Chelsea could sign their new Didier Drogba in January with Graham Potter reportedly a fan of Brentford’s Ivan Toney.
The Blues were said to be weighing up a bid for Toney in the summer after the departures of Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner, but former manager Thomas Tuchel instead pushed for the signing of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
But the Gabon international will likely be little more than a stopgap at Stamford Bridge given he turns 34 in June and Toney has ‘been identified as a long-term replacement’ according to football.london.
The striker, who just missed out on Gareth Southgate’s England squad for Qatar, is thought to have a £40m asking price and would be ‘Chelsea’s Drogba’.
That’s according to Peterborough United chairman Darragh MacAnthony, who oversaw Toney’s breakthrough into the EFL, scoring 49 goals in 94 appearances for the Posh.
MacAnthony told The Hard Truth podcast: “Is there a better number nine at Chelsea? Is there a better number nine at Manchester United? Chelsea are looking great under Potter, but they don’t have a number nine like a Drogba.
“Ivan Toney is Chelsea’s Drogba, I’m telling you right now. Remember what type of player Drogba was, look at Toney, the physicality, leading the line, and giving defenders nightmares. Everything about him, big goals at big moments, a leader and a match-winner.”
MacAnthony also recalled a time when Toney was offered to Brighton while Potter was still with the Seagulls.
He added: “I don’t think a lot of clubs have £100 million to spend in January. The only one would be Chelsea if Todd Boehly has any sense with his people. It’s really funny because we tried to sell him, to Brighton, when Graham Potter was there. We had Barry Fry try and contact the owner, but he was out in Australia.
“I know he wasn’t a happy man because when he got back, he had missed calls off Baz, and nobody at the time said to him he had missed calls, and I know they feel they missed out on one. I think if Ivan Toney went into the Chelsea team, they could battle with Man City. Get Toney to Chelsea, and they would win the title in the next two years.”