Harry Kane, Joselu and Roberto Firmino - three options to replace Karim Benzema at Real Madrid
Real Madrid have confirmed that Karim Benzema will leave the Spanish club at the end of the season, fuelling rumours that Carlo Ancelotti will be in the market for at least one striker this summer.
The 35-year-old Frenchman had been linked with a switch to a Saudi Arabian League side for a huge payday, where he could play in the same league as his former Real colleague Cristiano Ronaldo, and perhaps Paris Saint-Germain forward Lionel Messi, who is also moving on.
Jude Bellingham is also expected to arrive at the Bernabeu for a fee of around £100 million. If that were the case, then there is an argument that the club will look for cheaper alternatives, but that has not stopped them being linked to at least one big-money move to strengthen up front.
We take a look at three rumoured options for Ancelotti and Florentino Perez.
Harry Kane (Tottenham)
With Kane showing little sign of slowing down as he approaches 30, with a commitment to training and professionalism that could extend his career at the top for many years yet, the £100m that Tottenham reportedly want for Kane could prove to be a bargain.
Chairman Daniel Levy is said to prefer selling Kane to a club abroad rather than to a Premier League rival, though Erik ten Hag wants the England international at Old Trafford this summer.
Kane, too, is meant to want to remain in England, perhaps for his own comfort and maybe because he wants Alan Shearer’s Premier League scoring record for himself. Either way, he could be an exceptional player for either club.
Roberto Firmino (Liverpool)
Firmino might be the obvious and easy option. Boasting a wealth of experience and with the ability to play in a front three to the benefit of everyone around him, the Brazilian would be a goalscoring, like-for-like replacement, and on a budget.
While he would command hefty wages, he would come on a free transfer which would help Real accommodate both his signing, Bellingham’s, and perhaps another senior player to help Ancelotti in his pursuit of Barcelona next season.
Joselu has had a peripatetic career since he left Real Madrid more than a decade ago, but for three years at Alaves and then for Espanyol, he has scored at least 11 goals a season.
17 goals this season for his current club, and two in two for the national team, mark out the 33-year-old striker as a credible option for Real.
While few would expect him to lead the line on a regular basis, if they were to sign either 31-year-old Firmino or Kane, he would be an option to reduce the weight of exertion on just one striker over the course of a demanding season on many fronts.