Journalist Ben Jacobs has suggested that Arsenal are better placed than Chelsea to sign Ivan Toney in the winter market of 2024.
According to Ben Jacobs on Give Me Sport, Arsenal are better positioned than rivals Chelsea to sign Ivan Toney in 2024. The Brentford star remains eager to test himself in a bigger team, but contrasting reports indicate neither team might do a deal in January.
Arsenal are expected to remain active during January as Mikel Arteta looks to boost his squad with a few signings. There have been rumblings about a potential move for the new striker, which has stemmed from the idea of having someone in the physical mould of Erling Haaland or Darwin Nunez.
Arteta recently admitted that Arsenal do not have that traditional No.9 profile, although they did sign Kai Havertz, who is the closest to that role. The German has played that role at Chelsea and proved somewhat effective. But at the Emirates, he’s yet to play regularly in the No.9 role.
Arteta has played Havertz more in a midfield three than in the front line, opening the door for suggestions about bringing in a new striker. There are question marks about whether Arsenal genuinely need one, considering the goals are shared between the front three.
Ivan Toney’s name has cropped up, with the 27-year-old Chelsea target seen as the ideal name to flourish in this Arsenal system. Brentford have reportedly placed a price tag close to £100 million, something neither the Gunners nor the Blues will likely pay.
There are suggestions that Brentford would like to keep him beyond January and offer him a new deal. Toney reportedly wants a release clause to agree on new terms, which gives him a favourable hand if clubs like Arsenal and Chelsea come forward with offers.
Chelsea are reportedly not considering a January move for the 27-year-old, which could open the door for Arsenal to pounce. As per Ben Jacobs, the Gunners are better positioned to sign Toney in January than the Blues.
Jacobs said, “It isn’t a given that Chelsea will just move for Toney. We’ve heard many links—some within Chelsea, like Toney, at the right price. But generally, the consensus is that Toney isn’t at the top of the list. There’s also a feeling that if Arsenal and Chelsea come in for Toney, he may prefer the move to Arsenal.
“He’s open to both offers and keen on staying in London, but if both projects came right now, Arsenal might turn Toney’s head more than Chelsea. So Toney is the gettable one in January, but the price could be as high as £80m.”
Contrastingly, The Athletic’s David Ornstein said Toney was unlikely to leave Brentford in January. The suggestion makes sense, considering Chelsea are potentially cooling their interest in the striker, while Arsenal are keen to add a new midfielder on priority over a centre-forward.
Hence, irrespective of Arsenal gaining a favourable position, any move will require large sums of money, which the Gunners will use elsewhere. So, a move for Toney will likely have to wait until the summer of 2024 rather than January.