Darragh MacAnthony claims Neil Lennon 'desperately' wanted Ivan Toney at Celtic; deal relied on player exit

By John McGinley

November 5, 2020

Peterborough United owner Darragh MacAnthony has been speaking about Celtic’s quest to sign Ivan Toney again, on the most recent episode of his ‘Hard Truth’ podcast.

Toney was heavily linked with a move to the Bhoys during the summer transfer window but he eventually made the switch to English Championship side Brentford.

MacAnthony has spoken publicly about the potential deal before but has provided a bit of new insight into what happened.

He said: “It was reliant on them really selling a player, and I think we all know the player, and it didn’t happen. The conversations early on were never going to get to the level we were at.

“Celtic, Rangers, clubs in Scotland, don’t have the TV deals, don’t have the money. They have to player trade. I know Neil Lennon wanted him desperately and spoke to Ivan a couple of times.

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“Ivan was high on their list and it probably would’ve appealed to him because Celtic is one of the biggest clubs in Britain.”

MacAnthony is presumably talking about Odsonne Edouard, our most valuable asset in attack who was consistently linked with a big-money exit.

The Bhoys eventually went for Switzerland international Albian Ajeti, who has showed promising signs of progress in Glasgow.

However, Toney is now rattling in the goals for Brentford, scoring ten goals in ten English second-tier appearances (Transfermarkt).

If he keeps that up his transfer value will likely balloon, perhaps leading to some regret from the Celtic end that they didn’t push to get a deal done.

The Glasgow Times reported back in August that Celtic was his preferred destination.

Former Celtic target Ivan Toney / (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Sky Sports reported that Toney cost the Bees an initial £5m, rising to £10m with add-ons.

Is that something we could have stretched to? We’ll likely never know, but apparently, Lennon made a big push to land him.

In other news, Mohamed Elyounoussi is fully focused on Celtic despite comments from Southampton.