Big-named strikers are rumored to make moves every summer, but there’s some serious smoke billowing out of the rumor factory and we’re barely into June.
Sergio Aguero has already found a new home, and his former employers did nothing to temper expectations that Manchester City will spend big on a finisher this summer.
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Harry Kane’s future has been up for debate, Lionel Messi possibly still unsettled at Barcelona, Cristiano Ronaldo possibly on the way out of Italy, Robert Lewandowski has left the door open to a new challenge, and young superstars Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe will live in the rumor mill for as long as they aren’t locked down to new deals.
So where would you bet each of these players will land?
Bayern Munich –> Manchester City
Part of this makes too much sense. The 32-year-old still has enough of a price tag that Bayern Munich might cash-in to fund Julian Nagelsmann’s overhaul, but his age keeps the tag significantly lower than, say, someone whose names rhymes with Karry Hane. Lewandowski defended Pep Guardiola’s Bayern tenure as a success and could spend two years collecting silverware in England while going to a UCL final with a third club.
Barcelona <–> Barcelona
Does Sergio Aguero go to Barca without an agreement that his Argentina teammate would play with him in a Copa America, La Liga, UEFA Champions League, and — eventually — the 2022 World Cup? Maybe, but the alternative is a less logical argument.
Inter Milan –> Chelsea
As PST’s Andy Edwards said in the latest episode of our show, would there be anything more Chelsea than the Blues letting the one-time loan magnet walk and then tempting transfer records to bring him back? That said, a lot of this makes sense for a player who Manchester United would’ve done well to keep around (hindsight being 20/20). It could hurt the stock of another Chelsea attacker, though, so who would the Blues offload to make it happen?
PSG <–> PSG
Real Madrid really could spend here… but they also could hang onto Karim Benzema another season. With Neymar set to stick around the Parc des Princes and Les Parisiens stung by the loss of Ligue 1, the club won’t want to let him enter the last year of his contract and will likely make him a very rich deal to stick around another year.
Borussia Dortmund <–> Borussia Dortmund
For every single mention of the relatively inexpensive release clause about to kick in next summer should come another mention that Haaland could sign a new, rich deal with a higher out-clause at any moment.
Tottenham Hotspur <–> Tottenham Hotspur
The hometown kid has a ton of power here after chairman Daniel Levy’s brutal season, and the center forward’s desires could see a squad revolution and a coach of his liking. Has any player had any more player power in a given situation? Tottenham fans will hope not.
And why would he stay? Well, if we’re right on Lewandowski, Lukaku, and Kane it’s because…
Juventus –> Manchester United
Come on. Think about it. Draw up a faster path to title talk and opponent vitriol on a budget as Ed Woodward walks out the door than re-signing the Zoolander of world football. Zlatan worked just fine and Cavani hasn’t hurt anything, but Ronaldo would deliver some serious depth to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s attack (as well as a wealth of pressure).