Tottenham ‘ditch plan’ for Arsenal target Toney as attention turns to Raphinha

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Tottenham have reportedly decided against rivalling the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea for Brentford striker Ivan Toney as they have ‘concrete interest’ in Barcelona forward Raphinha instead. The Brazilian winger lit up the Premier League with Leeds and could return if Xavi’s side sanction what would be a blockbuster swap deal with Spurs.

England striker Toney is set to be in demand during January upon his return from a lengthy ban after breaching the FA’s betting rules. He has publicly hinted at his desire to challenge himself at a higher level and Spurs were thought to be one of the clubs interested in a potential £70million-plus deal for the 27-year-old.

But now Football Transfers have claimed that Ange Postecoglou’s outfit have dropped their interest in Toney and favour a move for Raphinha instead. Son Heung-min’s impressive displays through the middle may have persuaded the club that another central striker is unnecessary and more creativity out wide could take them to the next level.

Barcelona have slapped a £61m price tag on Raphinha and are prepared to let him leave should a club stump up that cash. However, with Spurs unwilling to spend big in January a swap deal has been mentioned that could ease the financial burden.

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The Spanish side are interested in Spurs defender Cristian Romero after his impressive start to the Premier League season, but are likely to prefer cash rather than a swap deal in order to take the pressure off of their financial hardship at the moment.

It would be difficult to imagine Spurs being willing to part ways with their Argentina centre-back after forming such a strong partnership with Micky van de Ven, though the latter is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a hamstring injury.

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Postecoglou has been impressed with Romero and agreed with Lionel Messi’s claim that he is the best defender in the world. “I wouldn’t argue with Messi,” Postecoglou told talkSPORT. “I’ll tell you what, I wouldn’t like to play against Romero.

“Most of the boys don’t like to train against him. He’s a real competitor and I love that about him. Whether it’s training or a game, what you see is what you get with Romero.”

If Spurs can find the money for Raphinha without losing Romero it would represent a stunning coup after he previously turned down interest from the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea when leaving Leeds for Barcelona.

He would certainly provide competition for Dejan Kulusevski on the right, and at times was one of the best players in the league before departing Elland Road.

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