Premier League champions Manchester City have turned their attention to Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain. The Mirror believes the Argentine international is now a priority signing for Etihad officials, who would like him to link up with compatriots Sergio Agüero and Carlos Tevez.
Higuain, 25, has struggled to impose himself in Madrid's first team this season, with only nine goals in 17 La Liga appearances. The former River Plate youngster has also failed to reach the heights of last season, when he scored 22 times and had seven assists from 35 league games.
City are believed to be readying for a massive summer sale of some of their top stars and have previously been linked with Radamel Falcao and Edinson Cavani. However, the two combined will cost in the region of £100m, whereas Higuain is valued at approximately £25m.
That price for someone who has scored 100 league goals in the cauldron of the Santiago Bernabeu (from only 169 appearances) should represent considerable value for money.
Higuain has already been linked with City - an earlier report by the Mirror, during the summer, suggested he could be a £35m alternative to ex-Arsenal forward Robin van Persie. He was also linked with a £24m switch to Chelsea in January, when the Blues were looking for replacements for Daniel Sturridge.
City have Bosnian international Edin Dzeko, in addition to Agüero and Tevez but reports suggest the latter will reject a contract extension (his present deal expires in 2014) in order to return to Boca Juniors, meaning Roberto Mancini may prefer to release the 29-year-old this summer, for a token fee, rather than lose him on a free transfer next year. City also have promising Swedish striker John Guidetti in reserve. The 20-year-old forward, who scored 20 goals in 23 appearances on loan at Dutch side Feyenoord last season, is nearing full recovery from a mystery illness that affected his right leg.
Dzeko, increasingly, appears to be something of a fringe player at the club. Nevertheless, his return of 12 goals from 23 Premier League appearances (11 starts) indicates he is a quality forward. Dzeko did attract interest in the January transfer window, with Serie A giants AC Milan touted as a possible destination. However, the Rossoneri instead signed Italy international Mario Balotelli.
Dzeko therefore remains at the Etihad. However, he could be used as pawn in City's chase of Polish striker Robert Lewandowski. The 26-year-old Bosnian made his name with Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga, for whom he scored 64 goals in 111 league appearances. The Mirror believes his services could be offered to German champions Borussia Dortmund, in return for Lewandowski.
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