With the European Championships just around the corner, Manchester City will have keen eyes on a number of strikers involved in the competition. New manager Pep Guardiola will be itching to recruit a world-class partner for Sergio Aguero, and he may well find one in France this summer. Here are five possible candidates for City to choose from.
Everton striker Romelu Lukaku bagged 25 goals for his club last season, meaning at just 23-years-old the Belgian international has scored 119 club career goals. Subsequently, he’ll surely be setting his sights on a move to one of Europe’s elite clubs in the coming transfer window. With Guardiola at the helm City will be hoping they can beat the likes of Real Madrid and Bayern Munich to the signature of Europe’s top strikers, and Lukaku wouldn’t be a bad place to start. The Toffees’ star man recently spoke of his desire to play in the Champions League, with a return to former club Chelsea the most likely destination. But, perhaps the prospect of partnering Aguero up front will be enough to lure him to the Etihad instead of Stamford Bridge this summer.
Expected to score key goals for Euro 2016’s host nation France, Antoine Griezmann is likely to be on every top club’s shortlist this summer. The attacker scored 32 goals in 54 games last term, goals that saw Atletico Madrid reach the Champions League final and finish third in La Liga only behind Real Madrid and champions Barcelona. With Karim Benzema absent from France’s squad for his widely reported misgivings, the hosts will be counting on Griezmann to provide the goals. If he has a good tournament, Guardiola’s head will surely be turned and 25-year-old Griezmann may well earn a big money move to the Premier League.
After another fine season for Serie A champions Juventus, in which he scored the winner in the Coppa Italia final, a return to former club Real Madrid may be on the cards for Spanish striker Alvaro Morata. Despite strong rumours Madrid are set to exercise a buy-back clause on their former player, Morata himself has claimed a move to the Premier League is tempting. Arsenal have been linked, but Guardiola will know Morata well after the striker starred against Pep’s Bayern side in last season’s Champions League quarter-final. Spain have lacked a concrete No.9 at international level since David Villa’s loss of form; if Morata can secure that spot at the Euros, Juventus will have a hard time retaining a key player.
When Guardiola left Barcelona he took only one player with him – Thiago Alcantara. It seemed it was not in the Spanish manager’s interests to raid his former club for their star players, but this time around he may be tempted to return to Bayern for star striker Robert Lewandowski. It can hardly be ignored that the Pole has scored 67 goals in 100 appearances for the German champions, which has piqued the interest of Real Madrid. Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge claims he won’t sell Lewandowski to the champions of Europe, nor to any other club, but anything can happen in football, especially where money is involved. And Manchester City have plenty of that.
If Lewandowski isn’t a viable option perhaps his strike partner is. He may not be quite as prolific as his Bayern colleague, but Thomas Muller still packs a punch when it comes to goals. With 32 goals in 49 games last season, the German will be hoping to take that form into the Euros. Manchester United have shown an interest on countless occasions before but maybe it will be City who swoop this summer. Muller enjoyed his finest goalscoring season last term under Guardiola, and it’s likely City will be interested in a striker who can drop deep in order to accommodate the more forward thinking Aguero. The two could make a lethal partnership just as Muller and Lewandowski have for the last two years.