Arsenal will reportedly have to facilitate a ‘big’ sale in January if they want to sign Ivan Toney. The Gunners spent heavily in the summer and they must be wary of Financial Fair Play rules restricting what they do in the transfer market.
Striker looks set to be the next position Mikel Arteta attempts to strengthen. Gabriel Jesus is the first-choice forward but continues to struggle with injuries, with a hamstring issue currently keeping him on the sidelines.
Eddie Nketiah, meanwhile, is far too inconsistent despite scoring a hat-trick against Sheffield United late last month. Toney is reported to be the No 1 target once Arsenal enter the market for a new frontman.
The 27-year-old sees his ban for breaching the FA’s betting rules come to an end in January. But it appears a move to the Emirates in the winter window will prove tricky.
The Athletic reports that Arsenal would currently not be able to afford to sign Toney. Brentford are demanding a fee of up to £100million and that would currently be out of the Gunners’ price range.
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The same report says Arteta would have to make a big sale in order to raise the funds needed. The reason for the lack of funds is another expensive summer window.
Arsenal spent over £200million on Declan Rice, Kai Havertz and Jurrien Timber. They also brought in David Raya on a £3m loan from Brentford and are likely to make the deal permanent for a further £27m.
Brentford will not allow Toney to leave on a similar deal, meaning Arsenal would have to find the funds from somewhere or wait until next summer and hope he is still available.
Emile Smith Rowe is one player Arteta could look to sell. The midfielder has been linked with an exit after being unable to earn a regular spot in the starting XI.
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Toney’s arrival would also reduce Nketiah’s game time. If the striker sees his pathway blocked then he may also look to move on.
Brentford are hopeful of keeping Toney for the remainder of the season at least. Manager Thomas Frank insisted last week that he wants him to stay.
He said: “Ivan’s skillset in terms of finishing ability with left, right and header, and his composure in those moments, and his link-up play and presence, character, is a very good package. It’s not me to put a price tag on him, it’s down to the club.
“But I’m happy with him, I hope he plays here forever, I’m the coach. I hope [he doesn’t leave in January], I want him to stay. Ivan is happy to stay, he’s happy at the club.”
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