Star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s future at Paris Saint-Germain continues to be the subject of much conjecture (ESPNFC). The conjecture is there despite sporting director Leonardo strongly stating (ESPNFC) last week that he, the Swede and Ezequiel Lavezzi will all stay at the club this summer.
The main team being linked with the towering striker is former club Juventus, whom the talismanic presence left in the wake of the Calciopoli scandal in 2006.
For the moment then, PSG are holding firm, but the question remains: How do you replace a 30+ goals a season striker? Who do you look at?
A number of names have already been linked with the Parc des Princes outfit, with or without Ibrahimovic. But any potential replacement (or ally) for the Swede will have to wait until coach Carlo Ancelotti’s uncertain future is resolved (ESPNFC).
In the meantime, here are five candidates for the role.
Napoli’s Uruguayan hot-shot, Edinson Cavani, appears to be leading the short-list after stories emerged last week that the capital club have reached a provisional agreement with the 26 year old (ESPNFC).
They played down the report, but given that it comes from the same source that correctly claimed a deal between PSG and Lavezzi ahead of time, it likely has some credence.
Cavani would be a perfect signing for PSG in place of Ibrahimovic, given that the prolific Uruguayan international can score as many goals as the Swede.
However, he’d arguably be a better signing to play alongside the 31-year-old as Cavani does not have the same creative streak that Ibrahimovic possesses.
Another name, like Ibrahimovic’s, that is being linked with a host of European sides is that of Atletico Madrid’s Falcao.
The Colombian sensation stated his case to replace Ibra as early as January by claiming that he would be “interested” in a move to PSG (Sky Sports).
If the capital club lets the Swede leave, it will likely only be for someone as big a draw as the mercurial striker, and Falcao would fit that bill.
Competition would be fierce for the Colombian, but, like with Cavani, any big-money move this summer will have to wait until Ancelotti’s future is clear.
Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney is another player who has found himself linked with the big-spending capital club of late (the Express).
Though Michel Moulin's, of Le 10 Sport, claims of a “done deal” (ESPNFC) may be premature, there is a possibility that PSG will look to turn President Nasser Al-Khelaifi’s long-term interest in the 27-year-old into reality.
An ideal replacement for Ibrahimovic in that both enjoy a deeper role in the attack, a move for the Englishman would open up the potential for a move for a prolific striker to play alongside Rooney.
In terms of the Manchester United man’s chances of joining the club under Ancelotti, the Italian has already ruled out the possibility of seeing him at the Parc des Princes (Goal).
Given that Leonardo has already stated his intention is to look closer to home for as much talent as possible this summer, PSG could look to snare the highly rated Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Saint-Etienne.
The Gabonese international is the subject of intense speculation regarding his future (Sky Sports) and would represent a domestic coup for the capital club. Not to mention that he’d be much more affordable than a Cavani, Falcao or a Rooney.
The 23-year-old has been a revelation this season, scoring 19 league goals. PSG would be foolish not to pursue such a talent that close to their own doorstep.
Again, like Cavani, Aubameyang would likely make a better signing to play alongside Ibrahimovic and not in place of him.
The final man is Gonzalo Higuain, whose status is up in the air following his admission that his future at the Santiago Bernabeu remains unclear past the summer (Sky Sports).
The Argentine international holds a French passport, having been born in Brest, despite not speaking the language and could count as a domestic talent if signed by the club.
Higuain is a predatory striker and would be a perfect replacement for the Swede is he was to move on.
The club is not likely to let both go, so until a decision is made with regards to Los Merengues’ Portuguese pair, Higuain will be staying put.