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Tottenham Hotspur 'end interest in Ivan Toney, switch focus to Raphinha'

Tottenham 'end interest in Toney, switch focus to Raphinha'
© Reuters
Tottenham Hotspur reportedly drop their interest in Brentford striker Ivan Toney and plan to move for Barcelona winger Raphinha in January instead.

Tottenham Hotspur have reportedly ended their interest in Brentford striker Ivan Toney and will instead prioritise a move for Barcelona's Raphinha next year.

The Lilywhites did bolster their offensive ranks over the summer by poaching Brennan Johnson from Nottingham Forest and Alejo Veliz from Rosario Central, but they did not sign a big-name replacement for Bayern Munich-bound Harry Kane.

With Veliz being limited to minutes from the bench and Johnson being deployed out wide, Richarlison started the season as Ange Postecoglou's first-choice number nine, but Son Heung-min has since been deployed at the tip of the attack.

The South Korea international has been back to his best this season, already finding the back of the net eight times in 12 matches and winning the Premier League Player of the Month award for September.

However, Tottenham have been expected to prioritise the arrival of a focal point in 2024 and are one of a handful of clubs - alongside Arsenal and Chelsea - to have been credited with an interest in Toney.

Brentford's Ivan Toney celebrates scoring their first goal on February 11, 2023© Reuters

The England international will return from his eight-month betting ban during the January transfer window, and he is believed to be ready to take the step up from Brentford to a club competing for Champions League football.

Nevertheless, Brentford could supposedly demand at least £100m to part ways with Toney, who is under contract until 2025 but could be convinced to sign a new deal with a release clause.

According to FootballTransfers, Spurs have been put off by the Bees' financial demands for Toney, and the Lilywhites have dropped their interest in the Englishman in favour of a deal for Raphinha.

The former Leeds United man was targeted by Antonio Conte during his time at the Tottenham helm, having helped the Whites stave off relegation to the Championship in the 2021-22 season.

Arsenal and Chelsea also tried to bring Raphinha to London, but Barcelona won the race to sign the Brazil international, who cost the cash-strapped Blaugrana €58m (£50.8m).

Barcelona's Raphinha receives medical attention after sustaining an injury on September 29, 2023© Reuters

Raphinha won the La Liga title in his first season at Camp Nou, but he has been unable to find consistency in Catalonia, amassing 12 goals and 15 assists from 61 games in all tournaments.

An indifferent start to the 2023-24 season as seen Raphinha come up with two goals and three assists in 11 matches, and he has only started three top-flight contests for Xavi's side this term.

Raphinha has been overshadowed by the emerging Lamine Yamal and has often been tipped to depart Barcelona, who have him under contract until 2027, and the report claims that Tottenham have a concrete interest in the former Rennes man.

Barca will supposedly not stand in Raphinha's way of leaving if they receive a fee of €70m (£61.4m) for the winger, and the Catalan side could also accept a part-exchange deal involving Cristian Romero.

Spurs would not be expected to sanction the exit of their leading centre-back, though, and Barcelona would apparently prefer a straight-cash transaction given their lingering economic concerns.

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Tottenham Hotspur's Alejo Veliz celebrates in October 2023
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