Delima Posted May 10, 2007 Share Posted May 10, 2007 Very Interesting Read. Michael Owen is available The Guardian Ten top strikers for sale this summer The Premiership's "big four" all need a new forward - our writers help them with their search across Europe and South America. The Guardian May 10, 2007 1:00 AM Samuel Eto'o 26 Barcelona, Spain £45m Ever since Eto'o's furious outburst against Ronaldinho, Frank Rijkaard and the "civil war" at Barcelona, his future at Camp Nou has been under question. Although he says he wants to stay there is a belief that he and Ronaldinho cannot continue together. The president, Joan Laporta, wants to keep Eto'o but other members of the board do not agree. The Cameroon international has few real allies in the dressing room and even Rijkaard's patience has been tested by his refusal to come off the bench as a late substitute against Santander in February. Barcelona have sounded out possible buyers but, having paid £25m to get him from Mallorca (and Real Madrid, who owned 50%), they would expect a fee in excess of £40m. He certainly has the talent, physical fitness and desire to succeed in England. Indeed, he would welcome the English style, as his recent snipe suggests. "Fancy flicks and back-heels are fine," he said, "but it's goals that win matches." He possesses an almost pathological will to win. David Villa 25 Valencia, Spain £50m Villa has been a superb striker for a long time but this is the year that the rest of Europe, and England in particular, has really noticed him. He has it all: pace, skill, vision, strength and wonderful finishing. He scored 25 league goals in his first season at Valencia and this season he heads the assist charts. His agent has called for Valencia to increase his wages if he is to stay at Mestalla but the club are unlikely to match his demands and he feels he deserves a move to a bigger club. Although he has straight-batted all transfer talk, he has been careful not to close the door on a move. "Let's see what happens in the summer," he says. "Right now I want to concentrate on playing for Valencia." He would rather stay in Spain, though, and a move to Real Madrid or Barcelona would be more attractive than one to the Premiership. Dimitar Berbatov 26 Tottenham Hotspur £27m If any Premiership player could instantly enhance either Manchester United or Chelsea, it is surely Berbatov. Both teams must be kicking themselves that they were beaten to what was surely the signing of the season last summer at the bargain price of £10.9m. Interestingly United are understood to have been only a few hours too late with an approach for Berbatov. His silky touch and ability to create, as well as score goals, has evoked comparisons with Thierry Henry but he lacks the Arsenal captain's electrifying speed. He makes up for this with wonderful vision, although he would probably fit better alongside Didier Drogba than Wayne Rooney, who often works in the same areas of the pitch as the Bulgarian. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar 23 Ajax, Netherlands £18m There is a long tradition of Holland's best strikers making a mark in English football and scouts from all of the Premiership's top clubs have visited the Amsterdam Arena this season to see the player known as "The Hunter". Huntelaar replaced Ruud van Nistelrooy in the national team after the World Cup and it was widely accepted that Marco van Basten made a mistake by not including the clinical finisher in his squad last summer. Barcelona, Valencia, Lyon and Juventus have been monitoring the progress of a player who has accumulated more goals than any other forward in Europe over the last two years, scoring at a remarkable rate of three in every four games in the Dutch league. At 23 Huntelaar is one of Europe's most coveted players and, as such, it might need £18m to acquire his signature. Luca Toni 29 Fiorentina, Italy £12m The reigning European Golden Boot winner has a scoring record that would interest any of the top English clubs but it has been widely reported in Germany that he has, in principle, agreed to a £12m move to Bayern Munich at the end of the season. Toni, a World Cup winner with Italy last year, became the first Italian since 1934 to score 30 goals in Serie A last season and the Fiorentina striker, who will be 30 later this month, has enhanced his reputation with another 16 this term. Milan, Internazionale and Juventus are all hoping to persuade him to remain in Italy but there have been no reported bids from England, possibly because of the lack of success historically that Italian strikers have had in the Premiership. He scored twice in last year's World Cup. Afonso Alves 26 Heerenveen, Netherlands £8m-£10m It is impossible to ignore the sheer weight of goals plundered by Afonso Alves this term. His five hat-tricks and 34 strikes in 31 league games have inflated the Brazilian's price tag. In January Manchester City were scouting him but now he is being touted around the Premiership's top four, with Chelsea thought to be his most likely destination. Powerful and quick, Alves boasts clear qualities and a hammer of a right foot which has been just as prolific from dead-balls as open play. He joined Heerenveen for £3m last summer and has proved a fine replacement for Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who moved to Ajax a year ago. "Huntelaar made the team play better but Alves can decide a match with an individual piece of brilliance," said Heerenveen's coach, Gertjan