Ivan Toney has confirmed he was close to signing for Celtic.
The Brentford man has been voted as FourFourTwo’s EFL best player this season. When the magazine caught up with the former Celtic target, his comments made for interesting reading.
Last July, Peterborough United’s chairman Darragh MacAnthony confirmed that a “bid from Scotland” had come in for the striker. Instead, he went to Brentford, and has scored a remarkable 28 league goals this season [Transfermarkt].
In the latest issue of FourFourTwo [p50, 07/04], Toney said:
“I spoke to a few people there, and I spoke to the manager, but just couldn’t get a deal over the line.
“Would they have won the league instead of Rangers if you’d signed?!”
“It would have been different, is all I’ll say…”
Responding as to whether Brentford “flattered” Toney with the £15m fee they paid for the striker, he responded:
“I think it was a bargain, to be honest! [Laughs] No, listen: Brentford showed their faith in me. They knew they were spending lots of money on a League One player, and it was up to me to repay them for that faith.”
Ivan Toney: not short on confidence
Well, it’s fair to say we’d have got a confident striker in Ivan Toney.
Had the deal gone over the line, Celtic could’ve had a 30-goal striker in their ranks. Instead, we ended up with the inconsistent Albian Ajeti and the rather anonymous Patryk Klimala, who could be away after a single season [Scottish Sun].
When Championship clubs are able to blow you out of the water with £15m bids, though, it’s hard to compete. It goes without saying that Celtic have never spent that much on one player. It’s a figure that the Bhoys are unlikely to spend for quite a while.
It’s interesting that Toney spoke to Neil Lennon, though. Clearly, the former Celtic manager, who left the club in February after dismal results, couldn’t convince the striker of the club’s vision for 10IAR. Also, the influence of European Football didn’t seem to do the trick.
So, certainly, Celtic missed out. Whether the season would’ve been different is another argument altogether.