In the summer, the best teams in Europe will look for new strikers. Where do you think the hottest forwards will go this summer?
1. Harry Kane (Tottenham)
(Potential destinations: Manchester United, Bayern Munich)
Every summer, the future of England’s captain becomes a topic of discussion as Tottenham continues to fall short in their pursuit of trophies.
Two years ago, Kane expressed his desire to leave for Manchester City, but Spurs refused to consider selling him, and he ultimately stayed with the club. However, now he may be in a “last-chance saloon” situation. As Kane’s contract nears its end, the power dynamic has shifted in his favor, and Tottenham faces the possibility of losing him for nothing in 2024. This could force chairman Daniel Levy to consider a sale, and reports suggest that a fee of around £150m could be enough for Spurs to reluctantly let go of their star player.
Manchester United is currently considered the front-runner to secure Kane’s signature, as the 29-year-old is among Erik ten Hag’s top targets for the summer. Bayern Munich is also rumored to be among Kane’s potential suitors. Moving to Old Trafford would enable Kane to chase Alan Shearer’s Premier League goalscoring record, as his recent brace against Nottingham Forest moved his top-flight total to 203. He is now only 57 goals behind Shearer, with only Erling Haaland having a better tally than him this season.
Kane’s link play and creativity would be a valuable addition to the improving Manchester United side, adding another weapon to their already impressive attack.
2. Victor Osimhen (Napoli)
(Potential destinations: Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United, PSG)
A potential younger option for clubs seeking a center forward this summer could be Victor Osimhen, the current top scorer in Serie A with 19 goals this season at just 24 years old. He has a five-goal lead over his nearest competitor, Lautaro Martinez.
If Osimhen wins the ‘Capocannoniere’ Golden Boot and Serie A this season, which seems highly likely, he may push for a move to the Premier League. When comparing Osimhen’s performance to Kane’s this season, according to Delphlyx – a smart data platform – the Napoli forward has the advantage in XG (expected goals) per 90 minutes, with Osimhen recording 0.80 across 22 appearances compared to Kane’s 0.53 in 27 games.
Both strikers are currently outperforming their XG, with Osimhen scoring 0.97 per 90 minutes and Kane finding the net 0.66 times per match. Furthermore, Osimhen takes almost one more shot per game than Kane, has a higher goal conversion percentage, and more touches in the box. These comparisons highlight differences in the two strikers’ all-around game, as Kane contributes an average of 19.16 passes and 5.51 link-up plays compared to Osimhen’s 11.34 passes and 3.29 link-up plays.
It is expected that Napoli would demand a fee of over £100m for Osimhen, potentially surpassing the British transfer record fee of £107m that Chelsea paid to Benfica for Enzo Fernandez in January.
In addition to Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea have also been linked to Osimhen, with the Gunners looking to strengthen their attacking options with Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah. Chelsea’s need for a consistent goal scorer has been evident this season, despite their significant spending in the last two transfer windows.
While Osimhen has expressed interest in a move to the Premier League, French champions PSG reportedly hope to persuade him to join Ligue 1 instead.
3. Goncalo Ramos (Benfica)
(Potential destinations: Manchester United, Newcastle, PSG)
Goncalo Ramos made a stunning debut on the international stage at the World Cup in Qatar, displaying no fear in replacing Cristiano Ronaldo in Portugal’s starting line-up. The 21-year-old’s hat-trick against Switzerland added to his growing reputation and has led to speculation of a potential move in the summer.
Ramos has scored 23 goals in 35 appearances across all competitions this season, including 15 goals in the Primeira Liga, putting him joint-top of the scoring charts alongside his Benfica teammate Joao Mario.
According to reports, Benfica would demand a fee of over £100m for the young striker, who could potentially address a striker issue for one of Europe’s top clubs for the next decade. Manchester United, Newcastle, and PSG are among the clubs rumored to be keeping tabs on Ramos. While taking into account the differences between leagues, the striker’s attacking output is statistically similar to Osimhen’s this season.
4. Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig)
(Potential destination: Chelsea)
The future of RB Leipzig forward Christopher Nkunku is widely discussed in football circles. It is widely expected that the French international will join Chelsea in the summer when his £53m release clause becomes active at the end of the season.
Nkunku was one of the most sought after attacking talents last season after scoring 35 goals in all competitions. He has already scored 17 goals in 27 matches this season, including 12 in the Bundesliga. These figures suggest that he could be the answer to Chelsea’s struggles in front of goal.
