Chelsea have had “agent contact” with £40m striker and could move this summer – but there is a mystery stumbling block too

Chelsea’s chase for a striker is something we’ve been reporting on for more than a year. The club bought Nicolas Jackson in the summer, but nobody really believed that that meant the end of our search for a top class number 9, and indeed the rumours have continued ever since.

Jackson has done well enough, and shows the potential to get even better, but there’s still a space for a player who scores regularly to elevate the team. The top candidate has shifted over time, but Ivan Toney’s name has always been in the mix.

His star faded slightly as he’s struggled since his return from a gambling ban, but that has lowered his price, perhaps actually increasing our odds of signing him.

Chelsea still in the race

There’s been some debate about how much Chelsea’s recruitment team actually rate him, but the ever-insightful Simon Phillips on his Substack has made it clear on his blog today that the club do like him and will be willing to change their model of signing youngsters only if Toney is available at the right price.

He mentions a mystery stumbling block which has so far prevented a deal, which he’s “not allowed to speak about”, but insists Chelsea have “always been interested” and have “considered signing him,” with “agent contact” already initiated.

There is no doubt that, as ever, most fans would prefer an exotic foreign import like Victor Osimhen or Benjamin Sesko. But if Toney really is available for £40m as the rumours are claiming, that could well be a game-changing factor in all this.

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