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30th Jun 2015

5 top strikers who could be on the move this summer…

Kevin Beirne

It’s transfer time in the Premier League and the search for a world-class striker is on.

Chelsea found one last year in Diego Costa while Liverpool will be hoping that Danny Ings can be their saviour this season…

With England’s top clubs hunting for fresh blood, here’s our list of the five best strikers who might be available.

Gonzalo Higuaín — Napoli

TURIN, ITALY - MARCH 17:  Gonzalo Higuain of SSC Napoli celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Serie A match between Torino FC and SSC Napoli at Stadio Olimpico di Torino on March 17, 2014 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)

Higuaín has been linked with a move to the Premier League for years. Back in 2013 he was all set to sign for Arsenal, only for Napoli to swoop in and take advantage of Arsene Wenger’s indecision.

At 27-years-old the Argentine is entering his peak, bagging 25 goals and 10 assists in 51 club games in 2014/15.

So why would Napoli be willing to sell a striker who finds the net every other game? Well, they might not want to but their failure to qualify for the Champions League could be enough to turn Higuaín’s head- plus Rafa Benitez has already jumped ship.

Obviously if Champions League football is the striker’s motivation, this puts Liverpool and Tottenham at a clear disadvantage, but both Arsenal and Manchester United should be considering their options.

Karim Benzema — Real Madrid

MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 04:  Karim Benzema of Real Madrid CF celebrates scoring the opening goal during the UEFA Champions League Group B match between Real Madrid CF and Liverpool FC at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on November 4, 2014 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

Such is life at the Santiago Bernabéu that someone of Karim Benzema’s talent seems to be constantly linked with a move away. But let’s be honest, he would improve almost every team in the world.

The Frenchman’s 21 goals in 38 games in the league and Champions League last season isn’t quite on the same level as teammate Cristiano Ronaldo, but he has all the raw tools to be the attacking focal point of a Premier League title hopeful.

Whether or not Real are willing to sell changes every day — but someone as versatile and skilful as Benzema would likely cost a hefty fee. Manchester United seems the best fit for the 27-year-old as Louis van Gaal looks to mount a title challenge, but Liverpool may be tempted to try their luck.

Edinson Cavani — PSG

PARIS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 30:  Edinson Cavani of PSG smiles during the Group F UEFA Champions League match between Paris Saint-Germain v FC Barcelona held at Parc des Princes on September 30, 2014 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Despite only joining PSG in 2013, Cavani has frequently been linked with a move away after failing to settle in the shadow of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Chelsea and Manchester City are possible landing spots for the Uruguayan, but Manchester United hold the trump card in any dealings with PSG: Angel di Maria. The Parisian outfit are known admirers and could be interested in a straight swap between the two.

Cavani didn’t exactly set the Copa America alight and the fact he only had one assist all year is worrying, but his record of 24 goals in 45 games for PSG in 2014/15 means teams will be interested.

Fernando Llorente — Juventus

SS Lazio v Juventus - Serie A

Fernando Llorente, the nearly-man of Spanish football. At a time when Spain were dominating the world, he was left watching history from the stands as a sub.

Llorente is a more traditional type of player than the other strikers on this list, with more experience of holding the ball up with his 6′ 5″ frame than taking on defenders.

Worryingly, the Spaniard found the net only once in Europe, despite Juventus making it all the way to the Champions League final. He did have a bit more luck in the league, although seven goals in 31 games isn’t a record that strikes fear into opponents.

A 30 years old, Llorente is unlikely to command a large transfer fee, and Spurs or Liverpool could potentially lure him away without much competition from the top four.

Edin Dzeko — Manchester City

Manchester City v Aston Villa - Premier League

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Arsenal picked up a slightly damaged Petr Cech at a car-boot sale in west London while Liverpool were delighted to find a barely-used James Milner sitting by the side of the road in Manchester.

Similarly, it is worth keeping track of Edin Dzeko, whose days at the Etihad Stadium have appeared numbered since the £25m signing of Wilfried Bony in January.

Strong in the air and with a good eye for goal, it isn’t hard to imagine the 29-year-old wanting a chance to restart his career at a club where he will be a certain starter.

Last season, half of his 22 appearances in the Premier League were as a substitute, and this lack of rhythm meant he only scored four league goals.

While City will be reluctant to sell to a direct rival like Chelsea or Manchester United, Liverpool or Tottenham could capitalise on the Citizens’ surplus of strikers.