Arsenal are reportedly prepared to offer striker Eddie Nketiah to Brentford in a swap deal involving Bees forward Ivan Toney in the January transfer window.
The former Peterborough United man is currently serving an eight-month suspension for breaking FA betting rules, meaning he is yet to feature for Thomas Frank’s side in 2023-24.
Toney enjoyed a stellar campaign last season for the Bees, making the net ripple on 20 occasions in the Premier League from 33 appearances – all of which being from the start.
The striker’s performances for his club saw him earn recognition on the international stage, with Gareth Southgate handing the target man his first-ever England call-up in September 2022.
According to The Mirror, Arsenal are stepping up their interest in Brentford’s Toney, and could be willing to exchange players with the Bees to allow them to get their target.
The report claims that the Gunners may involve Nketiah as part of a swap deal for Toney, seeing the former Leeds United loanee move across the capital to the Gtech Community Stadium.
Despite this, it is understood that Nketiah wishes to remain at the Emirates and fight for his place as a starting striker, even though the England youth international faces heavy competition.
Gabriel Jesus was signed from Premier League champions Manchester City in the summer of 2022 and has cemented himself as Mikel Arteta’s first-choice forward option, despite spending months of the 2022-23 term sidelined due to injury.
Nketiah stepped up to a starting role in the Brazilian’s absence and finished off last season with four goals from 30 appearances, although only 21 of those were from off the bench.
It is understood that Brentford are demanding £60m for Toney, and it is not currently known whether the Bees would be open to partaking in a swap deal with any of the interested parties.
The report adds that the Gunners’ London rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea are monitoring Toney’s situation at Brentford, with both clubs potential suitors for the striker in January or 2024’s summer transfer window.
The one-time international can return to competitive action for Brentford in the New Year after serving the entirety of his eight-month suspension, however the forward may have already played in his final game for Frank’s side.
Arsenal are believed to be looking to strengthen their attacking options in January as they look to challenge champions Man City for the league crown, with the Gunners currently four points behind Pep Guardiola’s Citizens after six matches.
Arteta’s charges face Toney’s Brentford in the third round of the EFL Cup on Wednesday night, before the North Londoners look to preserve their unbeaten status in the Premier League at Bournemouth on the weekend.