With the Euros over, the transfer market is expected to kick into action imminently. Man City are likely to be among the biggest spenders in world football with their relatively modest transfer record probably going to be smashed at least once this summer and with strikers top of their list of priorities.
The Premier League champions are reportedly looking to land Harry Kane from Tottenham and Jack Grealish from Aston Villa in deals that could be worth more than £200 million combined. City do not seem to be targeting Erling Haaland – his father Alf-Inge played for the club in the early 2000s – despite it being clear they want to sign a new striker to replace Sergio Aguero.
Filling the boots of the club’s record goalscorer will be tough but here are five potential options for City if the club finds a deal for Kane to be too challenging to complete.
5 strikers Man City could target
Darwin Nunez (Benfica)
City have long been linked with Nunez and their interest in the Benfica striker does not appear to be dependent on whether or not they are able to sign Kane. The 22-year-old only managed six league goals for Benfica last term but Nunez did contribute another five goals in the Europa League, including hitting a hat-trick in a defeat of Lech Poznan.
Uruguay international Nunez also recorded an impressive tally of nine assists in the league last season, so it is likely his build-up play would be a solid fit for Pep Guardiola’s side. But if Man City want a prolific number nine to replace Aguero, perhaps they should look at other strikers.
Danny Ings (Southampton)
Kane could cost City as much as £150 million with Spurs unwilling to sell but a far more affordable option is Ings, whose contract at Southampton is now entering its final year.
Ings has hit 41 Premier League goals since joining the Saints from Liverpool in 2018, initially on loan, with his time at Anfield having been ruined by serious injuries. At 28, Ings is not exactly a long-term option but he could be a stopgap if City decide they want to target Haaland next summer, when a release clause in his contract kicks in.
On paper, Ings looks an ideal addition for City. He runs relentlessly so could be relied on to lead City’s press from the front in the way Guardiola demands of his central attacker. He might not be the most glamorous of the strikers on this list, but Man City could do a lot worse.
Patrick Schick (Bayer Leverkusen)
Most clubs are now understandably wary of buying players on the back of performances at international tournaments, with the likes of James Rodriguez among the cautionary tales.
But Schick was hugely impressive at Euro 2020, only being pipped to the Golden Boot by Cristiano Ronaldo’s single assist for Portugal, having hit five goals for Czech Republic. Schick also scored the most memorable goal of the tournament with a stunning long-range lob that left Scotland goalkeeper David Marshall tangled up in his own net.
The 25-year-old has never been particularly prolific at club level. Last season he struck nine goals in 29 Bundesliga games for Leverkusen and he has never hit more than 11 in a campaign. However, his fine form at Euro 2020 showed there could be untapped potential within Schick.
Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
Kane would surely guarantee goals for Man City in a way few strikers on the planet could. But one man who certainly fits the bill as a sure bet is Lewandowski, who finally managed to break Gerd Muller’s long-standing record for the most goals in a Bundesliga season last term.
City are said to be keeping an eye on Lewandowski’s situation at Bayern Munich, with the Poland international having two years remaining on his current deal.
With Chelsea also said to be interested in buying the 32-year-old, Lewandowski might well be heading to the Premier League for the next chapter of his career. Bayern are naturally among the clubs reportedly keen on Haaland so it is easy to imagine the Norwegian hitman being signed to succeed Lewandowski. That could be a year away, however.
Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona)
Elite attackers do not come on the market very often but Griezmann is available this summer with Barcelona in desperate need to raise funds to alleviate the club’s growing financial crisis.
Griezmann has previously indicated a willingness to see out his Barca contract and head to America to experience Major League Soccer at the end of his career. But the Premier League could also appeal with the World Cup winner getting the chance to work with Pep Guardiola.
Griezmann’s huge wages rule out all but a small handful of clubs as potential suitors but City could certainly afford to meet his demands, while his versatility is a plus point as well. City moving for Griezmann currently appears unlikely but, should Spurs continue to rebuff their advances for Kane, a move for the France forward might yet come to fruition this summer.
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