Revealed: Barcelona's five-man striker shortlist
Soccer Football – La Liga Santander – FC Barcelona v Cadiz – Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain – February 21, 2021 Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and teammates during the warm up before the match [REUTERS/Albert Gea]

Barcelona may be crippled by their own financial problems but they could still be in need of a striker this summer.

The Catalans are suffering with major debts and their woes could worsen as they sweat on the future of Lionel Messi.

The Argentine’s contract is up and he may seek pastures new having tried to do so last summer.

Barcelona also allowed Luis Suarez to leave before this season meaning, despite the emergence of several young stars, they are light in the forward department.

Although they are far from the continental conquering outfit they once were they remain a hugely attractive club to play for.

They and rivals Real Madrid retain an aura that has seen them have some of the game’s greatest names.

Barcelona are on the look out for their next superstar and have complied a short list of players to lead the club forward.

Erling Haaland

Revealed: Barcelona's five-man striker shortlist
Soccer Football – Bundesliga – Schalke 04 v Borussia Dortmund – Veltins-Arena, Gelsenkirchen, Germany – February 20, 2021 Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Braut Haaland celebrates after the match [Pool via REUTERS/Ina Fassbender ]

If Kylian Mbappe is the most wanted man in football then Haaland is certainly the second.

Borussia Dortmund won the race for his signature when he opted to leave Red Bull Salzburg last year, but they will do well to retain him for much longer.

The forward’s release clause doesn’t come into play until the summer of 2022 meaning the Germans hold the majority of the cards for now.

Haaland though would be a perfect fit for almost any club, including Barcelona.

He possesses all the qualities you would want in a centre-forward and represents incredible value at 20 years of age.

Romelu Lukaku

Revealed: Barcelona's five-man striker shortlist
Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku gestures during the Champions League group B soccer match between Inter Milan and Shakhtar Donetsk at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

The Belgian left Manchester United to join Inter Milan just over 18 months ago and has been hugely prolific in Italy.

Lukaku has scored goals wherever he has gone dating back to his teenage days at Anderlecht.

Inter were prepared to pay a club record £74m for his services and his value has only increased at the San Siro.

The 27-year-old is not a typical Barcelona player with his direct style of play being a major strength of his.

He has received plaudits for improving his intricate play however and would be able to offer the Catalans an option they don’t have.

Lautaro Martinez

Revealed: Barcelona's five-man striker shortlist
Europa League – Semi Final – Inter Milan v Shakhtar Donetsk – Merkur Spiel-Arena, Dusseldorf, Germany – August 17, 2020 Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez celebrates scoring their third goal [Lars Baron/Pool via REUTERS]

Messi’s compatriot was heavily linked with Barcelona last summer but a move never happened.

Martinez scored an excellent goal at the Nou Camp in last season’s Champions League which will not have gone unnoticed.

Already he is a fixture with the national team and an Argentine in a Barcelona shirt just has a way about it dating back before Messi’s time to one Diego Maradona.

Martinez doesn’t have the goal tally to match team-mate Lukaku, but is perhaps a more complete player.

His age profile also makes him an attractive prospect at just 23, his best years are certainly ahead of him.

Memphis Depay

Maybe not the glamour signing some Barcelona fans would demand, but the club have done the ground work.

Depay was linked with a move to Spain last summer before eventually staying put in France.

Their pursuit of the forward may depend on whether Ronald Koeman remains as manager.

The former Netherlands boss was keen to reunite with his compatriot, who has scored 15 times this season.

Depay has played a starring role for Lyon and has an immense eye for goal having revived his reputation at the Groupama Stadium.

Sergio Aguero

Revealed: Barcelona's five-man striker shortlist
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football – Champions League Quarter Final Second Leg – Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur – Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Britain – April 17, 2019 Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero celebrates scoring their fourth goal with Bernardo Silva [Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff/File Photo]

The Argentine is by no means an investment for the future, but he could be perfect for right now.

His Manchester City contract is running down and he could be available on a free in just a couple of months.

Aguero has worked under Pep Guardiola for the last five seasons so is clearly capable of playing the style employed at the Nou Camp.

He burst onto the scene at Atletico Madrid meaning he is more than comfortable in Spanish settings.

The 32-year-old has previously stated his desire to finish his career at boyhood club Independiente however, so any move would require a prolonged stay in Europe.

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