Newcastle still pursuing Ivan Toney deal

Newcastle United are reportedly still interested in making a move for Brentford striker Ivan Toney, according to reports.

What’s the word?

As per the Telegraph’s Luke Edwards, the Magpies have “not given up” hope of signing the Englishman, despite having been put off by the Bees’ reported £40m plus asking price.

Writing on Twitter about the club’s hunt for a striker, amid speculation surrounding the impending arrival of Hugo Ekitike, the journalist revealed that Toney remains an option, alongside Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin: “Toney & Calvert-Lewin too expensive at moment but not given up. Ekitike is a development project and plays mainly wide. Wilson’s form at end of season complicates things. Signing better tough.”

The 26-year-old had previously been signed by the northeast side back in 2015 from lower-league outfit Northampton Town, although he went on to make just four appearances for the club in all competitions, spending much of his time at St James’ Park out on loan before joining Peterborough United on a permanent deal in 2018.

Massive signing

That decision by then-boss Rafa Benitez to let the £31k-per-week gem depart for just £650k four years ago has no doubt come back to bite the Tynesiders, with PIF now potentially set to pay substantially more to bring him back to the club this summer.

That interest in a reunion has been sparked by his lethal goalscoring form in recent seasons, the dynamic forward having emerged as something of a talisman under Thomas Frank since his £5m from Posh in the summer of 2020.

Even that fee has become to look like an absolute bargain, with Toney having since netted 47 goals in just 89 games for the west London outfit over the past two seasons, notably hitting a stunning 33 goals during the 2020/21 campaign to help fire the club into the Premier League.

Despite the step up to the higher level, the £31.5m-rated marksman has adjusted with relative ease – as have the club as a whole – scoring 12 goals and laying on a further five assists to ensure a comfortable mid-table finish for Frank’s men.

Not just a goalscorer, however, the 5 foot 10 ace has also impressed with his all-round holdup play, ranking in the top 12% for aerial duels won among those in his position across Europe’s top five leagues, as well as in the top 16% for progressive passes.

Such a presence would prove vital in Eddie Howe’s side, with a shortage of goals having been a real issue in the most recent campaign, the club’s leading scorer in all competitions that of Callum Wilson with just eight goals.

The former Bournemouth man has looked sharp when fit although has too often been restricted to a viewing brief – missing over four months of the season with injury –  with Newcastle in need of a trustworthy figure to lead the line next term.

Once dubbed a “massive” talent by journalist Gabe Henderson, Toney could well be the man to fill that striking void at his former club, with Howe and co set to rue letting him slip through their fingers once again, should they opt out of a deal.

IN other news, Eddie Howe can now help NUFC sign “spectacular” £64m “nightmare”, he’s better than Saint-Maximin…

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