Arsenal favourites ahead of Chelsea to sign Ivan Toney

Arsenal are leading Chelsea in the race to sign Brentford striker Ivan Toney in January, according to The Independent’s Miguel Delaney.

The Gunners have had a fine first half to the season. They are top of the Premier League and into the last 16 stage of the Champions League.

Despite this, manager Mikel Arteta will want to strengthen his squad in January to challenge in both fronts and potentially win a trophy.

Delaney now reports that the Gunners have moved into pole position to sign Toney ahead of the Blues due to the latter’s underperformance.

Toney is also keen to have a crack at the league title with the Gunners, and the club also believe he could make the difference in the title race.

The Bees have adapted to Toney’s absence during his eight-month betting ban and they are now open to parting ways with him in January.

Toney, who will be eligible to play again from January 17, could be sold for £60 million up front. A deal could cost £80m with add-ons.

Arteta ideally wants a new striker, a central midfielder and two full-backs this winter but may have to compromise two of those targets.

With their own Profit and Sustainability concerns, it is claimed that the Gunners need player sales to boost their transfer budget further next month.

Toney would be a statement signing from Arsenal

The Gunners have fared impressively in the first part of the season, but there are always question marks over the centre-forward options in the squad.

Gabriel Jesus has been in form with eight goal contributions in seven goal contributions in his last eight games, but his injury record has been an issue.

He has already missed 10 games with knee and hamstring injuries thus far. The Gunners can’t afford another setback for him during the season run-in.

They need another marquee striker in the squad who can deliver regular goals. Eddie Nketiah has yet to prove his credentials, particularly on the road.

In our view, Toney would be a statement signing from the Gunners in January. The 27-year-old has proved himself at Brentford with the limited creativity behind him.

He should get more chances to find the back of the net at Arsenal and could be a game-changer with his better finishing skills and strong physical presence in the box.

Toney had a shot conversion rate of 21 per cent last term compared to Jesus’ 14 per cent. Nketiah, on the other hand, converted 10 per cent of his shots into league goals.

The former Peterborough striker scored 20 goals in the top-flight last term. If he can get at least 10 in the back end of the campaign for Arsenal, it would enhance their title bid.

Stats from Sofascore.com & Transfermarkt.com

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