Let’s assume the rumours of Real Madrid’s ‘agreement’ to sign Robert Lewandowski this summer are true.
Sandro Wagner has his qualities but Bayern Munich would surely reinvest in top tier goalscorer before the start of the 2018/19 season.
Here we take a look at seven possible replacements for Lewandowski, from the sublime to the ridiculous…
1 Michy Batshuayi
Bayern have a history of cherry-picking Borussia Dortmund’s prize talent but this summer the Bavarian giants could take it to a whole new level.
Batshuayi has excelled on loan to Dortmund, proven himself capable of scoring goals in the Bundesliga.
If Chelsea decide to offload the Belgian international, imagine if Bayern swoop Dortmund’s best player before he was even officially theirs.
2 Mauro Icardi
Previously linked with Real Madrid, Bayern may choose to replace Lewandowski with the man the Polish target man leapfrogged in the Galactico queue.
Icardi recently brought up his century of Inter Milan goals in just his 172nd game for the club.
His relationship with the Inter fans has been strained in the past and if Bayern came calling you couldn’t see him turning them down.
3 Roberto Firmino
The New York Times’ Rory Smith inadvertently started this rumour by correctly suggesting Firmino’s style would suit Bayern’s system.
The Brazilian has upped his goal output this season and having made his name in the Bundesliga with Hoffenheim, familiarity with the league would not be an issue.
A prosperous World Cup would raise his profile further but after letting Philippe Coutinho join Barcelona, Liverpool would be extremely reluctant to sell another of their key players.
4 Timo Werner
The RB Leipzig forward is set to lead the line for World Cup favourites Germany in Russia.
At just 22-years-old, he’s one of the most-wanted forwards of his generation and given Bayern’s penchant for hoarding the Bundesliga’s best players, this transfer feels like a matter of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’.
5 Antoine Griezmann
They may have to fight off Barcelona and Man United but with Lewandowski money to play with, Bayern could be in the mix for the Frenchman’s signature.
Kingsley Coman and Corentin Tolisso may drop a word in Griezmann’s ear this summer; not that the luxuries of playing for Bayern are a secret.
6 Dries Mertens
The cheap option is far from the most risky.
Since Mertens transformed from a winger to a centre-forward, the goals haven’t stopped flowing — 55 in his last 84 games.
The diminutive Belgian has an outrageously affordable release clause (approx £25m) and would thrive when provided with the service expected for Bayern’s No9.
It may hinge on whether Napoli win Serie A or not…
7 Karim Benzema
How’s this for a curveball?
Why not ask for Benzema as part of the Lewandowski deal?
That way, Bayern still massage their finances, and they also inherit a proper No9 with a bursting trophy cabinet to show for his efforts over the last 13 years.
Having lived to serve Cristiano Ronaldo for the last few seasons, a return to the Lyon-era predator could equate to a 30-goal season haul.
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