Arsenal and Chelsea are reportedly hoping to sign Ivan Toney for £45million less than Brentford’s valuation. The Bees are said to want £100m for the England international but their London rivals currently appear unwilling to pay anywhere near that amount.
Arsenal and Chelsea are both set to be in the market for a striker in January. The Gunners continue to face injury concerns over Gabriel Jesus, while Eddie Nketiah has failed to perform on a consistent basis.
Chelsea’s Nicolas Jackson has hit form in the last week, scoring four goals in the two matches against Tottenham and Manchester City. But there is an expectation that Mauricio Pochettino will seek a new frontman to bolster his attacking resources.
Toney is a target for both clubs, with his ban for breaching the FA’s betting rules coming to an end in mid-January. Brentford are hopeful of bringing in £100m for the 27-year-old, who has scored 35 goals in the last two seasons.
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But a report from Caught Offside claims the fee could actually be substantially less. Brentford instead have a ‘realistic expectation’ that they will get nearer £55m, a full £45m less than their valuation.
The report also claims that Arsenal will hope to negotiate an even lower price. Toney is the No 1 target for Mikel Arteta, with Chelsea open to exploring other options on the market.
Napoli star Victor Osimhen is also on the Blues’ radar. However, a deal for the Nigerian will be trickier than for Toney and may have to wait until next summer.
Toney has just over 18 months remaining on his Brentford contract. Bees boss Thomas Frank claimed earlier this month that £100m would be a fair price considering how much money has been spent on defensive midfielders alone this year.
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He said: “I do think he is a very good player, as we’ve spoken about. What I’ve said is the No 6 positions have been sold for plus £100m this summer, which is a little bit rare and normally it’s the goalscorers who get those numbers.
“To have a proven goalscorer in the Premier League, about 20 goals [a season], that’s very valuable. Ivan’s skillset in terms of finishing ability with left, right and header, and his composure in those moments, and his link-up play and presence, character, is a very good package.
“It’s not me to put a price tag on him, it’s down to the club. But I’m happy with him, I hope he plays here forever, I’m the coach. I hope [he doesn’t leave in January], I want him to stay. Ivan is happy to stay, he’s happy at the club.
“What happens in the future I think is impossible to guess about. I would like to keep him but they [interested clubs] should probably call Phil [Giles, director of football].”
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