Arsenal’s three-man striker shortlist as Toney transfer hits hurdle

Stuart Telford
Ivan Toney with Arsenal badge
© ProShots

Ivan Toney was Arsenal‘s top transfer target ahead of the winter transfer window, but the Gunners are having to shift their focus with Brentford determined to hold onto their star striker.

Arsenal have picked up where they left off last season, challenging at the top end of the table and currently second, two points behind Liverpool, after a 1-1 draw with the Reds last Saturday.

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Declan Rice, a £105 million arrival from West Ham, has proved their signing of the summer, but the Gunners’ goals have come, disproportionately, from midfielders, with Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard leading the way.

With Brentford set to lose Bryan Mbeumo and Yoane Wissa to the Africa Cup of Nations as they try to stave off relegation, they are determined to keep Toney until at least next summer.

Osimhen, Lautaro and Boniface

“There has been no indication the Gunners would test Brentford’s plans to keep hold of Ivan Toney,” reports CBS’ James Benge. “Victor Osimhen of Napoli, Inter’s Lautaro Martinez and Bayer Leverkusen’s Victor Boniface are also on their radar…”

The report goes on to claim that all three are unlikely to be sold in January, but that is a claim that deserves some unpicking.

Osimhen has signed a new contract which is understood to have a release clause of €130 million, while Martinez is in talks about something similar with Inter, whom he captains.

But Boniface is a different story. A nascent talent at Leverkusen with 16 goals in all competitions this season, his departure for AFCON with Nigeria as Patrik Schick returns from injury could see his path to first-team football blocked upon his return.

At €29.8m, he is also the cheapest of the three per FootballTransfers’ in-house algorithm, and Bayer are renowned for being a selling club, even if they currently sit top of the Bundesliga under Xabi Alonso.

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