West Ham ‘join Chelsea in the race for Brentford’s £35m-rated Ivan Toney this summer’

West Ham ‘join Chelsea in the race for Brentford’s 30-goal man Ivan Toney this summer, with David Moyes identifying the £35m-rated striker as perfect competition for Michail Antonio’

  • Brentford striker Ivan Toney is a wanted man after a strong Championship term
  • The 25-year-old has a record-equalling 30 league goals for the Bees this season 
  • West Ham have joined Chelsea in the race for Toney, according to reports 
  • Toney, who replaced Ollie Watkins at Brentford, is said to be worth around £35m

West Ham are set to rival Chelsea for Brentford’s £35million-rated striker Ivan Toney this summer, according to reports. 

The 25-year-old striker has been in brilliant form for the promotion-chasing Bees this season, scoring 30 goals in the Championship as the west Londoners look to gain Premier League promotion via the play-offs. 

David Moyes’ Hammers are looking for a striker this summer as Michail Antonio remains the only recognised centre-forward option at the London Stadium. 

West Ham have joined Chelsea in the race for Brentford striker Ivan Toney (above), say reports

David Moyes (left) is reportedly battling it out with Thomas Tuchel (right) for the £35m man

David Moyes (left) is reportedly battling it out with Thomas Tuchel (right) for the £35m man

And according to The Sun, West Ham are looking to beef up their options as Brentford are fairly certain to sell their centre forward should they not go upt this season. 

Toney is one goal away from eclipsing Glenn Murray’s record of most goals in a Championship season, which the former Brighton and Bournemouth forward managed with Crystal Palace in the 2012-13 campaign. 

The centre forward arrived at the west London club last summer from Peterborough United and filled in the void left by Ollie Watkins, who left to join Aston Villa for a £30million fee.

The Hammers have Michail Antonio (right) as their only recognised striker option this season

The Hammers have Michail Antonio (right) as their only recognised striker option this season

Watkins himself was the replacement for Neal Maupay, who scored 28 goals in the 2018-19 season for the Bees before moving to Brighton for £20million.  

With Toney as their striker this term, Brentford have now sealed a third-placed spot to give them a minor advantage in the Championship play-offs – where they will compete alongside Swansea, Bournemouth and Barnsley. 

Toney told Sportsmail last month that he feels ready to step up to England’s top-flight, with or without Brentford.

He said: ‘I feel like I’m more than ready to step up into the Premier League. I feel the qualities the players have, I can fit in perfectly. The deliveries the players get, I’d be able to get on the end of crosses.

Toney has scored 30 Championship goals for the Bees - a joint-record for a single season

Toney has scored 30 Championship goals for the Bees – a joint-record for a single season

Toney recently told Sportsmail he is ready to step up to the Premier League for next season

Toney recently told Sportsmail he is ready to step up to the Premier League for next season

‘I feel like I would slot into the majority of teams in the Premier League. I don’t mean that in a big-headed way but I do feel I’d be capable of doing certain things that other strikers might not be able to.’

Peterborough director of football Barry Fry claims Toney is also confident that Toney is set for a Premier League spot. 

Whilst speaking about the Brentford man, Fry also told Sportsmail in April: ‘Can he do it in the Premier League? One million per cent he can. A goalscorer like him will score goals at any level. 

‘He’ll be playing with better players for one thing. It’s just that whoever wants to buy him will have to pay £30million or £40m for him now.’ 

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Brentford 2-0 Watford: Ivan Toney and Marcus Forss strike as Hornets surrender title race

The Championship play-offs usually defy such banal things as form and statistics but at least Brentford enter this end-of-season lottery with the advantage of momentum.

This comfortable win over Watford was their third on the spin and an 11th match undefeated. Only time will tell if any of this matters but at the moment Thomas Frank’s men can do little more.

It was a memorable afternoon for their brilliant striker Ivan Toney whose second-half penalty made it 30 Championship goals for the season, equalling the number scored by Crystal Palace’s Glenn Murray in 2012-13.

Brentford confirmed third place in the Championship on Saturday with a victory over Watford

Watford's promotion was already confirmed but the Hornets surrendered the title challenge

Watford’s promotion was already confirmed but the Hornets surrendered the title challenge 

Toney has next Saturday’s trip to Bristol City to beat Murray’s tally, which is a record for the Championship since it was renamed in 2004.

His spot-kick, after Marcus Forss had opened the scoring just after half-time, ensured a third-place finish for Brentford and a home second leg tie in the semi-finals.

