Arsenal are intensifying the pursuit of Brentford striker Ivan Toney ahead of the January transfer window, considering him as a potential replacement for Eddie Nketiah.
Nketiah, who has shown promising form this season with two goals in six matches, struggled in the North London derby against Tottenham on Sunday.
Mikel Arteta aims to heighten competition within the squad, and Nketiah has primarily served as backup for Gabriel Jesus when the Brazilian is unavailable. However, he is not deemed strong competition for that position.
Ivan Toney has openly expressed his interest in Arsenal and his desire to join a top club before concluding his career. The Brentford striker recently conveyed his admiration for Arsenal while discussing the “right club” in a recent podcast appearance.
During an episode of the “Diary Of A CEO” podcast hosted by British entrepreneur Steven Bartlett, the 27-year-old England international professed his fondness for Arsenal, saying, “I have been a Liverpool fan my whole life, but I have liked Arsenal… I like watching Arsenal and how they play and kind of how passionate the fans are.”
Mikel Arteta is considering a move for Toney to reinforce Arsenal’s title ambitions. Brentford is open to selling Toney but is demanding a fee of at least £60 million for the center forward, who has recently resumed training after serving half of his eight-month suspension for breaching strict FA betting regulations.
The 27-year-old will become eligible to play again in January after completing his suspension, and Arsenal has placed him on their radar. Brentford has a specific valuation in mind and will not part with the player unless their demands are met.
Arteta’s primary aim is to bolster his squad with an established goal scorer, introducing a robust presence to the attack. Toney fits these criteria nicely, having tallied 20 goals in the top flight last season.
While Arsenal does have striker alternatives in Nketiah and Gabriel Jesus, they acknowledge the necessity for a prolific scorer to contend with Manchester City for the championship. The possible involvement of Nketiah in a transfer remains uncertain, as he has expressed his determination to compete for his place, and his impressive performance this season earned him a call-up to the England squad.
Arteta has shown ruthlessness to make difficult decisions in the transfer market, as illustrated by his replacement of goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale with David Raya, who is on loan from Brentford and poised for the transfer permanent next summer.
Brentford is aware of Toney’s aspiration to join a larger club, and the England international has only 18 months left on his current contract. Despite Brentford’s attempts to extend his contract, Toney remains uninterested, a position he adopted when confronted with the ban in May for 232 infractions of the FA betting rules.
Chelsea and Tottenham are closely monitoring the situation, and Manchester United expressed interest but signed Rasmus Hojlund last summer. Arteta has gained a reputation for persuading transfer targets, as evidenced by his successful recruitment of Declan Rice over City and Bayern Munich last summer.