According to sources, Tottenham Hotspur are keen on signing Ivan Toney from Brentford during the summer transfer window.
Toney will be able to play again after serving his FA ban in January, and there has even been suggestion that the centre-forward may be on the move during the winter window, having been added to the shortlists of many higher-profile teams.
Arsenal and Chelsea have been mentioned as potential bidders, but TEAMtalk reported on Tuesday that the former would prefer to wait until the end of the season before bidding.
It appears Tottenham have the same stance but are definitely in contention to rival them, since Football Insider claims they will be in the battle for Toney’s signature in the summer.
Brentford’s demands of £70m or more for a mid-season sale are off-putting, especially when the England international has not played since last season.
However, Toney will be 28 years old by the summer and arguably ready to test himself at a higher level if he has got his career back on track by then.
After all, TEAMtalk recently provided the exclusive news that Toney has asked to leave Brentford, who he has played for since 2020.
How Brentford’s asking price might change when there could only be one year remaining on his contract has not yet become clear, but they might be under more pressure the longer the saga goes on.
Either way, Tottenham seem to have the intention of competing with Arsenal and Chelsea – and possibly Manchester United – for the former Newcastle man’s signature.
Spurs sold Harry Kane to Bayern Munich over the summer after seeing their academy graduate become their all-time top scorer. He has since been in spectacular form in Germany.
Tottenham are yet to sign an immediate first-team replacement, but have been doing pretty well without him anyway.
Toney has Premier League pedigree, which would make him appealing to Tottenham. If a bidding war ensues, though, it remains to be seen who would come out on top.
Ange Postecoglou has mainly been deploying Son Heung-min as a centre-forward since Kane was sold to Bayern. Richarlison needs some time out to fix a physical issue, while the striker they did sign in the summer – Alejo Veliz – is only a young prospect.
Four-horse race for Ivan Toney
As stated, though, two of Tottenham’s London rivals are interested in Toney as well. Many feel Arsenal need an upgrade at centre-forward if they are to finish any higher in the Premier League than the second place they managed last season.
Chelsea, meanwhile, invested in Nicolas Jackson from Villarreal over the summer, but despite his hat-trick against nine-man Tottenham on Monday, it might help his adaptation if he was to rotate with a more senior option.
Then there is Man Utd, who might be having similar thoughts involving Rasmus Hojlund, who is still yet to get off the mark in the Premier League since his arrival from Atalanta.
It looks like Toney will have his pick of top clubs to choose from, but for now, his focus is on getting back on the pitch.
Before his ban, his record for Brentford was 68 goals from 124 appearances. He helped the Bees gain promotion from the Championship in his first season and has since – like the club – consolidated at top-flight level.
Toney scored 20 Premier League goals last season, which drew the attention of England manager Gareth Southgate in time for a March 2023 debut.
Some of the Premier League’s best have taken note of his performances, but they may have to wait to see whether they can get their hands on him.