 2023, in exchange for Toney.

He told CaughtOffside: “For me, if Liverpool decided to come calling [for Toney], that would be perfect.

“I know they already have an embarrassment of riches in forward areas, but if any of them were offloaded in the coming months, the Brentford star could be a great addition.

“I rate Toney so highly that I could see him in between Salah and Diaz. Liverpool will likely look at him and say: ‘Not for us.’

“But if I was the Reds, I would genuinely be inclined to let go [of] Gakpo – who I don’t think will go on to become a prolific Liverpool striker – and replace him with Toney.

“If they offered Brentford cash and Gakpo, I wonder if the Bees would go for that?

“Toney would add something significant to Liverpool as he can play as a traditional nine, he can drop off and he has proven with [Bryan] Mbeumo that he can forge partnerships.

“For me, I would be giving Brentford a call.”

Collymore’s comments come in a season in which Salah has been persistently linked with a move to Saudi Arabia, following in the footsteps of many top players across the world.

However, a respected Liverpool reporter claimed recently that the experiences of other stars in Saudi Arabia – including former Reds captain Jordan Henderson, who joined Ajax this week after a short spell with Al-Ettifaq – could persuade Salah to stay.