Lautaro, Sane & Aubameyang… Available forwards on 2020 summer transfer market
As the rest of the continent takes its first steps in following the example set by their German counterparts, the finish line of this nightmarish campaign inches closer and closer.
With the end (vaguely) in sight, why not follow the well-trodden path of every football fan far and wide by getting ahead of ourselves and turning to the upcoming transfer market.
While the economic impact of the coronavirus is looms large, the endless churn of the transfer market has already begun.
As a myriad of high-profile targets take up residence in the gossip columns, who looks to be the most favourable option in the upcoming window, whenever that may be.
10. Michy Batshuayi (Chelsea)
It’s hard to say with any real certainty exactly how good Michy Batshuayi is simply because of his lack of playing time. Prior to the suspension of play Frank Lampard had afforded the Belgian just one Premier League start.
Batshuayi has put in displays at both ends of spectrum across several loan spells but at 26 years of age, the fact that he is yet to find a consistent starting berth anywhere is cause for concern.
Potential Price Tag: £30-40m
Linked Clubs: Crystal Palace, Newcastle, West Ham
9. Moussa Dembele (Lyon)
Dembele’s goal return may look healthy (16 in 27 league games) but, according to his underlying numbers, the former Celtic striker has endured a sizeable dip in form.
Put simply, the French 23-year-old is taking fewer shots from worse locations but has a hot finishing streak to paper over this downturn. Although, the injury to Memphis Depay and departure of Nabil Fekir do explain the lack of top quality chances falling Dembélé’s way
However, if this campaign does turn out to be mere a blip, the forward offers very little outside the penalty area, even at the best of times.
Potential Price Tag: £40-60m
Linked Clubs: Arsenal, Manchester United
8. Odsonne Edouard (Celtic)
Celtic’s latest unearthed gem – and man who replaced Dembele – may have played his final game in white and green hoops as many members of Europe’s elite menacingly circle the Frenchman who has just a year left on his contract in Glasgow.
The 22-year-old’s dominant displays in the Scottish top flight (22 goals in 27 this season) may not be a guarantee of success but impressive performances across two European campaigns have gone some way to bolstering Edouard’s rising stock.
Potential Price Tag: £30-40m
Linked Clubs: Arsenal, Crystal Palace, Newcastle, Tottenham
7. Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona)
Ousmane Dembélé’s £112.5m move to Barcelona makes him the fifth most expensive player in history, but three stop-start seasons plagued by injury and repeated disciplinary issues have drastically dented the winger’s reputation but also reduced the club’s asking price.
When Dembélé does get on the pitch – and string a run of appearances together – he is an exceptional player. Barcelona need to raise funds for other transfer dealings and Dembélé is one of the players deemed surplus to requirements.
Potential Price Tag: £50-80m (or, loan-to-buy option)
Linked Clubs: Arsenal, Liverpool, PSG
6. Luka Jovic (Real Madrid)
The Serbian forward was one of the hottest properties last summer after 27 goals for Eintracht Frankfurt as Real Madrid won the race for his signature.
Unfortunately for Jović, Zinedine Zidane has placed Karim Benzema firmly ahead of the 22-year-old in the pecking order leading to a worrying lack of playing time. Having invested more than £50m into the forward 12 months ago a loan may be the most realistic option for Jović who would be lethal addition if he can rediscover last year’s form.
Potential Price Tag: £40-50m (or, loan-to-buy option)
Linked Clubs: AC Milan, Arsenal, Tottenham, West Ham
5. Victor Osimhen (Lille)
Victor Osimhen exploded onto the scene with seven goals in his first nine Ligue 1 games this season.
The rangy 21-year-old has enjoyed a superb debut campaign for Lille with several clubs already making offers. The Nigeria international is thought to be keen on a move to the Premier League but any side who secures his signature will be better off with his energetic presence up front.
Potential Price Tag: £50-70m
Linked Clubs: Arsenal, Napoli, Tottenham
4. Aubameyang (Arsenal)
Only Jamie Vardy can point towards more Premier League goals than Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang this season as Arsenal’s talisman seems set on finding one last payoff.
But the Gabon international often leans on his pace to run in behind and as he turns 31 in June, that speed may not be there much longer. Nevertheless, he offers a near-guarantee of goals and with one year of his deal left, the transfer fee shouldn’t be stratospheric, although his wages may be.
Potential Price Tag: £20-35m
Linked Clubs: Barcelona, Man Utd, Real Madrid
3. Arkadiusz Milik (Napoli)
After two lengthy knee injuries in two years, the Polish forward has come into his best form this term – admittedly, between minor niggles here and there.
The 26-year-old asked to leave Napoli during the enforced hiatus in search of guaranteed football. Either by partnering another striker – as he does with Robert Lewandowski on international duty – or leading the line himself, Milik would be an excellent addition to most attacking lineups.
Potential Price Tag: £30-40m
Linked Clubs: Atletico Madrid, Arsenal, Juventus, Tottenham
2. Leroy Sane (Man City)
Guardiola has confirmed that Germany international Sané has informed his employers he will not sign a new deal, meaning he will either be sold later this year or depart when his contract expires in 2021.
Sane has long been linked with Bayern and Guardiola confirmed the winger has expressed a desire to play for another club.
City are reported to have requested 150 million euros for Sané last year, and although it is unlikely they would hold out for a similar fee this time around, Bayern are apparently only willing to pay 35 million.
Potential Price Tag: £35m (or sign him for free in 2021)
Linked Cubs: Bayern
1. Lautaro Martinez (Inter)
Inter’s 22-year-old forward has formed a deadly duo with Romelu Lukaku this season but this partnership (wonderfully named ‘LuLa’ by the Italian press) is set to end if his perennial links to Barcelona come to fruition.
The Argentinian may not be the immediate solution to all of Barça’s problems but there is little doubt he represents an exciting prospect for the future. The only question is whether the Catalan club can muster the funds for the transfer.