Manchester City are set to be on the hunt for fresh firepower this summer as Sergio Aguero heads for the Etihad exit.
The Argentina striker sees his contract run out at the end of the season, and a new deal is looking more and more unlikely.
The 32-year-old has more than 250 goals in all competitions for City over the last 10 years, but more injuries and less game time mean this campaign is likely to be his last in Manchester.
Reports have suggested he has already held talks with both Barcelona and former club Atletico Madrid.
Despite Aguero’s absence, Pep Guardiola’s side are in the driving seat and odds-on to regain the Premier League crown in 2020/21.
They are also priced at 11/4 with 888Sport to also secure the Champions League trophy, which will be a popular bet for those using free bet codes this season.
Even if a host of silverware goes their way, a new forward will be at the top of Guardiola’s transfer wishlist.
Erling Haaland – Borussia Dortmund
Norway wonderkid Erling Haaland continues to set the Bundesliga alight.
The 20-year-old centre forward has netted at nearly a goal a game for Dortmund since his arrival following an equally impressive tally for RB Salzburg.
He allegedly has a £68m release clause in his contract, but that can’t be activated until 2022.
It means Dortmund would be looking for big money this summer if City want to avoid risking more competition for his signature a year down the line.
While his scoring record is appealing, it’s hard to know if Pep would see the Norwegian fitting into City’s possession-based style of play.
Lionel Messi – Barcelona
City have been linked with Lionel Messi since his relationship with his beloved Barcelona started to show cracks.
The 33-year-old is reportedly looking for options away from the Catalan giants as he entered the final stage of his career.
The Argentine could slot into the false nine position that City have been working with for the majority of the current campaign.
Giving him that central role with a licence to drift into danger areas for measured build-up play is something that could suit Messi, as well as the tactics of his former boss Guardiola.
Paris St Germain are also keen on taking Messi to the French capital, and staying at the Camp Nou is not totally off the table.
Harry Kane – Tottenham Hotspur
Another intriguing option for City might be England skipper Harry Kane.
The consistent goalscorer is now 27, and might decide this summer is the right time to go in-search of career silverware.
Spurs had been talked up as title challengers at one stage but have quickly slipped well out of contention.
If Kane’s ambition does make a move likely, then linking up with City would be seen as a good move for both parties.
City would have a ready-made hitman that won’t need time to adapt to the Premier League, while Kane will be at a club regularly challenging for trophies on many fronts.
However, it is likely that Tottenham would want close to £150m for the prolific striker, which could be the biggest stumbling block in a time when COVID-19 has hit football finances hard.
Lukaku or Martinez – Inter Milan
Manchester City have apparently also taken an interest in Internazionale’s forward line.
The Milan club are pushing for the Serie A title thanks to the attacking prowess of strike duo Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez.
A move for both is out of the question but Guardiola might be tempted to add one of them to his squad.
Which one will depend on what he wants from his main attacker moving forward.
The goals of 27-year-old Belgian Lukaku are an obvious threat, but City might be put off by his previous inconsistent stint at neighbours Manchester United.
Martinez, meanwhile, is four years younger at 23, but doesn’t score as many goals as his team-mate.
However, the diminutive Argentinian could suit City’s style a little more, especially with his speed, technique in tight areas, and impressive work rate.
Whoever they do make their main target to replace Aguero, it’s clear they have a host of options to consider at all different stages of their careers.