David Ornstein: FFP is a real concern for Arsenal ahead of potential Ivan Toney deal

The Athletic journalist David Ornstein believes Arsenal would be concerned about Financial Fair Play amid reports linking them with a potential move for Brentford striker Ivan Toney.

The Bees’ hitman has been tipped to leave the Gtech Community Stadium during the January transfer window once his ongoing ban ends.

The Gunners are one of the clubs reportedly keeping tabs on his situation, but Brentford want up to £80 million for the services of the 27-year-old.

Arsenal resolved to signing David Raya on a season-long loan during the summer transfer window, and Ornstein reckons FFP concerns could hinder them from making a move for Toney.

“Naturally there is some admiration for Toney at Arsenal – like there is at other clubs,” the Athletic journalist replied when asked if there is any legitimacy in the reports.

“Arsenal decided against recruiting a striker in the summer and focused on other positions. That obviously makes everyone wonder if a striker is next on the agenda. As things stand, I’m not aware of them actively being in the market for one and even if that changes – which is obviously possible, depending on how results and team/individual performances go in the weeks ahead – there’s no guarantee it will be Toney.

“His contract expires in the summer of 2025 and while Brentford would love him to extend, there is no sign of it at the moment. Unless that changes, they will need to at least consider a sale. And his changes of agents to CAA Stellar suggests he may be keen to move in January or the summer. But his price will be very high and will Arsenal (if they want him) be able to afford that? The structure of their deal for David Raya shows FFP is a real concern and although the Kroenkes have shown a willingness to spend heavily, they might not be able to do this easily.

“There would presumably be other clubs in the frame, too. Chelsea might seek to sign a striker, if Manchester United’s forwards do not produce and they free up some funds through departures they could potentially look to enter the market, and I’m sure there would be more suitors as well.”

Arsenal indeed could do with a quality finisher right now given that they have converted only five of the 13 big chances they have created in the Premier League so far this term.

They need more than their current 12% shot conversion rate if they are to challenge for the title, but it remains to be seen if manager Mikel Arteta has plans to sign another striker given his current options.

Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah are the Gunners’ number 9s, but the likes of Kai Havertz, Leandro Trossard, Gabriel Martinelli and even Fabio Vieira can also play in the position.

Arsenal are looking to challenge for major honours this term and could be forced to make changes to their squad during the January transfer window, and it will be intriguing to see whether they will move for a striker by then.

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