Karim Benzema ended his illustrious 14-year career at Real Madrid as he announced his exit on Sunday, June 4. The Ballon d'Or winner hinted at a potential extension last week but shocked the football world with his sudden decision to leave Santiago Bernabeu on a free transfer. Fans are already wondering who will be Benzema's replacement as it will take the Los Blancos to break the bank to sign a striker of Benzema's caliber.
Real Madrid don't have a direct replacement available from the bench while forwards Marco Asensio, Mariano Diaz, and Eden Hazard are also set to leave the club at the end of this month. As expected, Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has reportedly shortlisted a six-man list to replace the French legend in the summer transfer window.
However, Ancelotti's list is missing Kylian Mbappe's name as the French forward committed his future with Paris Saint-Germain last month. Atalanta BC's Rasmus Hojlund, Espanyol's Joselu, and free agent Roberto Firmino make the list. But La Liga giants are likely to go for a high-profile signing to regain the title next season.
Here are 3 transfer targets for Real Madrid to replace Karim Benzema:
3. Victor Osimhen - Napoli
Napoli frontman has emerged as one of the most consistent goalscorers in European football in the last two years. Osimhen recorded 26 goals in just 32 Serie A matches to guide Napoli to a long-waited Serie A title last month.
The 24-year-old Nigerian also scored five Champions League goals in six games to further boost his transfer value. Napoli are demanding £140m for their star striker and are aware of Real Madrid's urgency to replace Benzema. However, Real Madrid are expected to face strong competition from Manchester United and Newcastle United for Osimhen's signature.
2. Harry Kane - Tottenham Hotspur
The England skipper scored 30 goals in English Premier League, but Tottenham Hotspur finished outside the top four, missing the next season's Champions League. Kane's trophyless career with North London giants continues and he will be 30 at the start of the next season.
Kane has only a year left in his contract with Spurs and the club director Daniel Levy is looking to avoid losing him on a free transfer. According to a report from Daily Mail, Tottenham are willing to sell their legendary striker but are asking for around £100m, which seems a fair demand considering his form.
1. Kai Havertz - Chelsea
The German ace endured a poor season with Chelsea with just seven goals and one assists in 35 league matches. He spent most of the minutes in the false nine roles but didn't get much support from the wing. However, Havertz, 23, has his best football days ahead of him and Chelsea are willing to sell him for just £52m.
Many sports news publications are indicating Havertz's imminent transfer to Spanish capitals but Chelsea are yet to receive an official offer for a versatile forward.