F365's Top Ten Summer Striker Targets

With most of the Premier League's top half needing a new striker this summer, Daniel Storey takes a look at the probable names on expensive shopping lists...

Last Updated: 15/04/14 at 10:16 Post Comment

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10) Falcao (Manchester City)
Possibly a slightly ambitious one this, given Falcao's eye-watering fee when he moved to Monaco only a year ago, and the Colombian recently reiterating his commitment to the principality club. Speaking after Monaco's recent win over Nantes, Falcao spelt out his stance: "I'm happy because this victory is crucial. It should lead us to the Champions League, which I hope to play in next season. With Monaco, of course."

That said, with Sergio Aguero's injury problems and Alvaro Negredo's dip in form since his shoulder injury, Manuel Pellegrini may choose to bolster his forward line with the midfield looking pitch perfect. Whether he (or, more pertinently, Sheikh Mansour) would spend £50million to do so is another question indeed. Perhaps we'll just have to sit with our fingers crossed.

9) Alexandre Lacazette (Newcastle)
Newcastle seem certain to lose Loic Remy (more on him later) this summer, which leaves them screaming out for a striker more than any other club in the league. The thought of Papiss Cisse being the last man standing in Toon's attack (with Shola Ameobi also likely to move on) is enough to make Geordie eyes bleed.

Lacazette could be the perfect fit. He's French, which seems to suit Newcastle, and has now played over 100 Ligue Un games for Lyon despite only being 22, also playing twice for Les Bleus. With Lyon struggling financially and slipping down into mid-table, Lacazette could look to move on this summer and St James' Park is a possible destination.

8) Javier Hernandez (Arsenal)
After a season containing just five Premier League starts, and 11 in all competitions, it seems pretty clear that Javier Hernandez's time at Manchester United is drawing to a close. After 33 league starts in his first two seasons in England, he's made only 14 in two years since. Sad little pea.

Whether United allow Hernandez to stay in England is another question (and Atletico Madrid have shown recent interested), but should the Old Trafford hierarchy be prepared to sell him to a Premier League rival, Arsenal should be trying to bang down the door. Arsene Wenger's side are crying out for a finisher to support the lonely Olivier Giroud, or provide a convincing alternative when Plan A doesn't work. Think 'fox in the box', but not Francis Jeffers. Or Petit Poise, if you will.

7) Mario Balotelli (Chelsea)
It will come as little surprise to anyone to learn that Mario Balotelli has struggled to settle completely at AC Milan, given that he's squeezed playing for both Milan clubs and winning the Premier League with Man City into his short career to date.

It has been a disastrous season for the Rossoneri and, with the club in need of an almost complete rebuild, Balotelli could be sold to raise the all-important funds.

Jose Mourinho has already pricked up his ears, and only last month made suitably flirty comments in Mario's direction. "In football you never know the future. Balotelli is with a big club at the moment but you never know the future. I'm not going to be manager of Milan or the Italy national team, but he's a good kid and somebody I'd like to work with again." Oh, how we'd love to see him come back.

6) Loic Remy (Spurs)
It is difficult to criticise Loic Remy's record since arriving in England last January. Playing for a dreadful QPR side and relatively limp Newcastle outfit, Remy has 19 goals in just 3000 Premier League minutes, the equivalent of almost one every match-and-a-half.

It's clear that the Frenchman will not be back at Loftus Road for long with or without promotion for Harry Redknapp, and a move to North London seems logical, with both Arsenal and Spurs seeming reasonably welcoming beneficiaries.

I'll plump for Spurs as the most likely shout, purely because after last summer's transfer debacles, signing players with Premier League experience could be seen to be less of a gamble. Also, despite his record, Remy may be considered as an insufficient step up from Olivier Giroud at the Emirates.

5) Romelu Lukaku (Everton)
Jose seemingly doesn't rate him highly enough, but virtually every other Premier League manager must be fairly certain of Romelu Lukaku's ability. With Mourinho perhaps having striker hopes of an altogether more expensive nature, it seems likely that the Belgian may be permitted to leave Stamford Bridge this summer as the Blues continue to follow FFP regulations.

