Sources: Chelsea willing to break golden transfer rule to land £70m Arsenal target Pochettino is desperate to sign in January

Ivan Toney is a key Chelsea target

Brentford are resigned to losing star forward Ivan Toney in the coming months and we can confirm Chelsea are prepared to sign a player outside of their usual age range to land one of Mauricio Pochettino’s ideal attacking options. 

Chelsea have employed a golden rule for new signings since the start of last January’s transfer window. The club led by Todd Boehly have spent heavily both in January and summer – with Mykhailo Mudryk, Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo among their most eye-catching arrivals – but no player arriving at Stamford Bridge in 2023 has been aged over 25.

That policy is intended to maintain a vision of long-term planning, but the club are willing to break their own rule in order to help Mauricio Pochettino land a top target in January.

The Argentine is determined to strengthen his side’s attack in the winter window and early work has already started on identifying potential targets. Pochettino is heavily involved in the recruitment process and gets final sign off on who comes through the door.

One player who he has already identified as someone he would like to work with is Brentford striker Ivan Toney. The 27-year-old has been approved by the Chelsea manager and the club have already begun work on sounding out a potential deal. Sources state that Chelsea are one of two clubs who have taken serious steps to work out the conditions of a January move.

Super-agent Jonathan Barnett signed Toney to his agency CAA Stellar this summer and will be taking the lead in all the England international’s deals from now on.

Chelsea boast a very good relationship with CAA after the agency helped the Blues finalise a deal with new shirt sponsor Infinite Athlete. CAA was also a key player in the club’s dealings with the Saudi Pro League acting as intermediaries throughout the SPL’s summer spending spree. The agency also has several Chelsea stars on its books including goalkeeper Robert Sanchez and left back Ben Chilwell.

Chelsea learn Ivan Toney deal will set them back £70m

Brentford have also greenlit the exit of their star striker in the next few months, providing their demands are met. Any deal will start at £50million plus add ons and will likely rise to above £70million with the Bees believing Toney is one of the best strikers available on the market currently.

The England international has begun preparations for his return from a lengthy ban due to gambling breaches and played in a behind-closed-doors friendly on Tuesday afternoon. He has already returned to training with his teammates at Brentford, with some sources describing him as determined to return better than before.

Chelsea face genuine competition for his signature from Arsenal with Mikel Arteta keen to add him to his title-chasing side. The Gunners have also put in early groundwork to sound out how keen the striker would be to join and help beat Manchester City to the Premier League crown.

Toney has played 124 times for Brentford since his £5million move from Peterborough in August 2020, and has scored 68 goals as well as adding 21 assists for his current employers.