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Mario Gomez, Mariano, Caicedo, or someone else? The striker search heats up

Here's the latest news.

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Mario Gomez: the 31 year-old German striker is currently back at Fiorentina after his loan to Besiktas.

Gianluca DiMarzio, who has proven to be a good source on things Italian, reports Villarreal are very interested, but the key problems are cost, and also Gomez would ideally like to wait for the CL result--if Villarreal get into the CL proper, it would be much more attractive (Fiorentina are in the group stage of the EL).

Mariano: Villarreal could move in a different direction, going for a young, promising player on loan.  Real Madrid's Mariano fits the bill--he's a player whom Madrid are definitely looking to loan out.  However, MARCA reports the problem here may be Madrid's insistence that he play in 60% of our matches.   I don't know how those sorts of things get enforced (we would pay more if we don't play him?), but that's a lot of football to guarantee someone.

Felipe Caicedo: The Ecuadorian striker, who missed the Copa America Centenario with an injury, is another possible choice.  Currently with Espanyol, he's still only 27, but his career has been full of ups and downs.  Remember back in 2011, when Levante had to scrape up €1m to buy him from Manchester City after he'd been on loan, then immediately sold him for €7.5m to Lokomotiv Moscow?  He's been at Espanyol for two years, with 9 and 8 league goals respectively.

Given our relationship with Espanyol isn't too good (remember how they got so upset when we signed Eric Bailly?) I'm not so sure about this one.