Ivan Toney: Arsenal and Chelsea plot January transfer battle with Brentford ready to sell £80m striker

Chelsea and Arsenal are considering a January move for Brentford’s England striker Ivan Toney.

Brentford are ready to sell Toney in the winter transfer window, when he has completed his eight-month ban for breaching betting rules.

Despite already spending more than £1billion under owners Todd Boehly and Clearlake, Chelsea are ready to enter the market again to solve their goalscoring problems.

Arsenal are also weighing up whether to bolster their forward line to boost their title bid. Gunners manager Mikel Arteta already has Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Jesus, but could target a proven goalscorer to help his side push Manchester City.

Brentford will seek up to £80million for Toney, who will be in the final 18 months of his contract in January.

Toney was the third highest scorer in the Premier League last season with 20 goals, finishing behind only Erling Haaland and Harry Kane.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The 27-year-old last month signed with super-agent Jonathan Barnett ahead of a potential January bidding war. Barnett’s world-renowned agency Stellar facilitated Jack Grealish’s £100m move from Aston Villa to City in 2021.

Toney returned to Brentford training last week, but he cannot play until January 16, after being banned for 18 months in May after admitting 232 breaches of FA betting rules.

He is targeting a move to a bigger club, which could help his bid to force his way back into the England squad ahead of Euro 2024.

Brentford have placed Toney on a specialised 16-week training programme to ensure he is at peak fitness in January ahead of any bids for him.

Bees manager Thomas Frank hopes to keep Toney until at least the end of the season, but admitted last week that he could be sold for “the right price”.

Frank said: “I think every club in the world is a selling club, except five or six clubs. We are a selling club, if the right price is there.

“If it’s the right time for the player to go, if they have developed well with us, been on the journey, and now they’re proven good enough to go to the top clubs, then I think it’s the right thing, if it’s the right price.”

Chelsea have been toothless in front of goal this season managing just five goals in their opening six Premier League matches.

Nicolas Jackson has struggled since his £31m summer move and will be away at the Africa Cup of Nations with Senegal in January, while £58m signing Christopher Nkunku suffered a knee injury in pre-season and is likely to be out until December.

Victor Osimhen is another target for Chelsea (REUTERS)
Victor Osimhen is another target for Chelsea (REUTERS)

Chelsea are also admirers of Napoli striker Victor Osimhen.

Nketiah struggled for Arsenal in their 2-2 draw against Tottenham on Sunday, while Jesus missed a good chance in that game — and Arteta has shown he is ready to be ruthless, by replacing Aaron Ramsdale with David Raya in goal.

Tottenham also admire Toney and did not sign a direct replacement for Harry Kane in the summer following the England captain’s £100m move to Bayern Munich. However, Spurs are likely to prioritise other areas of the squad, notably centre-half, in January, with Heung-min Son and Richarlison both able to lead the line, and £47.5m signing Brennan Johnson also an option through the middle.

Speaking last month, Toney opened the door to move away from Brentford.

“I think everybody wants to play at the top of the tree,” he told the the Diary of a CEO podcast.

“I feel like playing for a big club, fighting for trophies and these kind of things, everybody wants to do [that].”