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Chelsea make Toney No1 transfer target as Brentford hold out on club-record fee

CHELSEA are planning a massive summer bid for Ivan Toney.

SunSport understands the Brentford striker is seen as the “number one target” for their West London rivals.

Chelsea are planning a summer move for Ivan Toney

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Chelsea are planning a summer move for Ivan ToneyCredit: Rex
Mauricio Pochettino believes the Brentford forward can take his side 'to the next level'

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Mauricio Pochettino believes the Brentford forward can take his side ‘to the next level’Credit: Getty

It is thought the Bees are holding out for a fee of over £80m for the striker, who has made a goalscoring return to the side following his gambling ban.

To land Toney at such a price, Chelsea would need to offload a number of players in order to satisfy financial fair play requirements.

But the side’s manager, Mauricio Pochettino, has told Blues owners Toney is a player who he thinks can take the side “to the next level”.

Our source said: “Chelsea want Ivan Toney. Everyone knows Chelsea need a striker and, right now, he’s the best available striker in the Premier League.

“Pochettino has made it clear that if he is available, and that the club can make the deal happen, then they should move heaven and earth to get him. He believes Toney can transform his team, and can help deliver the goals to make them genuine title contenders again.”

Arsenal have also been linked with a move for Toney as they look to bolster their attacking options.

Details of the latest twist come just weeks after we exclusively revealed how Toney was “torn” over a January move.

A source close to the player said Toney – previously banned for gambling offences – feels he has a “debt to repay” to Brentford and to the club’s manager Thomas Frank which means any move could be held off until the Summer.

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The source said: “A lot of people assume Ivan will be on his way after Christmas, but no deal has been done – and nothing has been decided.

“Ivan is torn over his future. Brentford have stood by him and the club have been brilliant. Part of him wants to help them by hitting the ground running straight away in January and scoring the goals which will ensure they stay in the Premier League.

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“There are a lot of clubs interested in Ivan but his focus, for now, is getting back on the pitch at Brentford and doing the business for his manager Thomas Frank, to whom he feels he has a big debt to repay. The same goes for the fans.

“He’s determined to get back in the England squad and Ivan fully believes in himself to make the first squad once he’s back playing football.”

The source also said Brentford are under no pressure to sell their ace striker.

“They don’t need the money,” the source said. “Toney is their player and they will only consider selling him if the offer is right for the club.”

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