Perennial Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich have reportedly earmarked around €100 million for a new striker going into the summer transfer window.
But according to German journalist Florian Plettenberg, the club chiefs are under heavy pressure to find a reliable replacement for Robert Lewandowski.
Since the Pole left the Allianz Arena last summer to join La Liga heavyweights Barcelona, the Bavarians have been in the market for a new out-and-out striker to fill the void.
Sadio Mane touched down in Munich following a trophy-laden spell at Liverpool, yet an injury-plagued season has seen the Senegalese superstar fail to fill the void.
Mane is not a classic No 9, while Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting is not the calibre Bayern need, with all due respect to the 34-year-old’s scoring exploits in the past couple of years.
As such, the record-time Bundesliga champions will dip back into the transfer market at the end of the season to strengthen their frontline with a household name.
Here’s a closer look at three potential candidates to fill Lewandowski’s shoes at the Allianz Arena.
As one of the hottest young prospects in European football, Benfica starlet Goncalo Ramos has been heavily linked with a mega-money departure in the summer.
The 21-year-old has gone from strength to strength this season, soaking up the limelight as the Eagles’ most prolific player following Darwin Nunez’s switch to Liverpool last summer.
Ramos has tallied an eye-catching 25 goals and 11 assists in 38 competitive appearances for runaway Primeira Liga leaders in 2022/23, growing into one of Europe’s most sought-after talents.
His stunning performances at the 2022 World Cup for Portugal only helped Benfica increase their whopping asking price to €120m in anticipation of a bidding war in the summer.
Bayern won’t be alone in the race to sign Ramos, with Manchester United dispatching scouts to watch the Portuguese ace in action when Roger Schmidt’s men take on Inter Milan in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Randal Kolo Muani
Another top-tier talent, Randal Kolo Muani, gained worldwide recognition for his burgeoning talent during France’s run to the silver medal in Qatar last December.
Having signed for Eintracht Frankfurt as a free agent only last summer, the former Nantes forward could take his career to the next level after just one season at the Deutsche Bank Park.
The 24-year-old has been a revelation in the Bundesliga this term, clocking 12 goals and 12 assists in 26 top-flight appearances for Die Adler to find himself on Bayern’s radar.
Known for their penchant for robbing domestic rivals of their standout performers, the Bavarians could make a move for the Frenchman, who has garnered a host of interest across Europe.
As per Eurosport’s recent report, Frankfurt may demand up to €120m to sell their prized asset in the summer.
Last but not least, Napoli’s heavy hitter Victor Osimhen is one of the most-wanted strikers in the world following an exceptional season in Serie A.
Luciano Spalletti’s talismanic frontman has played a key role in helping the Partenopei get on the cusp of a first league title since 1990, forging a formidable attacking partnership with Khvicha Kvaratskhelia.
The prolific duo has provided the backbone for Napoli’s dominant domestic campaign and the club’s maiden foray into the Champions League knockout stages.
Osimhen, who leads the scoring charts in Serie A with 21 goals, has become a sought-after property, with Man United and Liverpool taking an interest in his services.
Bayern could spoil Premier League clubs’ plans, but it will be up to new boss Thomas Tuchel to give the go-ahead.
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