It’s quite something when you hear Manchester City – a club with the wealth of entire state behind them – can’t afford a player.
After teasing us with the suggestion he might not look to replace Sergio Aguero at all this summer, Pep Guardiola has now claimed the strikers he’d hoped to recruit are simply too expensive.
City’s pursuit of Tottenham forward Harry Kane has been public knowledge for some time, while Dortmund hotshot Erling Haaland is also rumoured to be on their summer wish list.
With the pair’s respective clubs undoubtedly commanding lofty fees probably in excess of £120m, 90min has taken a look at the ‘cheaper’ options available to City this summer.
Southampton striker Danny Ings may not be the most glamorous name on this list, but when you consider he’s scored 34 goals in his last 67 Premier League games and he’s playing in a team that will offer him nowhere near as many chances as City could, he really should be an option.
The former Liverpool man recently turned down a new deal on the south coast so could be available at a cut-price fee, and at just 28 years of age he may well still have the best football of his career ahead of him.
Alexander Isak has been making waves in La Liga with Real Sociedad for the past few seasons, and with Borussia Dortmund reportedly not interested in exercising their buy-back clause he should be on every big club’s summer wish list.
The young Sweden international was one of the most exciting players to watch at Euro 2020 prior to his side’s elimination, and with a release clause rumoured to be worth €70m (£60m) he’s hardly cheap but in comparison to the likes of Haaland and Kane he’s a bargain.
Isak’s ability and physical prowess means he can perform just about any role you ask of him and at just 21 he’s destined to become an even bigger star.
Gerard Moreno has scored consistently throughout his career, but the last two seasons have really seen him hit his stride.
The Villarreal man has notched a whopping 50 goals in 83 games across all competitions and at 29 he looks to be playing the best football of his career.
His profile is bound to have rocketed following Villarreal’s Europa League win and his appearances at Euro 2020, but he’d be a relatively cheap option for Guardiola and there’s plenty of Spanish teammates in the City squad who could help him settle in.
Lautaro Martinez is probably closer to the Kane and Haaland price range than most of the players on this list, but given Inter’s financial woes it’s not out of the question that City could get themselves a relative bargain.
It seems absolutely absurd that the Serie A champions would sell one of their prized assets, but given they’d still have Romelu Lukaku and they’ve just sold one of the best wing-backs in the world in Achraf Hakimi to try and generate funds, who knows?
Andrea Belotti’s strike rate during his time at Torino is incredible, given the fact he’s hardly leading the line for a Champions League team.
Many big clubs have been sniffing around the Italian international over the years, but so far Torino have managed to keep hold of their main man.
At 27 they’ll know it won’t be too many more years before his valuation starts to decrease, and they could be tempted into parting company with the forward if the right offer comes in this summer.
Christophe Galtier’s departure from Lille after their incredible Ligue 1 triumph has led many to speculate over whether the club could lose some of their key players this summer too.
Jonathan David undoubtedly falls into that category after the youngster bagged double figures in his first season in France.
The 21-year-old might not have the eye-watering stats of some of the other forwards on this list but he’s got bags of potential and his versatility is definitely something that will appeal to Guardiola.
Let’s be honest, one look at Wout Weghorst and you instantly think to yourself ‘he’s not a Guardiola player’, but he’s so much more than just a big lump of a centre-forward.
His touch and hold-up play is central to Wolfsburg’s style of play and his goalscoring record is fantastic for a man who offers so much more than just goals.
Weghorst has 53 goals in 100 Bundesliga games since moving to Germany and, while he won’t be cheap, he’ll command nowhere near the fees Guardiola seems to have been quoted already this summer.
This one is a proper wild card but bear with us.
Antoine Griezmann has hardly set the world alight since moving to Barcelona two years ago but it’s easy to forget what a brilliant player he can be on his day.
Similar to Inter, Barcelona are in a financial mess, the only difference is Barça’s problems are ten times worse. The La Liga giants have already been told they can’t register any of their summer signings because they’ve exceeded the league’s salary cap and so departures are a must.
If they can’t flog enough of their fringe players then some of the high-earners are going to have to go and Griezmann is definitely one of those.