West Ham United co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold must rue their decision to pass on signing Brentford striker Ivan Toney from Peterborough United.
While speaking exclusively with Football FanCast, Peterborough’s Director of Football Barry Fry has claimed that he told Gold and Sullivan to purchase Toney in 2020 before selling the striker to Brentford.
The 25-year-old joined the Bees last August in a £5m deal that could reach £10m with add-ons, and has proven to be a huge hit in the Championship.
Toney’s efforts at the Brentford Community Stadium, where he has provided 43% of his side’s 65 league goals, are thought to have piqued West Ham’s interest, with Eurosport claiming that he has emerged as an interesting option to replace Sebastien Haller.
But Fry claims the Irons had the chance to jump the queue and land Toney last year, having spoken in detail with the London Stadium hierarchy.
“I spoke to David Sullivan and David Gold last year at great length and I said he’s the best centre-forward we’ve had,” Fry told FFC.
“He’s not only a goalscorer, he scored 49 goals for us in 92 games in two seasons. But it wasn’t only his goalscoring efforts, he also made a lot of goals and he also was our best defender.
“He headed the ball out more than anybody else, from free-kicks and corners from the opposition. He was absolutely magnificent, and I recommended him highly.”
Gold and Sullivan must surely now rue their decision to go against Fry’s advice and choose not to sign Toney last summer, with Moyes failing to get the best out of Haller before the striker joined AFC Ajax, with West Ham opting against hiring a replacement in January.
His efforts under Thomas Frank have seen the 25-year-old’s market value skyrocket in the seven-months since Toney’s arrival, with football.london suggesting the Northampton-born star is now valued by Brentford at around £30m.
That price is dependent on the Bees failing to secure promotion to the Premier League, with Frank’s side currently in the play-off pack, as it would take an ‘obscene’ offer to tempt the Greater London outfit to cash-in with top-flight football to come.
Toney also has suitors in Arsenal and Leeds United, per TEAMtalk, while Peterborough chief Fry added that “top” Premier League sides are watching the £21,000-per-week sensation and that every club he spoke with last year are “regretting not signing him”.
West Ham facing a £25m hike on the initial fee Brentford paid the Posh last year will come as an added blow for Gold and Sullivan, too, and they could be left kicking themselves for years if the forward were to now join a Premier League rival in the summer.
AND in other news, a £70k-p/w dud with “wonderful feet” intends to quit West Ham this summer…