Just in – Chelsea move to hijack Arsenal transfer target as Mauricio Pochettino lines up January plans

Just in – Chelsea move to hijack Arsenal transfer target as Mauricio Pochettino lines up January plans

Chelsea are ready to battle with Arsenal for Ivan Toney in January, according to reports.

Mauricio Pochettino has been given greater influence by the owners at Stamford Bridge and has quickly identified Toney as a key target, despite the forward currently serving a lengthy ban for breaching betting rules.

Arsenal too had earmarked the Bees forward as a target with Mikel Arteta drawing up a four-man shortlist, which also includes the likes of Pedro Neto at Wolves. It is understood the Gunners are working with a limited budget after their summer spending, which could hamper them against the Blues.

The Independent reports that Toney has gone to the top of Pochettino’s wishlist with the Argentine not yet convinced that Armando Broja or Nicolas Jackson can serve as a prolific No.9. Marquee summer signing Christopher Nkunku has been injured for much of the season.

Toney has bagged 68 goals and 21 assists across 124 games for the west London outfit, stepping up impressively from life in the EFL. He’s also played for England having produced in some big games for Brentford, who are looking for £60million if they are to lose their prized asset.

Scoring goals has been a major problem for Chelsea despite them spending over £1billion on new talent. Last term they scored just 38 times whilst this season they’ve improved slightly, but after the opening six games had only scored five times.

Pochettino recently called for more influence over the club’s recruitment, stating: “The good thing, the relationship is very good with the owners and the sporting directors. I think like I told before, when the transfer window was closed, I need to be involved, more involved now, in every single decision. I think we need to start identifying what we need for January. We already start to work.”

The Argentine will continue to work in cohesion with co-sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart as well as co-director of recruitment and talent Joe Shields with their model thought to be similar to the one employed by Manchester City.

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