If that even counts for an advantage in what is typically one of football’s most unpredictable events, with the small matter of £100million plus riding on it all.

Their hard work is only just beginning as they try and avenge last season’s play-off final loss to Fulham but, of the quartet extending their seasons, they appear to be in the best shape.

BRE V WAT MATCH FACTS

Brentford (3-5-2): Raya; Jansson (c), Norgaard, Sorensen; Roerslev (Stevens 89), Bidstrup (Goode 80), Jensen (Marcondes 80), Fosu, Canos; Forss (Ghoddos 73), Toney (Mbeumo 73)

Substitutes not used: Daniels (GK); Reid, Janelt, Gordon

Manager: Thomas Frank

Scorers: Forss 46; Toney pen 60

Booked: Bidstrup, Canos

Watford (4-3-3): Bachmann; Cathcart, Kabasele, Sierralta, Masina; Cleverley (c) (Success 30), Hughes (Wilmot 85), Gosling (Pochettino 85); Hungbo (Zinckernagel 23), Gray (Perica 85), Sema

Substitutes not used: Foster (GK); Troost-Ekong, Lazaar, Navarro

Manager: Xisco Munoz

Booked: Perica

Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire) 

Toney struck from the spot to double the lead, burying the spot-kick to the keeper's left

Toney struck from the spot to double the lead, burying the spot-kick to the keeper’s left 

Watford saw their slim change of overhauling Norwich and winning the title slip away. Their Premier League return was secured last weekend and they played for the most part like a team already looking forward to their summer holidays.

Xisco Munoz had been determined to continue their fight for the title until mathematically impossible.

Accordingly, it was a strong side fielded at the Brentford Community Stadium but one featuring 21-year-old winger Joseph Hungbo making his full debut in place of Ismailia Sarr.

Brentford handed a full debut to 20-year-old Danish midfielder Mads Bidstrup but Frank resisted the urge to rest a few key personnel ahead of the play-offs as he searched for some more winning momentum.

The visitors threatened first when Hungbo stretched his legs down the right flank before picking out Dan Gosling unmarked in a pocket of space inside the box. The midfielder’s shot was sharp but repelled by Bees keeper David Raya at full stretch.

Marcus Forss thought he'd opened the scoring in the first-half but had the goal later ruled-out

Marcus Forss thought he’d opened the scoring in the first-half but had the goal later ruled-out

Forss got his goal moments after the break, connecting to Canos's cross to smash home

Forss got his goal moments after the break, connecting to Canos’s cross to smash home 

But Hungbo was forced off with what appeared to be a hamstring issue 10 minutes later and skipper Tom Cleverley followed him down the tunnel a few minutes later.

By that time, Brentford had settled into the contest and they created several presentable chances before half-time.

Sergi Canos drilled a shot wide after Watford hadn’t adequately cleared his initial cross from the left.

And the visitors weren’t alert to spot the late run of Christian Norgaard to the back post to meet Mathias Jensen’s flighted free-kick. Norgaard side-footed just over the crossbar.

Forss, favoured in the forward line to Emiliano Marcondes here, back heeled through a crowd of yellow shirt into the net only to be flagged offside.

With promotion already confirmed Watford couldn't break through against the west Londoners

With promotion already confirmed Watford couldn’t break through against the west Londoners

Toney, without a goal in his last four outings, planted a firm header at keeper Daniel Bachmann after Forss had dug out a good cross.

But Brentford didn’t have very long to wait for their breakthrough after the restart. 58 seconds to be precise.

Tariqe Fosu advanced down the left as Will Hughes backed off and he slipped a ball through down the inside channel into Canos.

His cross was just beyond Toney, who was being well marked, but nobody had picked up Forss at the back post and he rifled home his ninth of the campaign.

While Watford can look to their summer break, Brentford must try their luck in the play-offs

While Watford can look to their summer break, Brentford must try their luck in the play-offs

Watford didn’t really mount a response and Brentford were handed a brilliant chance to double their lead just before the hour mark.

Francisco Sierralta tripped Toney inside the box after Canos had initially crossed from the right. Toney stepped up and with perfect placement into the corner reached his personal milestone for the season.

Against the run of play, Isaac Success rattled the crossbar for Watford before Xisco handed a debut to 20-year-old Maurizio Pochettino – son of PSG boss Mauricio – in the closing stages.

It was almost 3-0 to Brentford as we entered stoppage time as Canos cut infield and rattled the crossbar with a cracker of a shot.