World Football: Adebayor to Return to Man City, Who Will Replace Him in Madrid?

Sean DowlingContributor IIIMay 5, 2011

World Football: Adebayor to Return to Man City, Who Will Replace Him in Madrid?

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    MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 05:  Emmanuel Adebayor of Real Madrid celebrates scoring his second goal during the UEFA Champions League quarter final first leg match between Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on April 5, 2011 in Madrid
    Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

    Emmanuel Adebayor's loan deal with Real Madrid has reached its conclusion. According to Marca, he will return to Manchester City because Madrid isn't interested in signing him for the transfer fee of $14.2 million.

    The 27-year-old Togolese striker will depart after playing only 280 minutes this season and scoring just twice in La Liga. 

    Even with just one trophy this season finishing second to Barca domestically and having their hated rivals knock them out of Europe, this season has to be considered a mild failure for Madrid.

    No doubt there's money to be spent in the summer, and Jose Mourinho will be hungry to fill the trophy case at the Santiago Bernabeau. Here is a list of possible replacements for Adebayor now that we know he won't being wearing white next year.

Fernando Llorente

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    BARCELONA, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 20:  Fernando Llorente of Athletic Bilbao runs with the ball during the warm up prior La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao at Camp Nou on February 20, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona won 2-1.  (Photo by Da
    David Ramos/Getty Images

    The Spaniard has been linked with a move to the Spanish capital in the past after impressive performances for Spain.

    He's been in good form this season, scoring 16 goals in La Liga. He's been at Athletic Bilbao since '05, and it's likely he'll swap the Basque region for a big money transfer this summer.

Diego Forlan

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    MADRID, SPAIN - JANUARY 20:  Diego Forlan of Atletico Madrid reacts during the Copa del Rey quarter final second leg match between Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid at Vicente Calderon Stadium on January 20, 2011 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Get
    Denis Doyle/Getty Images

    The Uruguayan wasn't very impressive at Old Trafford a few years back, but that is a distant memory for the Golden Ball winner of last year's World Cup. Diego has thrived in La Liga and won the prestigious Pichichi twice.

    There is speculation that Forlan will leave Atletico after this season and possibly return to Manchester to play for the Red Devils. I'm sure Forlan will stick around long enough to see if his crosstown rivals are interested...

Didier Drogba

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 20: Didier Drogba of Chelsea celebrates Salomon Kalou's goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Birmingham City at Stamford Bridge on April 20, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Image
    Julian Finney/Getty Images

    Didier Drogba is a proven world class striker. The thought of him reuniting with Mourinho in Madrid next season is realistic. Drogba has struggled with injury and a bout with malaria this season, but still is second in the EPL in assists and has scored 11 goals, and is still one of the most feared strikers in the world.

    Didier's work ethic and scoring prowess would make any team have him on their wish list. With Fernando Torres just arriving three months ago in West London, and Drogba approaching 34, a couple seasons in Madrid make sense before his retirement.

Hulk

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    PORTO, PORTUGAL - APRIL 28:  Givalnildo Vieira 'Hulk' of FC Porto reacts during the UEFA Europa League semi final first leg match between FC Porto and Villarreal at Estadio do Dragao on April 28, 2011 in Porto, Portugal.  (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Im
    Angel Martinez/Getty Images

    The powerful Porto star will be available to the highest bidder this summer. Not sure how much the transfer fee would be but nonetheless he could be a great supplementary striker to any attack.

    His physical play and pace make him in demand for some of England's biggest clubs. Madrid have also been rumored to be interested. Hulk scored 22 goals in 25 games this season and is only 24 years old.

Neymar

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 27:  Neymar of Brazil on the ball during the International friendly match between Brazil and Scotland at Emirates Stadium on March 27, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
    Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

    The next Ronaldo, the next Pele, the next Ronaldinho, the list and comparisons go on and on.

    Neymar needs to get to Europe so fans can actually see if these comparisons are indeed true. He's still at Santos, and the 19-year-old has been linked with numerous clubs including Chelsea and Real Madrid. He has stated that "only God knows where I'll play next season." So I guess only time will tell where the young phenom ends up.

Edinson Cavani

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    PALERMO, ITALY - APRIL 23:  Edinson Cavani of Napoli celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Serie A match between US Citta di Palermo and SSC Napoli at Stadio Renzo Barbera on April 23, 2011 in Palermo, Italy.  (Photo by Tullio M. Puglia/Get
    Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images

    Another  Uruguayan scoring goals for fun makes the list. Cavani is second in Serie A with 26 goals and is the prime reason Napoli are sitting in third place behind Inter, trailing only by one point.

    Cavani is a big striker with poise in front of goal. He's only 24, so it's only a matter of time before he leaves Napoli for a bigger club, and his demand and value will never be worth more than it is now.

Carlos Tevez

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    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 03:  Carlos Tevez of Manchester City in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Sunderland at the City of Manchester Stadium on April 3, 2011 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/G
    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Carlitos has a knack for bailing on his clubs after two or three seasons. With Emmanuel Adebayor returning to Manchester City, this will cause confusion for the strikers on the roster.

    With Adebayor, Tevez and Balotelli, there just aren't enough footballs to go around. Tevez may not be the man for Mourinho, but I'm sure Madrid would at least be interested after he netted 19 goals in 28 games in the Premier League this season.

Samuel Eto'o

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    PARMA, ITALY - APRIL 16:  Samuel Eto'o of Inter Milan dejected during the Serie A match between Parma FC and FC Internazionale Milano at Stadio Ennio Tardini on April 16, 2011 in Parma, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
    Claudio Villa/Getty Images

    Samuel Eto'o with a shock return to Madrid, to reunite with Mourinho?! This is realistic, and he will be available.

    World class player, won the Champions League twice and would entertain the thought of a return to Madrid. Oh not to mention another ho-hum 20 goal season in Serie A, and he has his club in second place after an abysmal start to the campaign. 

Papiss Demba Cisse

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    Twenty-two in 30. That's SC Freiburg striker Pappis Cisse's goals and appearances this season in Bundesliga. He's second in the league in scoring and currently has his club in seventh spot.

    He's already been linked with Arsenal and other English clubs, but it remains to be seen where the efficient 25-year-old Senegalese striker lands.

Romelu Lukaku

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    The 17-year-old Anderlecht star is poised to make a move in the summer. He's been linked with many clubs including Chelsea and Madrid thus far amongst others.

    Mourinho doesn't have a history of chasing youngsters, he generally prefers established vets but Madrid will be interested where the phenom lands.

    The young Belgian has been dubbed the future of European football, and been labeled "the next Drogba."