EPL Transfer Rumors: Top 17 Forwards & Strikers Linked with England's Top Flight

Thomas Atzenhoffer@socceratzCorrespondent IIJuly 13, 2011

EPL Transfer Rumors: Top 17 Forwards & Strikers Linked with England's Top Flight

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    Let's face it, the guys that put the ball in the back of the net are the ones that every team wants to have. The last few years have seen some of the best attacking talent in the world join the English Premier League and this summer has set up to be the same way.

    Whether it is a hot young prospect that has had an exceptional season, or the seasoned veteran that still produces year after year, England is where the majority of the top talent truly want to be.

    England's fast paced game is well suited to many different attacking strengths, and it is no wonder why the list of top forwards and strikers possibly bound for the UK holds some of the biggest and brightest names in World Football.

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17. Pablo Osvaldo

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    Tottenham Hotspur continue to track Espanyol striker Pablo Osvaldo as they contemplate an official move for the player. He has only been a full time Espanyol player since August of last year, and he still has four years left on his contract, but the possible offer of £20 million from Spurs could do the trick.

    He has scored 20 goals in 44 league appearances for his club. Since moving to Spain he has developed into a deadly attacker, something that did not happen during his time in Italy before hand, and his stock has risen accordingly.

16. Diego Forlan

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    Last season saw Diego Forlan linked with a move to Harry Redknapps' Tottenham Hotspur. This January the idea was rekindled by the Gaurdian in the midst of the impending transfer of Fernando Torres to Chelsea.

    Forlan was thought to be the answer to the lack of production by the Spurs front line of Peter Crouch, Robbie Keane, Roman Pavlyuchenko and Jermaine Defoe. That low amount of production allowed new attacking midfielder Rafael Van Der Vaart to lead the team in scoring.

    Despite the belief that he wishes to return to England, he has stated that he would like to remain in Madrid and see out the remainder of his contract with Atletico. However, he continues to be linked with a move to London.

15. Hulk

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    The departure of FC Porto's previsous manager, Andre Villas-Boas, and his subsequent appointment as Chelsea manager has seen a number of his former players become unsettled.

    Before his move was finalized it was speculated that he would possibly raid his former club for his front line duo of Hulk and Radamel Falcao.

    Hulk has since garned more attention with Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City both having had eyes for him in the last few weeks.

    After scoring 23 goals in 26 league games last season, he is expected to demand a nice purse should he leave with Manchester City and Chelsea expected to be the most likely clubs in England for him.

14. Giuseppe Rossi

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    Manchester United at one time owned this now sought after American born Italian national. From 2004-07 Rossi failed to command a first eleven spot on Sir Alex Ferguson squad and he was sold to Villareal in Spain for the tune of £5 million.

    Since then he has never looked back, and after a break out 32-goal campaign last season it appears that Fergie could be back at least thinking about giving him a second chance. Tottenham Hotspur are very keen on the player, but they are facing a tough battle with Juventus for his signature. He had been rumored to be headed for Barcelona, but that has since seemed to pass.

13. Ezequiel Lavezzi

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    Liverpool have been tracking Napoli forward Ezequiel Lavezzi since after the January 2011 transfer window. At the end of April Napoli and Lavezzi's Agent published news that the player would be staying in Italy, but since then more rumors have continued to arise.

    Manchester City now looks poised to push Liverpool out of the chase, and have reportedly been in discussion with the player and his club since July 6, 2011.

    Outside of England both Man City and Liverpool could face some competition from FC Bayern Munich as the Bavarian Giants are working feverishly to rebuild their squad after a frustrating season.

12. Alexis Sánchez

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    Chilean International and Udinese forward Alexis Sánchez has been the target of much speculation as he looks set to depart Italy for, "Greener Pastures."

    Manchester City and Manchester United are set to face off for the signature of the player, but it appears that FC Barcelona could offer them both stiff competition.

    The cost of the player could range from £25 million to nearly £35 million depending on how bad the bidding war gets, but unfortunately for England's Manchester rivals, the Catalan club looks to be leading the race via influence alone over the player.

11. Moussa Sow

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    Lille striker Moussa Sow had an excellent campaign with French Club Lille on their way to claiming the Ligue 1 title last season. He led the league by scoring 22 goals and claiming the French Golden Boot.

    Since April it has been reported that Northeastern rivals Newcastle United and Sunderland have been tracking the player. However, given Steve Bruce's already lucrative spending spree this window, a move to the Stadium of Light might now be out of the questions.

    Arsenal and Manchester City were both rumored to be tracking him in late May as the season wound down, but it now appears that Newcastle are still the front runners as of July 5th, 2011.

