Arsenal

Arsenal may have secret weapon to get Brentford to accept discounted Ivan Toney bid

Arsenal are in a strong position at the turn of the year but a smart bit of business could push them onto even greater heights.

Arsenal may have secret weapon to get Brentford to accept discounted Ivan Toney bid
Arsenal are in a strong position at the turn of the year but a smart bit of business could push them onto even greater heights.
By RICHARD GARNETT
PUBLISHED: 11:30, Tue, Dec 26, 2023
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Mikel Arteta is in a good moment. His Arsenal side are riding high at the top end of the Premier League and after coming so close to ending the Gunners’ long wait for a league title last season, an instant return to the challenging pack proves that the Spaniard’s squad is the real deal.

The good mood in North London has been aided further by a favourable draw in the Champions League Round of 16 against FC Porto. The 2004 European champions may be time-served in the competition but few will be expecting the Portuguese outfit to make it past Arsenal to the quarter-finals.

Arteta had partly attributed his team’s failure to hold onto top spot in the Premier League last season to a lack of muscle in his side, but that has since been taken care of by the acquisition of England midfielder Declan Rice and former Chelsea star Kai Havertz.

Adding some additional beef to the team in January is certainly not out of the question with Brentford striker Ivan Toney, who is nearing the end of an eight-month suspension for breaching the FA’s betting regulations, believed to be a top target.

The England international has excelled for the Bees, scoring 20 Premier League goals last season and would cost around £80m to prize away from West London. That could be considered too much for the Gunners to consider, however, having already spent £200m on Rice, Havertz and Jurrien Timber in the summer.

But if Arteta is prepared to do some smart business, the former Everton favourite could still land his man in a cut-price deal.

According to the Daily Mail, the Gunners have told prospective buyers that they are not open for business in the January transfer window, but that stance is being seen more as a starting position as opposed to a boarded-up shop.

One player who is reportedly attracting interest at the Emirates is striker Eddie Nketiah. The 24-year-old is an academy graduate so any sale would be registered as pure profit when it comes to adhering to Financial Fair play regulations.

Brentford are rumoured to be amongst the teams interested in Nketiah and this is where Arteta and Arsenal could work some transfer magic.

The Gunners could expect to recoup at least £35m with the sale of their former youth player but if he was to go to Brentford in exchange for Toney and perhaps £45m, Arteta would have his man at a fraction of the price he was initially valued at.

The Mail claims that Arsenal have already rejected one approach for Nketiah but if the right club comes in there is every chance that their outwardly firm stance could be loosened in the pursuit of Premier League and Champions League glory.

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