Verbeek. "He has phenomenal qualities." Michael Owen 27 Newcastle United £9m Owen's return from knee ligament surgery may be overdue for Newcastle United but timely for the former Liverpool and Real Madrid striker and his advisers. Owen has a £9m get-out clause in his contract and is about to play his third successive Newcastle match, at Watford on Sunday. After that Owen will play for England possibly three times at B and full level and it represents a shop window of opportunity for him to show the heartiness of his recovery from the injury he sustained against Sweden at last summer's World Cup in Germany. He has said that he has returned stronger, particularly in the upper body region, than before and he has looked mentally and physically sharp in the two games he has played so far. However, his salary of £115,000 a week is sure to put off some potential purchasers. Miroslav Klose 28 Werder Bremen, Germany £10m The only man to score five or more goals in successive World Cup final tournaments pledged to fulfil his contract at Werder Bremen last week, though the suspicion remains that he will leave the Bundesliga this summer. "I want to experience life outside the Bundesliga," he said in January and, given his prowess in the air, England seems the obvious destination. Klose is both an instinctive finisher and a potent link man, dropping deep and combining well with his midfield. He can also hold the ball up as a lone striker and, if he lacks pace, he is technically proficient and has scored 33 times for his country. Bayern Munich had been expected to buy him but Werder will not permit his transfer to a Bundesliga club. Yet he has only 12 months to run on his contract and a move abroad appears inevitable. Carlos Tevez 23 West Ham United £18m After the controversy following his signing, Tevez looks highly likely to leave West Ham regardless of whether the club avoid relegation on Sunday. He made a slow start but his quality has surfaced over the past two months. Most striking is his non-stop work-rate which would make him an ideal foil for a less energetic and more physically dominant forward. He would work well alongside Didier Drogba, although following his Argentina team-mate Javier Mascherano to Liverpool might be his ideal destination to play in partnership with Dirk Kuyt or Peter Crouch. His style is reminiscent of Gianfranco Zola and he would surely become a firm favourite at Anfield. His goal-scoring record suggests he would be best suited to working in partnership with a more traditional "No9" style of forward. Fernando Torres 23 Atlético Madrid, Spain £35m Atlético's director of sport recently admitted it was ridiculous for Torres still to be at the club. "The Kid" could - and probably should - have moved on but, an Atlético fan, he is determined to play in Europe with his boyhood team. But that dream keeps getting postponed and Torres is getting impatient. He now privately questions the wisdom of having waited this long but says he would never play for another Spanish club and believes a transfer to England is ideal. Quick and strong, he would need to adapt his game, though. Alternatively, take a punt on a kid from South America ... Neri Cardozo 20 Boca Juniors, Argentina Arguably more impressive than his Argentina team-mate Lionel Messi in the 2005 World Youth Championship, he helped fire Boca Juniors to the top of the 2006 Apertura - Argentina's winter tournament, which runs from August to December - and has so far scored six goals in the Clausura (February-June championship). Can play as a midfielder or striker, and made his senior international debut last month against Chile. Missed the final of the World Youth Championship two years ago because of suspension. Oscar Cardozo 23 Newell's Old Boys, Argentina A former player with Club Nacional in his homeland of Paraguay, he has scored 20 goals in his first season with Newell's Old Boys after moving for $1.2m (£600,000). He scored 27 times in 63 games for Nacional last season and was named 2006 Paraguayan Footballer of the Year. The tall striker will lead the line for his country in this year's Copa América in Venezuela and has already caught the eye of some of Europe's top clubs. He won his first international cap last October in a friendly against Australia. Nilmar 22 Corinthians, Brazil Nilmar was signed by Lyon in 2004 but was loaned back to Brazil the following year when the French club bought his compatriot, Fred. At Corinthians he quickly proved to be the best striker in the country. He played alongside Carlos Tevez and impressed so much that he almost made the 2006 Olympic squad. But he has been dogged by injury. He missed seven months last year because of a right knee problem and this year he has had an operation on his left knee, from which he is not expected to return until September. Alexandre Pato 17 Internacional, Brazil Scored on his professional debut last November and a month later helped Internacional win the Fifa Club World Cup in Tokyo. A youth international, he was Brazil's top scorer when they won the South American Youth Championship this year and Ronaldinho has picked him out as a future star. Pato means duck and although widely referred to as "Alex the Duck" he does not have webbed feet; the nickname is because he was born in the town of Pato Branco. He has said his dream is to play in Italy and be as good as Ronaldo. Link to post Share on other sites More sharing options...
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