After 14 trophy-laden years at Real Madrid, Karim Benzema has bid an emotional farewell to the club.
Benzema has joined Saudi Arabian side Al Ittihad on a two-year deal and Madrid now need to fill the void left by his departure.
The Spanish giants don’t have a recognised central striker in their senior squad and a new No.9 will be their priority in the summer transfer window.
We’ve taken a look at eight strikers Madrid might now target, including a few realistic names and some more ambitious moves.
Despite Tottenham’s struggles in 2022/23, Kane cemented his status as one of the best strikers in the world by scoring 30 goals in 38 Premier League appearances.
According to The Athletic, Ancelotti directly asked for the 29-year-old during a recent board meeting at the club’s training ground.
He has entered the final year of his Tottenham contract and could follow in the footsteps of Luka Modric and Gareth Bale by swapping north London for Madrid.
While Manchester United also have a long-standing interest in Kane, Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is reportedly refusing to sell his prized asset to a domestic rival and that could work in Madrid’s favour.
But the England international won’t come cheap as Levy will still quote Madrid a starting price of €100million.
Havertz, who can play as a striker or as a No.10, has been on Madrid’s radar since his Bayer Leverkusen days and could now replace Benzema.
Admittedly, he isn’t a prolific goalscorer like the France international and netted just nine goals in 47 appearances for Chelsea in 2022/23.
But the Germany international is blessed with excellent technical qualities and has a good habit of popping up with important goals, including the winner against Manchester City in the 2021 Champions League final.
While he has struggled to live up to expectations at Stamford Bridge, German outlet Bild claim that Ancelotti and Madrid president Florentino Perez are both big admirers of the 23-year-old.
According to The Guardian, Havertz has already told Chelsea chiefs he wants to move on this summer for a fresh challenge. The Blues have reportedly set a £75million asking price as they look to generate funds.
Having already spent an initial €100m on Jude Bellingham, Madrid may have to consider a low-cost striker option and Firmino fits the bill.
The 31-year-old will officially become a free agent at the start of next month after bringing the curtain down on an eight-year spell with Liverpool.
Despite struggling with injury problems in recent seasons, he still has plenty to offer and registered 11 goals and four assists in 25 Premier League appearances in 2022/23.
Fabrizio Romano recently revealed that Madrid have held internal discussions about the Brazil international, who has also been linked with Barcelona, AC Milan and Inter Milan.
While Erling Haaland has reportedly been earmarked as Benzema’s long-term replacement, Firmino could be a useful stop-gap option.
Bobby Firmino's final goal for the club pic.twitter.com/AjQkOZgB0C
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 28, 2023
Martinez has enjoyed his best individual campaign in an Inter Milan shirt, registering 28 goals and 11 assists in 56 appearances.
His goals helped Inter win the Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa Italiana and also put them in the 2023 Champions League final, where they will face Manchester City.
The 25-year-old, who was part of Argentina’s World Cup-winning squad, is now entering the prime of his career and could be on the move this summer.
According to The Athletic’s Mario Cortegana, Madrid recently approached Inter and asked for more information about the striker.
While Inter don’t want to let him leave, they need to raise money through player sales to balance the books and have reportedly set an asking price of £70million.
Valhovic shot to prominence at Fiorentina in 2021, establishing himself as one of the best young strikers in the world.
He joined Juventus in a £66.6million deal in January 2022 but has struggled to live up to expectations, scoring 23 goals in 63 appearances for the club.
But the Serbia international is arguably being hindered by Max Allegri’s tactics and a move away could help him return to the form and promise he showed in Florence.
According to reports in Spain, Madrid haven’t been put off by his recent struggles and are considering a move for the striker.
Having failed to secure Champions League qualification, Juventus need to adjust their wage structure and are reportedly willing to sell the 23-year-old for around €80million.
One of the hottest properties in world football, Osimhen just spearheaded Napoli to their first Serie A title since the 1989/90 season.
The 24-year-old striker registered 26 goals and five assists in 32 league appearances in 2022/23 and also contributed five Champions League goals.
According to reports in Spain, Madrid have already held preliminary talks with the Nigerian’s representatives over a potential move.
His impressive form has also attracted interest from Manchester United, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich.
But Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis is determined to keep hold of their talisman and has reportedly set a €150million asking price.
Mbappe looked set to join Madrid on a free transfer last summer before a dramatic U-turn saw him sign a new contract at Paris Saint-Germain.
He then registered 41 goals and 10 assists in 2022/23 and won the Ligue 1 Player of the Year award for the fourth time in a row.
While Madrid might now want to reignite their interest in the 24-year-old, he has committed his short-term future to the French club.
“Next season I’ll be playing at PSG,” he said. “I have one year left on my contract and I’m going to honour my contract.”
Madrid will continue to monitor his situation as the forward reportedly has no interest in triggering a one-year extension to his current deal, which expires in the summer of 2024.
Mbappé back after injury and doing what he does best ✨
That cheeky nutmeg 😮💨 pic.twitter.com/UQZ7pAI8A0
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 19, 2023
Widely regarded as the best striker in the world, Haaland has enjoyed a remarkable debut season at Manchester City.
The Norway international registered 52 goals and nine assists in 52 appearances in all competitions, breaking several records along the way.
He’s already helped City win the Premier League and the FA Cup in 2022/23 and will now be hoping to fire them to glory in the Champions League final.
According to The Daily Telegraph, Pep Guardiola’s side are set to offer the 22-year-old a contract extension to fend off interest from Madrid.
While Haaland appears destined to represent Madrid one day, he is settled in Manchester and has no plans to leave after one solitary season.