However, a knee ligament injury sustained during France’s World Cup preparations ruled him out of the tournament in Qatar and the first five matches of the league season. Nkunku will join Chelsea’s already impressive list of attacking options, and his versatility to play across the front line could make him an important asset to the team.
5. Jonathan David (Lille)
(Potential destinations: Arsenal, Aston Villa, Manchester United, Newcastle, Tottenham)
Jonathan David, the Canadian international, currently leads Ligue 1’s scoring charts with 19 goals, which is the same number as PSG’s Kylian Mbappe. The 23-year-old secured his hat-trick against Lyon recently, allowing him to surpass Eden Hazard’s record and become Lille’s top scorer this century with 52 goals.
Despite being contracted to Lille until 2025, David has not been shy about the possibility of leaving the Stade Pierre-Mauroy. David said to Fabrizio Romano, “The furthest I can see for the moment is the next game and helping Lille get back into the top four. Saturday mornings growing up in Canada were about the Premier League and La Liga, the Premier League and La Liga are every kid’s dream.”
A number of Premier League clubs are interested in David, with Arsenal being among them for a long time. Aston Villa, Manchester United, Newcastle, and Tottenham are also potential destinations where David could achieve his dream move.
6. Folarin Balogun (Reims, on loan from Arsenal)
(Potential destination: AC Milan)
Despite Folarin Balogun thriving on loan in Ligue 1 with Reims and scoring 16 goals this season, Arsenal is still reportedly interested in Canadian international Jonathan David, who has matched PSG superstar Kylian Mbappe’s 19 goals in Ligue 1 this season. The Gunners face a dilemma in choosing between the two forwards as they look to strengthen their attacking options. Balogun has scored just three goals fewer than David and Mbappe, but it remains to be seen if he would be a better option for Arsenal.
Balogun has an advantage over David in terms of both goals and XG this season, with a higher number of shots and a better goal conversion percentage. However, both forwards are underperforming their expected goals this season. On the other hand, David excels in build-up play, passing, and linking play more in matches than Balogun.
While AC Milan has reportedly shown interest in Balogun, Arsenal may consider cashing in on him if they determine that he would be behind Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah in the pecking order upon his return.
7. Randal Kolo Muani (Eintracht Frankfurt)
(Potential destinations: Manchester United, Bayern Munich)
Randal Kolo Muani from Frankfurt made a breakthrough at the World Cup in Qatar as he was called up as a last-minute replacement for the injured Nkunku in France’s squad. Kolo Muani’s performance was remarkable as he scored just 44 seconds after coming off the bench to secure a 2-0 win for France over Morocco in the semi-finals. He was brought on in the first half of the final against Argentina, when France was trailing 2-0, and nearly became a hero by scoring a last-gasp winner in extra time but was denied by Emi Martinez. Kolo Muani managed to beat Martinez in the penalty shootout, but it was Argentina who ultimately emerged victorious to lift the World Cup.
This season, Kolo Muani has scored 16 goals in 34 appearances for Frankfurt, including two in the Champions League. He is currently the fourth-highest scorer in the Bundesliga and has also contributed 10 assists. As a result of his performances, Bayern Munich and Manchester United are both rumored to be interested in the 24-year-old striker. Bayern is reportedly still searching for a long-term replacement for Robert Lewandowski, who left for Barcelona, and has a track record of acquiring the best talents from fellow Bundesliga teams.
8. Marcus Thuram (Borussia Monchengladbach)
(Potential destinations: Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United Newcastle, Tottenham)
Marcus Thuram’s contract with Borussia Monchengladbach is set to expire this summer, making him an attractive option in the transfer market at a potentially low cost. Despite Gladbach’s attempts to convince the 25-year-old, who is the son of 1998 World Cup winner Lilian Thuram, to stay at the club, they seem to have accepted that he will leave.
Sporting director Roland Virkus confirmed last month that Thuram will be allowed to leave, although it’s not an ideal situation to lose him on a free transfer. Arsenal and Chelsea are believed to be the front-runners for the versatile forward, who can play on the left or up front. However, Tottenham, Manchester United, and Newcastle were also reportedly interested in signing him in January.
Thuram, who has scored 42 goals in 127 matches for Gladbach, is having his best season yet with 14 goals in 25 games.