Nottingham Forest are set to do battle with bitter rivals Derby County to sign Peterborough United striker Ivan Toney, according to The Mirror (07/08; page 54).
Both East Midlands-based clubs are eying up a £5 million deal for the striker, with Posh resigned to losing their influential talisman.
Forest are in the market for firepower after failing to reach the Championship play-offs during 2018/19.
Lewis Grabban netted 20 goals for the Reds but in reserve, the club were found wanting and ultimately it cost them a crack at the play-offs.
Nuno Da Costa is still finding his feet at Championship level, whilst Tyler Walker is still relatively raw when it comes to playing in the second tier.
Celtic had been interested in Toney’s services and as recently as June it had been claimed Peterborough were hoping to recoup £15 million for the talisman (The Scottish Sun).
Posh owner Barry Fry actually urged Celtic to get their act together, speaking highly of Toney.
He told The Scottish Sun: “Not only is he brilliant in the box, scoring and creating with his left foot, right foot and head, at six foot four he’s also our best defender.”
Given the financial uncertainties that face plenty of clubs this summer, it would appear Peterborough have changed their stance with regards to their valuation of the 24-year-old.
Toney was in fine form last season, smashing 26 goals in League One and also chipping in with seven assists.
At £5 million there should be plenty of interest with Brentford, Watford and Brighton all previously being mentioned in various reports.
It wouldn’t be the first time Forest have taken a chance on a striker from London Road. In 2014, the Reds parted with £5.5 million to sign Britt Assombalonga from the club (BBC).
TBR View – Toney arrival would delight Forest supporters
If Forest could somehow land the Peterborough hitman it would sent out a firm message to the rest of the Championship.
Although unproven in the division, Toney has shown over the last 18 months that he is a natural-born goalscorer and he could thrive in the right setup.
Forest supporters have grown disgruntled in previous seasons with the recruitment being largely based around European recruits.
A break from the norm and three or four additions from these shores might go some way towards putting a few smiles back on those forlorn Forest faces.
With that in mind, if the Reds can convince Toney, he could prove a tremendous addition to Sabri Lamouchi’s squad.