Peterborough United director of football Barry Fry has revealed that he understands that both Chelsea and Everton are keeping a watchful eye on Brentford striker Ivan Toney ahead of the start of the 2021/22 Premier League campaign.
Toney was the standout performer in the Championship last term, scoring 33 goals in all competitions to help fire the Bees to promotion to the Premier League for the first time in their history.
The former Newcastle United man, who joined Brentford from Peterborough in August last year in a deal worth up to £10million, became the first Championship player to surpass the 30-goal barrier since Glenn Murray did so for Crystal Palace back in the 2012/13 campaign.
Having impressed so much in the second-tier, Toney will be looking to prove himself in the Premier League this forthcoming season, with the Bees no doubt hoping that his credentials in front of goal can help them avoid an immediate return to the second-tier.
However, the west London club may be forced to fend off plenty of transfer offers this summer, one of which may come from Chelsea, with Fry insisting that the Blues have both “watched him” and “like” what they have seen from the 25-year-old Northampton-born goal-getter
Fry told This Is Futbol: “I still think [teams] like Everton and even Chelsea [are interested in him]. I know Chelsea are looking at the top range of centre-forwards, but I know they’ve watched him and like him, and if they don’t get A, B, and C, who knows?
“Then I expect Ivan to go for £40million, £45million, £50million, but now he’s got them in the Premier League, only the top clubs could afford him.”
Signing a new striker this summer is a top priority for Blues head coach Thomas Tuchel, who is still yet to make his first signing since replacing former Blues boss Frank Lampard back in January. A number of high-profile strikers have been heavily linked with moves to Stamford Bridge in recent weeks, none more so than Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland.
Haaland is considered as one of the greatest players on the planet and no shortage of clubs are keen on landing his signature. But with Dortmund believed to value the 20-year-old at around £150million it remains to be seen whether or not the Blues can strike a deal for his services this summer. If not, Toney, who the Bees are reportedly willing to sell for no less than £35million, could be a solid alternative, even though he does not quite have the so-called ‘wow factor’ that Chelsea’s fans are no doubt wishing for in a new striker that may arrive at Stamford Bridge this summer.
But having scored 59 goals in the last two seasons, Toney certainly knows his way to goal, even though he has not yet proven himself at Premier League level.
The Brentford ace started his career at Northampton Town before joining Premier League side Newcastle United in 2015. However, his time at St James’ Park failed to get off the ground, being sent out on loan on six different occasions, before finally sealing a permanent exit in 2018, joining Peterborough.