Newcastle United to target Brentford’s Ivan Toney after Darwin Nunez snub



The interest in Toney is intriguing given Newcastle sold the player to Peterborough for just £650,000 back in 2018, in a huge error of judgment by former manager Rafa Benitez.

The Spaniard insisted the striker would not be good enough to play at the highest level after sending him out on loan to Scunthorpe and Wigan Athletic and refusing to give him a first-team chance.

Toney signed for Brentford in a deal worth around £10m two years later and has excelled in the top flight since firing the west London club for promotion from the Championship last year.

The 26-year-old has scored 14 goals in all competitions, including one against Newcastle in a 3-3 draw back in November, but could return to his former club this summer.

Brentford would want upwards of £30m for their center forward but are aware the player is keen to move to a bigger club at the end of the season.

Howe refused to be drawn into talking about signing a new striker ahead of Wednesday night’s home game against Crystal Palace, but did not admit that the fact Wilson is the team’s top goalscorer, with only six goals, is a cause for concern.

Meanwhile, the former Bournemouth manager, who has done a superb job since taking over from Steve Bruce back in November, has admitted keeping Newcastle up this season will rank alongside any of his achievements on the south coast.

Howe led Bournemouth to three successive promotions and kept the club in the top flight for four years before relegation in 2020.

“It would be right up there, right up there,” he replied when asked where survival would rank in his achievements as a manager.

“But I’ve been so focused week on week, and the job’s not done yet. I can’t take myself there in terms of looking back and reflecting. It’s difficult at this moment to do that. We are not mathematically safe, so you won’t get me to say we are. You may be better asking me [that question] if – and hopefully when – we achieve the target.”

Newcastle were bottom of the table when Howe took over and had won one game by the middle of January, leaving them deep in relegation trouble at the start of the year. Their form since winning at Leeds on January 22 is only bettered in the Premier League by title-chasing Liverpool.

“It’s difficult when you are in it to be worried,” said Howe. “I don’t think worry was the emotion, but I knew it was going to be a really difficult challenge.

“We had obstacles in front of us. The transfer window was a really important thing for us to navigate properly while also playing some key games. It was really difficult, we knew how tough it was and we thought it could easily go down to the last game of the season [away to Burnley].

“The win at Leeds was a turning point…difficult at the time to see it at the time, but looking back that was.

“We went to Saudi Arabia after that, which was a brilliant trip for the group and we came back in a much better place, united and ready to start the fight to stay in the division. To get that positive result before we left, to keep a clean sheet away from home and the performance was a good one, that was a massive, massive result for us that led to the good run of form since.”


www.telegraph.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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