Ivan Toney pursuing January transfer as Chelsea, Arsenal and Spurs target Brentford star | Football | Sport


Ivan Toney is prepared to leave Brentford as soon as January as he bids to mark his return to action with a bang this winter. The Brentford frontman, who returned to team training on Monday for the first time since being banned from all football-related activity in May after breaching FA betting regulations, sat down with Bees boss Thomas Frank to discuss his future in west London at the start of the week.

Despite his commitment to Brentford, Toney is understood to have respectfully outlined his desire to make the next step in his career and the Bees are willing to comply – providing their £60million valuation is met.

Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham are circling and the 27-year-old, who turns 28 in March, is due to enter the final 18 months of his current deal in January.

The underwhelming Blues are living to rue their failure to sign a new marquee striker for Mauricio Pochettino this summer and that is likely to be rectified in the winter market.

Meanwhile, Arsenal are long-term admirers of Toney and Spurs are yet to sign a like-for-like replacement for Harry Kane following his big-money transfer to Bayern Munich.

Toney’s ban has emphasised that time is precious in football and now the Brentford talisman is ready to actively explore an exit after recently signing with Jonathan Barnett’s world-renowned agency CAA Stellar, stating: “It feels like a fresh beginning. Never underestimate the power you have to take your life in a new direction.”

Brentford’s scouts are already working on preparing a shortlist of potential replacements for Toney in anticipation for his departure.

When quizzed on whether he expects offers for Toney to land on Brentford’s doorstep in January, Frank told Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football: “Yeah. I’m just focusing on Brentford.

“I had a long meeting with him, it was so good to have him back in. We presented him with the plan and we’re just trying to create Ivan Toney 2.0 – the beast.”

He later added on his centre-forward: “For me he’s one of the best strikers, as a striker No.9, I don’t see many out there who is better in the world than him, of course you have [Harry] Kane, [Robert] Lewandowski, [Erling] Haaland and these types, but not many.

“He scored 20 goals in the Premier League last year, in, of course, a very good Brentford side but of course we are not creating as many chances as the top six or seven teams.

“So imagine him in a top team, he’d easily score 20, 25 goals, for me. I think he’s composed, he’s a good finisher, top mentality, so I understand why clubs are looking at him.”

Brentford were prepared to go big on the signing of a new marquee forward this summer but failed with club-record proposals for Tottenham’s Brennan Johnson, Nicolas Gonzalez of Fiorentina and PSV’s Johan Bakayoko.

Both Bryan Mbeumo and Yoane Wissa have made fine starts to the season – offering hope that life after Toney at Brentford might not be as bleak as initially envisaged.

Neal Maupay was brought back to the club on loan from Everton on transfer deadline day but the Frenchman is regarded as a temporary solution for Bees boss Frank.

Club scouts are now working on identifying a long-term replacement for Toney, who hit 20 Premier League goals last season in west London.

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