Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says the club have no intention of buying a new striker in the January transfer window despite being heavily linked with a big money move for Ivan Toney.
The Gunners and Chelsea are reportedly interested in signing the Brentford centre-forward, who has been valued at £60 million in recent weeks.
However, The Times claim that either club would need to pay up at least £80m to prise the 27-year-old away from their London rival. The report adds that Arsenal will need to sell before they buy in order to ensure they don’t breach Financial Fair Play limits.
Arsenal are also said to have ‘scouted’ Feyenoord attacker Santiago Giménez, who has scored 33 goals since the beginning of last season.
Speaking ahead of Wednesday night’s EFL Cup clash with the Bees, Arteta was asked if he was looking at bringing in a striker in January.
“We’re not thinking at all about that,” he responded in his pre-match press conference. “We have really good players up front. It’s true we have some injuries, but we will continue with the players that we’ve got, that’s for sure.”
Toney is suspended until January 14 after he breached the FA’s gambling rules, but his ban has not dimmed interest in the England striker, who has scored 32 goals in 66 Premier League appearances for Brentford.
Thomas Frank this week said that he has no interest in selling the striker, but admitted the decision was out of his hands with Toney approaching the final 18 months of his contract in west London.
Why Arsenal need a new striker in the January transfer window
As The Football Faithful noted after Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham, the big issue staring Arsenal in the face is the lack of a ruthlessly prolific centre-forward. Even Mikel Arteta admitted afterwards they “lacked quality in the final third”.
Gabriel Jesus started this game on the left and, while he brings so much to this side, we know he will never be that figure.
Eddie Nketiah is a useful striker, but too often he lacks the penalty area instincts needed to lead the line of a Premier League title-challenging team.
The problem, of course, is that they are not easy to find nor very cheap to buy. Arsenal may come to regret not looking for one after spending £65 million on the goal shy Kai Havertz.
Ivan Toney would cost a pretty penny, but he could be the final piece in the jigsaw for the Gunners.