After a quiet January transfer window, we could be set for a blockbuster summer window as numerous elite clubs prepare to enter the market for a new centre-forward.
Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea are just some of the Premier League teams who could complete big striker deals in preparation for the 2024-25 season. Here, TEAMtalk has taken a look at some of the most prolific centre-forwards that are gearing up for their next move.
Benjamin Sesko has been on the radar of Europe’s biggest and best clubs ever since he was banging in the goals for Red Bull Salzburg, which led to comparisons with Erling Haaland.
Sesko swapped Salzburg for their sister club RB Leipzig last summer. It has taken the Slovenia international some time to get used to life in Germany, but he has made the headlines recently with Bundesliga goals against Stuttgart and Union Berlin. Those strikes have led to renewed interest in the 20-year-old’s next step.
During Ralf Rangnick’s time at Old Trafford, Man Utd were tipped to make a move for him. However, it is likely that Sesko will end up at one of their English rivals.
Sources have confirmed to TEAMtalk that Sesko is a target for Chelsea amid Mauricio Pochettino’s search for a new striker to lead his forward line.
The Blues are big fans of Victor Osimhen but would have to match his huge €130million (£111m) release clause to sign him from Napoli. With an exit clause of just €50m (£42.7m), Sesko would be far cheaper to sign.
While Sesko has not exactly lit the Bundesliga up, he is still expected to emerge into one of the best strikers in Europe when he reaches his full potential. After all, he is still only 20 and has plenty of time to develop.
Ivan Toney had been heavily tipped to leave Brentford for fellow London side Arsenal in January, following his return from a betting ban. But Bees manager Thomas Frank soon revealed that Toney would not be going anywhere.
The player himself has revealed his desire to pay Brentford back for the faith they have shown in him by shining over the next six months. Although, it is expected that the Englishman will be playing under Mikel Arteta next term.
Brentford are trying to engineer a new contract for Toney which would include an £80m release clause. Given the fact Arteta is desperate for a new striker to join, Arsenal are highly likely to match that price and make Toney their new No 9.
The 27-year-old is a lifelong Liverpool fan, but he has also admitted to following Arsenal closely as he likes the way they play. Therefore, Toney would be delighted to represent the North London outfit.
A switch to Arsenal would give Toney the opportunity to play Champions League football and also give himself a better shot at adding to his one and only England cap.
Santiago Gimenez has been incredible since arriving at Feyenoord in July 2022. After managing 28 goals in 50 games last season, he looks set to do even better this term as he is already on 21 strikes from just 27 appearances. That includes Eredivisie hat-tricks against Ajax and Excelsior, too.
West Ham United were tipped to launch a big-money move for Gimenez in January, but that offer did not materialise. And West Ham are now at serious risk of losing out on the 22-year-old to Tottenham.
Ange Postecoglou is understood to be a huge fan of Gimenez and is keen to bring him to England.
Tottenham will not have to break the bank to land Gimenez either, as Feyenoord have set his price tag at a reasonable £42.7m. In the current market, that represents good value for a player who is enjoying arguably the form of his life.
Tottenham already bolstered their forward ranks in January by landing Timo Werner on loan from RB Leipzig, and they have the option to sign him permanently this summer. But Werner has struggled in the Premier League previously and if Postecoglou is not fully convinced on him then Gimenez would be a great alternative.
The manager can also use the in-form Richarlison and Son Heung-min up front. However, Son is one of the top targets for the Saudi Pro League, and if that devastating move happens then landing Gimenez will provide Richarlison with the cover and competition he needs up front.
New Man Utd part-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe is on the lookout for a striker who can play alongside Rasmus Hojlund and take some of the pressure off his shoulders – this is where Joshua Zirkzee comes in.
As per transfer insider Ben Jacobs, Ratcliffe and Man Utd have already made contact with Bologna to see if they can snare Zirkzee.
Man Utd have been convinced to move for the 22-year-old following his impressive impact for Bologna. Since swapping Bayern Munich for the Italian club in August 2022, Zirkzee has defied his years by leading their forward line brilliantly.
Zirkzee does not possess the most devastating record, with nine goals coming his way in 24 matches so far this season. But if his dominant performances continue, then goals will come.
Plus, Zirkzee’s leadership has impressed both Erik ten Hag and Ratcliffe, as it is an important quality they both look for. Last month, he captained Bologna in their 1-1 Serie A draw with Genoa, despite being one of the younger players in the squad.
Arsenal and Aston Villa have also been linked with the Dutchman, but it is currently Man Utd leading the charge.
Napoli star Victor Osimhen has been regarded as Chelsea’s top striker target in recent months after dominating Serie A since moving from Lille in September 2020.
Osimhen’s best season came in 2022-23, when he notched 26 goals in 32 games to help Napoli win their first Scudetto since the days of Diego Maradona.
Napoli have managed to tie Osimhen down to a new contract, and it includes the aforementioned £111m release clause.
Pochettino would love it if Chelsea broke their transfer record yet again by capturing Osimhen, though Todd Boehly is leaning towards Sesko at this point. All is not lost for Osimhen, however.
The Nigerian has emerged on Paris Saint-Germain’s radar as they prepare for life after Kylian Mbappe. Mbappe is getting closer to finally signing for Real Madrid, after the Spanish giants failed to land him on several occasions in the past.
PSG believe Osimhen has the ability to largely replace Mbappe’s goals, even though he might not be quite as electric to watch. Osimhen is not the only player PSG view as a potential successor to Mbappe, as they are also keeping tabs on AC Milan’s Rafael Leao.
In terms of other strikers who could secure big summer moves, honourable mentions must go to Dusan Vlahovic, Brian Brobbey, Serhou Guirassy, Jonathan David, Evan Ferguson and Viktor Gyokeres. Top clubs should look at some of those in-form strikers if they miss out on their prime targets.