Chelsea fear £80m striker target ‘prefers Arsenal’; Pochettino ‘tempted’ by £100m alternative

Lewis Oldham
Ivan Toney is a very popular chap.
Ivan Toney is being targeted by Arsenal and Chelsea.

According to reports, Chelsea fear Brentford and England international Ivan Toney would “prefer” a move to Premier League rivals Arsenal.

Toney was among the best players in the Premier League last season as he scored 20 goals in 33 appearances for Brentford.

The striker missed the end of the 2022/23 campaign as he received a nine-month ban for several betting offences.

The 27-year-old has been given permission to return to training for Brentford but he is not allowed to make a comeback until the start of January.

Toney may have already played his last game for Brentford as he is being linked with a move elsewhere ahead of the upcoming January transfer window.

Arsenal and Chelsea are expected to be in the market for a new forward in January and they have their eye on Toney, but it has been claimed of late that he is “not going” in January and Brentford are trying to get him to sign a new contract. 

Journalist Ben Jacobs does not think Toney is “at the top of Chelsea’s list” as they feel he “may prefer the move to Arsenal”.

“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,” Jacobs told GiveMeSport.

“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.”

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Chelsea are also being heavily linked with Napoli standout Victor Osimhen and they will be tempted to sign him for £100m in the summer.

“Aurelio De Laurentiis has always tried for about €150m or €160m and the reason for that is because he argues they paid Lille €80m for the player. And I’d say he argues that because the numbers are a bit contentious. It includes the payment upfront which was maybe €50m, plus bonuses, plus player swaps,” Jacobs claimed.

He added: “Flash forward to the summer, the number will be more like €120m in likelihood, which is about £100m and in the current market for a player like Osimhen, that is going to tempt quite a few clubs. Chelsea included.”