Kane, Haaland, Mbappe? Who may signal Man Metropolis to exchange Aguero?
Manchester City, believed to be the favorite to win the Premier League title this season, are in rich form with a record of 18 straight wins. However, one area where they haven’t been as dominant as it has been in recent years is at goal. They have averaged over 2.5 goals per game in the last three league campaigns, but this season it’s only 2.0.
One reason is the frequent absence of the club’s record goalscorer, Sergio Aguero. But with the injured Argentina international still not signing a new contract despite the summer expiry and Gabriel Jesus being less than convincing as a replacement after scoring just four league goals in 17 games, the signs are that City could look for a new one To land strikers in the next transfer window.
The COVID-19 pandemic has rocked the global economy and no one is really sure of the short-term effects, let alone the longer-term. Even the largest clubs are financially strained. Although the Abu Dhabi-based billionaire city owners seem to operate in a different environment than the rest, they may still be feeling the crisis. In July 2020, the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) lifted the city’s two-year ban on European football imposed for violating UEFA’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations and never focused more sharply on its finances.
Manager Pep Guardiola claimed in October: “If you choose a striker, it has to be a striker in Gabriel and Sergio’s league but we cannot afford it. That is the reality.” However, this is a club that has spent nearly £ 1.5 billion on players over the past decade and even managed over £ 120 million on Ruben Dias, Nathan Ake and Ferran Torres last summer.
Although Guardiola has reorganized his attacking setup to be less dependent on a classic center-forward, a world-class addition to that position is still enticing given Aguero’s success over the years. With the caveat that Barcelona’s Lionel Messi is too old (34) and most likely too expensive (in terms of wage requirements) to have a long-term impact at City, here are five stars that could help City return to freedom . Scoring opportunities.
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Haaland is possibly the decisive “power forward” of this decade and a true goal machine whose remarkable figures speak for themselves: 17 goals from 17 Bundesliga games with eight out of five Champions League games this season. While the Norwegian international doesn’t seem quite the slick, elegant, and tech-savvy striker Guardiola prefers, City will logically be seriously debating the possibility of signing him, especially given his father Alf-Inge’s history with the club as a player.
There’s no question that Haaland has improved their connection play over the past year (an aspect, along with his aerial skills, that required work). Sure, the 20-year-old is still evolving, but the evidence shows he can score, contribute, and thrive regardless of football style or system. From a commercial standpoint, Haaland is possibly one of the most marketable players in the world (especially for the post-Cristiano Ronaldo / Messi era) which is another plus for any top Premier League club. If reports from Germany are to be believed, Haaland can leave Borussia Dortmund for a € 75 million release clause in 2022, but City would be wise to jump in early before the competition starts.
Janusz Michallik explores the possibility of a Harry Kane partnership with Kevin De Bruyne in Manchester City.
Tottenham are in no mood to let their star striker go and recent reports that he has set a value of £ 150m are a long way off, but the club are increasingly heading for the Champions League next season after a bad season under Jose Mourinho miss. You may find it harder to hold out when City calls this summer.
Kane will turn 28 this summer and it might make economic sense to look into offers as his contract expires in 2024, though Tottenham would refuse to let him leave for a Premier League rival. From City’s perspective, Kane’s skills and track record as a world-class “No. 9” mean Guardiola would look past any tiny technical flaws he might have while playing on City’s system. Likewise, the club may question paying such a large amount to sign a player who is already at his peak and may not move on.
The PSG superstar is widely believed to join Real Madrid at some point and City hasn’t really been suggested as an option in the media. However, with Madrid struggling financially, City has certainly weighed a step as the 22-year-old’s contract expires in summer 2022.
The 2018 World Cup winner with France, signed in 2017 for 145 million euros (with additional bonus payments of 35 million euros possibly attributable to Monaco), is still pondering what his options are. Should he stay in Ligue 1 (an extension is reported to have been filed) or settle in the more familiar surroundings of the Premier League or La Liga? Aside from the theoretically uncomfortable prospect of PSG’s Qatari ownership causing their biggest star to move to a rival in the UAE, the all-rounder Mbappe would obviously improve any club he eventually joins, but City could find his way out of the loop in that case .
Lukaku has scored an impressive 40 goals in 58 Serie A games since leaving Manchester United for around € 80million in the summer of 2019. After beating Milanese rivals 3-0 over the weekend, Inter are well on their way to winning their first Scudetto in over a decade. However, it was reported in the Italian media that the club could soon face changes in ownership. Such potentially disruptive developments can affect the club’s ability to hold onto its most valuable players and Lukaku is certainly one of them.
The Belgium international’s main strengths are his pace and strength, but he appears to be a better liaison player now than he was when he left the Premier League. Additionally, he appears to be more comfortable with his right foot and more conscious of his tactical decision-making. At 27, he’s at a similar point in his career as Kane, but his history at City’s local rival United could limit his (or the) club’s desire for a deal.
The Portuguese international is certainly the most Guardiola-esque player in the game and more of a striker than a poacher in the penalty area. Felix, who was signed by Benfica for € 126million in 2019, is still far from justifying that fee (despite enjoying a good season in La Liga) but still has time at 21 to reach his immense potential.
Equipped with a nice touch of the ball, his movements are as sharp as they are fluid and he has an excellent natural understanding of the game, which makes him perfect for City’s patient but incisive attacking game.
He is usually used in a deeper second striker role by Atletico manager Diego Simeone and can also play as the wrong number 9. It drops deep to make room and include the broad and attacking midfielders. Atletico won’t let him go and he signed a deal until June 2026 when he joined for the ball to be in their place, but Felix could offer City a different type of option than the others.