Arsenal sporting director Edu is reportedly eyeing up three strikers as alternatives to Ivan Toney.

The Brentford star would command an eye-watering transfer fee, and the west London club may opt to keep him under lock and key until they are clear of Premier League relegation danger.

The loss of Toney to an FA betting ban has seen Brentford pick up only five wins in 18 Premier League matches this term. The former Newcastle United forward bagged 20 goals in 2022/23 to leave him behind only Erling Haaland and Harry Kane in the division’s scoring charts.

With fellow relegation strugglers Everton and Luton Town picking up pace, Nottingham Forest hoping for a ‘new manager bounce’ and the Bees only four points clear of the drop zone, it seems likely that a mid-season move for Toney will be ruled out.

According to CBS Sports, there has been no indication that Arsenal will make a decisive move for the 27-year-old in the January transfer window, which will open at the start of next week.

The same report states that Edu is keeping tabs on three alternative frontmen who are each in fine form, although like Toney, prising them away mid-season could prove a tough sell for the Gunners.

First to appear on the list is Victor Osimhen. The Nigeria international fired Napoli to the Serie A title last season, signing a bumper new deal in Italy shortly before Christmas which is thought to contain a £113million release clause.

While that would make him one of the most expensive strikers in Europe, he is also one of the most accomplished, and Arsenal have long been linked with a move for the 25-year-old. Next up is Inter Milan extraordinaire Lautaro Martinez.

The Argentine has taken his game to another level this season, registering 19 goal contributions in 16 Serie A matches. The Gunners’ admiration is therefore understandable, but whether they could convince Inter to do business in the thick of a competitive title race is another matter altogether.

The Nerazzurri are flying at the top of the table, just like undefeated Bundesliga surprise packages Bayer Leverkusen, who boast another of Europe’s red-hot strikers in Victor Boniface.

Excelling in his debut season since signing from Belgian side Union Saint-Gilloise, the 6ft 3in marksman is also reportedly admired by Edu, who clearly has expensive taste as he bids to bring Mikel Arteta more firepower for the second half of the campaign.