10. Gonzalo Higuain

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    Gonzalo Higuain has been subject of the recent Carlos Tevez rumors as he is set to be a possible piece in Real Madrid's rumored move for the Argentine from Manchester City.

    Goal.com have the forward tipped along with fellow forward Karim Benzema as possible make weights. He has also been subject of transfer speculation from Arsenal, Tottenham, and Manchester City individually as well according to the Daily Mail.

9. Lucas Barrios

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    Borussia Dortmund's goal machine Lucas Barrios emerged as a speculated Chelsea transfer target in early March after he had already scored 11 goals for the Bundesliga Club.

    The Chelsea bid was expected to be in the range of £17.5 million, and was thought to hasten the possible exit of Didier Drogba.

    Before his link to Chelsea, he had been tipped as a £12 million Liverpool target for January of 2011 before they eventually signed Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll.

    Most recently he has been linked with a move to Manchester City.

8. Gervinho

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    Yesterday July 11th, 2011 Arsenal confirmed the signing of Lille and Ivory Coast Forward Gervinho. The Ivorian scored 15 goals and slotted in 10 assits as he helped Lille to the Ligue 1 title.

    His transfer to Arsenal is said have cost the Gunners £10.6 million and he will be the first new member of the London club since the departure of Gael Clicy to Manchester City.

7. Neymar

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    Though he has stated that he will only move to Real Madrid, it did not stop English clubs to do their best to attempt to sign the Brazilian.

    His 66 goals in 132 senior appearances for Santos speak for themselves, and he has been a huge part of the clubs success.

    Chelsea have been in the hunt just as long as anyone having declared their interest in March of 2011, and though it looks like they have lost out to Real Madrid, do not underestimate the pocketbook of Roman Abramovich.

6. Edinson Cavani

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    Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani cut a storm through Serie A last season with Napoli. The 24 year old scored 33 goals in 47 appearances for the club as they finished third in Italy to qualify for the UEFA Champions League.

    As of the end of May Manchester City has been linked with a £45 million move for the player according to the Daily Mail. While more recent claims declare that Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur have been rebuffed by Napoli in their attempts to prize away their key front man for next season.

5. Radamel Falcao

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    FC Porto goal scoring machine Radamel Falcao could be set for a reunion with former boss Andre Villas-Boas at Chelsea. his 39-goal haul last season would be a much appreciated edition. The forward has admitted that he indeed wants to make the move to England.

    The level of competition in the EPL is respectably higher than the Portuguese Liga, but you would expect the possibility of at least half that amount of goals in a season would be a huge help to the Blues as they look to be rebuilding their squad.

    Falcao has also been linked with moves to Manchester United, but that has failed to materialize. It is hoped that the move would give Fernando Torres the kind of strike partner that he needs to push him back to the top.

4. Sergio Agüero

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    Atletico Madrid front man Sergio Agüero has scored 102 goals and produced 37 assists in 234 games for the Mattress Men. His most recent season with Atletico saw him score 27 goals and notch nine assists in 41 games, and thus his stock has risen once again.

    The 23-year-old Argentinian striker has been linked across the Premier League between Liverpool, Manchester City, and Chelsea. It remains to be seen if he will join the EPL as he is also attracting heavy interest from Juiventus.

3. Mario Gomez

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    FC Bayern Munich forward Mario Gomez has resumed his flirtation with a move to the English Premier League. Last August he was rumored to be heading to Liverpool, but was not allowed to leave.

    Then in February he was rumored to have been subject of a £36 million move from Chelsea according to the Guardian, but once again remained in Bavaria. Just yesterday he appears to be in the hunt for a transfer to England, but to a lower table club, as Newcastle United could be set to splash some of the cash they acquired through the sale of Andy Carroll.

    Reports suggest he could be on the move for around £16 million once again.

2. Karim Benzema

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    Real Madrid's Karim Benzema has been in recent transfer speculation in the same regards as Gonzalo Higuain as a makeweight to Manchester City for the services of Carlos Tevez.

    Benzema had his break out year for Real Madrid scoring 26 goals and earning nine assists in 48 games for Jose Mourinho, but apparently that may not be good enough.

    Goal.com has tipped the player a possible piece of a £25 million plus player deal to lure Carlos Tevez to the Bernabau from newly renamed Etihad Stadium. However, other reports from the Guardian have him linked with Arsenal.

1. Samuel Eto'o

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    Samuel Eto'o has been one thing over the past 11 years after braking through the ranks of Mallorca in Spain, a goal machine. He has scored 250 goals and notched 57 assists in his 469 career games between Mallorca, Barcelona, and Inter Milan.

    His link with Manchester City is and was without a doubt a possible move, but reports have no insisted that he will be remaining in Italy for the upcoming reason. According to the Daily Mail, he will not be part of a possible Carlos Tevez Swoop by Inter.