Transfer gossip: Arsenal offer January solution to land €60m Sporting star amid ‘concrete’ Toney claim

Arsenal have come up with a cunning plan to land their top centre-back target in January, and have started talks with Ivan Toney’s people.

Arsenal are hoping to pip their rivals to the signing of Sporting Lisbon star Goncalo Inacio by offering a creative January solution.

Reports of Gunners interest in the centre-back have increased over the last week or so, as Mikel Arteta looks to bolster his squad in the winter window in a bid to stay the course in the Premier League title race.

Arsenal will be top on Christmas Day for the second season running after their 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday, and will hope to avoid a repeat of the 2022/23 season, when they ran out of steam in the new year.

Liverpool, Newcastle, Manchester United and Real Madrid are all thought to be interested in Inacio, who has a €60m release clause in his current contract.

According to Ataque, a Jornal de Notícias supplement, (via Sport Witness), Arsenal have a ‘well-defined plan’ to secure Inacio’s signature in the January transfer market.

It’s thought they are hoping to convince Sporting into allowing Inacio to join them on loan in January, by including an obligation to buy him for his release clause in the summer.

Edu and Mikel Arteta will know the Portuguese side are open to such a deal after Pedro Porro joined Tottenham on loan until the end of last season for €5m in a deal that included a mandatory purchase clause of €40m, which was paid in the summer.

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Along with a centre-back, Arsenal also want a new striker in the summer. And it appears Ivan Toney is their man.

Victor Osimhen has also been linked, but the Nigerian’s new contract with Napoli, which runs until 2026, has likely put paid to the Gunners’ courting.

It’s thought Osimhen’s new release clause is €120m at its lowest, but various conditions – such as when it is activated – could see that sum increase.

Toney won’t come cheap either, with various reports claiming his transfer will cost Arsenal somewhere between £60m and £80m, but again, with the Premier League title seemingly within their grasp, Arteta is seemingly pushing to get a quality No.9 through the door,

Transfer expert Rudy Galetti claims ‘Arsenal are considering to make a concrete attempt for Ivan Toney’ having ‘taken the first steps with the player’s entourage’.

Brentford manager Thomas Frank has said in the past that he would be open to selling Toney – who is set to return to action in January having been banned for eight months for breaching betting rules.

Galetti confirmed Arsenal ‘could start the negotiations with Brentford soon’.

Tottenham want to get rid of one central midfielder to make room and raise funds for another.

Spurs were heavily linked with a move for Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher in the summer and that interest remains according to multiple outlets.

The Blues are willing to see the back of Gallagher, despite him being arguably their best player this season and their captain for much of the campaign.

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Mauricio Pochettino certainly won’t be happy, and neither will Gallagher himself, who has consistently stated his desire to stay at Chelsea.

But the owners see the midfielder as pure profit having come through the academy, and will be willing to accept an offer of £50m in their bid to raise funds for a new striker.

That’s according to The Sun, who also claim that Tottenham will look to increase their transfer kitty for Gallagher by selling Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.

The gossip on Saturday suggested they were hoping to persuade Chelsea into a swap deal, but that’s surely a non-starter. Fulham and Bayern Munich both reportedly showing interest though.

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