Two reasons why Arsenal will avoid Ivan Toney transfer in January as Brentford stance clear


Arsenal have two clear reasons why they will avoid attempting to sign Ivan Toney from Brentford in the January transfer window. The Gunners could be set to hand their London rivals, Chelsea, a free run at trying to sign the England international.

Toney will enter the final 18 months of his contract at Brentford when the winter transfer window opens on January 1. The 27-year-old recently changed agents and has spoken openly about his desire to try a new challenge away from Thomas Frank's side in the coming months.

Brentford value Toney at an eye-watering £100million, a price that would be just shy of the price Arsenal paid for Declan Rice (£105million) and Chelsea paid for Enzo Fernandez (£106.7million). The England international will return to Premier League action in mid-January when he has served his full suspension after breaching the FA's betting rules - and it could come at the perfect time for the Bees.

Bryan Mbeumo and Yoanne Wissa have scored nine of Brentford's 19 league goals this season - with the attacking duo expected to be selected to represent their nations at the African Cup of Nations. AFCON begins in mid-January, running until mid-February, which would leave the Bees severely short of attacking options if Toney was sold.

According to The Telegraph, a January transfer exit is far from likely for Toney. The report adds that if Toney is to make a move in the winter window, it will almost certainly not be to Arsenal.

Brentford would have been open to selling Toney at the end of last season, but then he was handed an eight-month ban from the game. There have been no talks of a new deal at the Gtech Community Stadium for the 27-year-old, meaning next summer’s transfer window will likely be the club’s last chance to sell him for a significant fee.

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Meanwhile, Arsenal are looking at signing a new central midfielder - opposed to bolstering their attacking options with a new striker. The Telegraph's report adds there is no appetite from the Gunners to spend vast amounts on a new centre-forward this winter.

After spending over £200million on the signings of Declan Rice, Jurrien Timber and Kai Havertz, Arsenal completed a deal to sign David Raya, from Brentford, on an initial loan with an option to buy of around £30million. The Gunners are set to activate their option to buy clause next summer - making Raya's switch to the Emirates Stadium permanent.

It was for financial reasons that the Raya deal was structured with Arsenal needing to abide Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations. Furthermore, Arsenal do not view January as a good time to do business.

With a number of players such as Thomas Partey, Emile Smith Rowe and Timber still scheduled to return from injuries in the coming months - Arsenal will return to full strength eventually. Partey's future is uncertain given his injury record so far this term - along with the expectation that he will feature for Ghana at AFCON.

Jorginho's contract is set to expire at the end of the 2023/24 campaign - but the Gunners do have an option to extend his deal by 12 months. Mohamed Elneny's contract also expires in July 2024, highlighting the need for Arsenal to sign a new midfielder in the coming months even further.

The Gunners' reasoning behind avoiding a move to sign Toney could see the 27-year-old join Chelsea instead. The Blues are strongly considering making a big-money offer to sign Toney from Brentford in January, understands. Arsenal WhatsApp channel

Mikel Arteta celebrates Arsenal's recent Premier League victory over Manchester City

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