Whatever happens between now and the end of May, the chances of Ivan Toney starting the 2020/21 campaign in the royal blue of Peterborough United look slim.
A week ago, Posh’s outspoken chairman Darragh MacAnthony took to the media to make a promise to his star striker. If Peterborough miss out on promotion back to the Championship, Toney will be free to walk away from London Road with his head held high – albeit for a hefty fee, of course.
But MacAnthony knows better than anyone that things are not often that simple.
If Toney does succeed in firing Peterborough into the second-tier, such goalscoring heroics will only increase the speculation surrounding one of English football’s most coveted talents.
There is no shortage of interest on both sides of the border already and, if reports are to be believed, Toney could even be playing European football next season if he plays his cards right. Scottish champions Celtic, the Record claims, scouted the former Newcastle striker during the 4-0 thrashing of promotion rivals Wimbledon on January 21.
And you can imagine that Celtic’s talent-spotters had only good things to say about a rangy centre-forward who looks far too good for third-tier football. Toney scored twice and set up another under the watchful eye of Celtic (talk about acing your audition) and continues to go from strength to strength.
After a rare off-day against Accrington Stanley, Toney returned to the scoresheet with a laser-guided missile in the 4-1 thrashing of Ipswich Town before netting a double as Peterborough put another top-six rival to the sword; Oxford United.
Toney won’t come cheap of course, The Posh value their star man at £13 million, and Celtic may have to shatter their transfer record if they want to dress him up in green and white next season.
But with 21 goals in all competitions, and six in five games since he emerged on Neil Lennon’s radar, a place in Celtic’s history beckons.
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