Top 5: Realistic summer transfer targets

Forget Cristiano Ronaldo, Radamel Falcao & Edinson Cavani - these are realistic striker targets

Patrick Surlis
Published 04/02/2013 15:20 by Patrick Surlis, read by 57,382 people.

Manchester United fans forget Cristiano Ronaldo, Chelsea supporters cast aside hopes of wearing that Radamel Falcao number nine shirt, Manchester City fans extinguish those lingering ambitions for a season spearheaded by Edinson Cavani.

Because these blockbuster summer transfers are just far too unlikely to ever bother getting your hopes up over. 

With the advent of Financial Fair Play they'll become rarer and rarer as the utility of a sugar-daddy owner gradually erodes. 

Clubs with the big revenue streams, the likes of Manchester United and Real Madrid, will still make the biggest waves in the market, while Manchester City and Chelsea will retain the ability to invest heavily under the right circumstances. 

But the days of outright spending, of expenditure without regard for income, are drawing to a close.

Consider the 2013 January transfer window. Manchester United invested in the future (£15m Wilfried Zaha), Manchester City offloaded a troublesome asset (£19m Mario Balotelli), Chelsea went to the bargain bucket (£7m Demba Ba), and Arsenal did what Arsenal tend to do - get good value (£10m Nacho Monreal).

Two of the three biggest spenders, Newcastle and Queens Park Rangers, took a massive punt on Premier League survival, while Brendan Rodgers was given the reins to re-shape his Liverpool squad after his summer arrival.

Will this become a trend? With Premier League survival worth tens of millions, and Champions League qualification largely a case of five clubs into four places, will the battle at the bottom actually become the domain of the big spenders?

Splashing out £50m on a new striker now shows up on the balance sheet, at least in theory. Clubs will have to be savvier in the transfer market to stay within the Fair Play guidelines.

That could see a few more Demba Ba type signings, and a couple less 2011 Fernando Torres style purchases.

With that in mind, GMF considers five realistic summer striker arrivals for the top Premier League clubs.

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