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Arsenal keen on Ivan Toney but major stumbling blocks could scupper transfer

Mikel Arteta wants to sign the Brentford striker to bolster his goalscoring options but the deal won’t be simple for a number of reasons

Miguel Delaney
Chief Football Writer
Saturday 30 December 2023 14:15 GMT
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Ivan Toney is a major target for Arsenal
Ivan Toney is a major target for Arsenal (Getty Images)

Arsenal are investigating whether a deal can be done for Ivan Toney this January, as Mikel Arteta wants the Brentford forward and now leans towards a striker for this window's business.

Arteta has been weighing up which positions to prioritise with a restricted budget, but his side's recent struggles in front of goal have increasingly convinced him of the need to bolster the attack.

The problem is Financial Fair Play concerns, as well as the fact that Brentford would want huge money for their prize striker. It would likely take a package of at least £80m for a deal to be done.

Arteta has been considering whether to go for a midfielder, two full-backs or a forward but these considerations have been sharpened by the realisation that this might be a golden chance to win the title for the first time since 2004.

While Arsenal can make do in other positions, the issues in front of goal have been harder to cover. No Gunner has scored more than five in the Premier League this term, with both Bukayo Saka and Eddie Nketiah on that number as top scorers.

The Independent has been told that Arsenal's preference is to do the deal this January. While Victor Osimhen has been mentioned, the Napoli forward’s release clause of £120m is completely out of the London club's price range, for January at least. Arsenal were already close to their FFP limit in the summer.

Sales could aid the situation, and Nketiah is actually one of the players who could be dispensable in such circumstances and bring in the most money. Crystal Palace are interested in a deal but Arteta greatly admires the impact the forward can have.

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