Chelsea and Arsenal have reportedly taken the first concrete steps towards signing Ivan Toney in January, leaving fellow suitors Tottenham behind.
The England international is currently serving an eight-month suspension from football after being found guilty of breaching betting rules – he will return in mid-January.
Despite this, several Premier League clubs have registered an interest in Toney. That is no real surprise, either, given his performances last season.
The striker netted 20 goals in 33 league appearances for Brentford last term, trailing only Erling Haaland (36) and Harry Kane (30) in the scoring charts.
As previously reported by TEAMtalk, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham are all interested in signing Toney. Brentford’s manager Thomas Frank also admitted that he is for sale this winter – but only for the right price.
The 27-year-old has recently changed agents, too, which suggests he is looking to join a new club. Brentford reportedly value him at approximately £70m, so it will be interesting to see if any team is willing to match that price tag.
Fabrizio Romano gives big Toney update
According to reputed transfer journalist Fabrizio Romano, Chelsea and Arsenal have ‘asked for more information’ regarding a potential move for Toney in January.
This indicates that they are the two clubs leading the race for his signature as it stands, despite interest from other clubs such as Tottenham.
It’s no real surprise that Mauricio Pochettino is looking to add another striker to his Chelsea squad when the transfer window re-opens.
The Blues scored just 38 Premier League goals last season. This summer, they have brought in Nicolas Jackson and Christopher Nkunku.
Jackson has shown flashes of quality but has only managed one goal in five games so far. Nkunku, on the other hand, is set to be sidelined with a knee injury until at least November. Also, Armando Broja hasn’t played since December, so Pochettino could certainly do with another quality striker.
As for Arsenal, Mikel Arteta has backed Eddie Nketiah to lead the line in Gabriel Jesus’ absence recently, but questions are starting to arise over whether he is good enough to play for the Gunners week in week out.
Jesus is now back to full fitness so is expected to cement his spot in the starting XI again, but he could certainly do with some better competition than Nketiah if Arsenal want to be challenging for trophies.
With that in mind, Toney could be the ideal new signing for both Chelsea and Arsenal, so it’s no surprise to see them make early enquiries into signing him this winter.