There has been discussion over Spurs and Arsenal being potential suitors, but if Everton can qualify for the Champions League why couldn't Roberto Martinez match Lukaku's ambition? As the manger said recently: "What can we offer him? Just enjoying his football. He's a grounded and intelligent young man, who is not going to be swayed by the materialistic aspect of the game. When you can offer football happiness it's an incredible opportunity."

It's enough to bring a tear to the eye.

4) Danny Ings (Liverpool)
Certainly the oddest entrant on the list, and yet perhaps one of the most likely, with Ings linked so frequently to Liverpool throughout the January transfer window that it must have contained more than a grain of truth. The 21-year-old would surely jump at a move higher up the football ladder, even with Burnley heading for the Premier League.

In fairness, this is surely Brendan Rodgers' type of signing. He's 21, would provide back-up to both Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez, assists the club in meeting their homegrown quota (unlike Iago Aspas) and, at £6million, is a worthwhile gamble for a striker with 23 goals in a tough division. Furthermore, Ings has recovered impressively from two lengthy injuries and scored twice on his full England Under-21 debut.

Plus, when he fails at Anfield we all get to write 'Ings Can Only Get Better' headlines. Perfect.

3) Edinson Cavani (Manchester United)
Well, it would be a fine way for Louis van Gaal to silence the doubters so soon after his appointment. Oh look at me, I'm being all controversial.

There is good reason to suggest that Edinson Cavani is getting seriously p*ssed off at playing second fiddle to Zlatan at Paris St Germain and being shunted out to the left wing. If that's the case, it might have been helpful not to miss his two best chances when played through the middle in the Champions League semi-final second leg against Chelsea.

Whilst United (with or without Moyes) may indeed want to bring in a player of Cavani's quality (he has a filthy 138 goals for club and country since the beginning of 2010/11), one can't help feeling there are number of more worrying leaks that require plugging before such a luxury is acquired.

2) Mario Mandzukic (Arsenal)
Tempting a striker from Europe's best team (and it not being Claudio Pizarro) may seem like little more than a pipe dream for Arsenal supporters, but with Robert Lewandowski already packing his bags for Munich it seems likely that Mario Mandzukic, quite often the forgotten man in Bayern's incredible recent success, will leave the Allianz Arena.

He would be fantastic signing for Arsenal. The Bundesliga's competitiveness may be questioned by cynics, but 26 league goals in 41 starts is still hugely impressive, although six goals in 18 Champions League matches in the last two years - plus a record of less than a goal every three games at international level - can still allow pessimists to have their fill.

What's more, the striker seems keen on England, and only last month his agent flew to London to try and determine solid interest from Arsenal, amongst others. Given that Real Madrid are also reportedly interested in the Croatian, it would be quite a coup.

1) Diego Costa (Chelsea)
The fact that Atletico Madrid have been linked with moves for Fernando Torres, Angel Correa, Adrian Ramos (before he committed to joining Dortmund), Pierre-Michel Lasogga, Richairo Zivkovic and Romelu Lukaku in recent weeks probably tells you all you need to know about the future of Diego Costa. If a man can change countries then he can sure as hell change clubs.

Costa is 4/6 to join Chelsea this summer, but some bookmakers have already suspended such markets, so confident are they that a deal will go ahead. With Torres on the way out and Demba Ba pushed forcibly behind him with the door still open, it's clear that Chelsea will need significant reinforcements. As close to a banker as it's possible to be, provided a Champions League and La Liga double wouldn't persuade him to stay at the Calderon.

Daniel Storey - Follow him on Twitter.

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riting a minute by minute account on Berbatov would be like chronicling the days of the guy punished for sloth in the movie Se7en. Day 4 - lay in bed, did nothing - 15th minute, stood there did nothing .

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hen players in their 30s leave Real Madrid, it's usually to Bolton Wanderers. I miss those days.

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ow Pete, you would make an excellent stalker!

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