Arsenal and Chelsea handed January transfer blow as Toney given huge price tag

Premier League season after 10 games as Spurs lead from Arsenal

Arsenal and Chelsea will both reportedly need to amend their January transfer plans as Brentford do not intend on parting ways with Ivan Toney until the end of the season. Both clubs are keen to acquire the services of a marquee No 9 but will be forced to turn their attention to alternative targets.

Mikel Arteta bolstered his Arsenal ranks heavily over the summer, but the absence of a top-quality striker is still a sticking point in his plans. With the Gunners capable of pushing Manchester City for the Premier League, signing a forward has been made a priority at the Emirates Stadium.

Similarly, Chelsea are also shopping in the same market as their London rivals – with their lack of a world-class striker cited as the main reason for their struggles so far this season. Nicolas Jackson has failed to hit the ground running at Stamford Bridge, with many questioning why Mauricio Pochettino put his faith solely in the 22-year-old.

Toney has been identified as a top target by both Arsenal and Chelsea, though plans to sign the England international in January have now been scuppered. According to Sky Sports, Brentford ‘fully intend’ to keep the striker until at least the end of the season.

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Reports that bids in the region of £60million to £70m have been ‘met with derision’ among the higher powers at the club, who firmly believe that his impressive form in the Premier League means that he is worth £100m.

Toney is currently serving an eight-month ban for betting offences and is set to return on January 16, meaning that he will become available when the transfer window is still open. However, only a ‘monumental’ bid during the final 16 days of January will be entertained by the Bees.

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It remains to be seen how both clubs respond to Brentford’s significant demands and whether fresh links emerge with alternative targets. Napoli star Victor Osimhen has been heavily linked with Chelsea previously and the Nigeria international could be pursued more vigorously given that he is likely to cost a similar fee to Toney and has proved his worth regularly in the Champions League.

On the other hand, Arteta may opt to persist with his current strike force of Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah until the end of the season, knowing that he has versatile wingers, like Leandro Trossard and Gabriel Martinelli, who can play as makeshift forwards if required.

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