Boniface out? Bundesliga champions-elect ponder striker sale to fund summer spree

In-form Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen are reportedly set to offload one of their attackers as they plan to restructure their squad at the end of the season.

Xavi Alonso’s side are currently stacked with options upfront following the arrival of several players last summer as the club began a rebuild.

Having struggled last season and only securing a Europa League place on the final day of the campaign, Alonso led a spending spree that saw several players arrive at the Bay Arena.

However, Bayer are now planning an overhaul in the summer and that could see some of their attackers sold to free up funds for other arrivals ahead of next season. Alonso currently has several attackers at his disposal, some of whom have struggled for game time.

Nigeria international Victor Boniface started the campaign as the club’s first-choice striker and his return of 16 goals and eight assists meant the other attackers had to play second fiddle. Boniface unfortunately suffered an injury while camping with the Super Eagles ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON 2024) in Ivory Coast and was ruled out for two months.

Leverkusen to sell striker as part of squad overhaul

In the Nigerian’s absence, Patrik Schick has been steering the ship, with the 28-year-old’s goals helping Leverkusen to maintain their unbeaten run in the Bundesliga and Europe.

However, Kicker, reports that Leverkusen are targeting a squad overhaul in the summer and some of the fringe players would be offloaded to free up funds.

The report suggests the departures will hit the attacking department the most, with the club’s director Simon Rolfes already reaching an agreement with manager Alonso.

Victor Boniface back on grass training after injury
Photo by Icon Sport

Amongst Leverkusen’s forwards, Adam Hlozek is said to be the most dispensable. The Czech Republican has played 21 Bundesliga matches this season but has been restricted to just two starts in 2024.

Hlozek is currently behind the injured Boniface and Schick in the pecking order, as well as Florian Wirtz and veteran forward Jonas Hofmann at the club.

Kicker also reports that Leverkusen are already planning how to keep their squad competitive for next season, as they’ll be playing in the UEFA Champions League.

For this reason, the club has set eyes on Stuttgart's Chris Fuhrich and Hoffenheim's Maximilian Beier, should they lose Boniface or any of their top forwards in the summer. Fuhrich will reportedly command a transfer fee of €20 million, while Beier has a higher valuation of €30 million.

West Ham's interest in Victor Boniface grows

Meanwhile, Premier League outfit West Ham United are said to have made Boniface a primary target to augment their squad for next season.

The Hammers’ technical director Tim Steidte has reportedly been leading talks over the signing of the 23-year-old striker, who has taken the Bundesliga by storm in his debut season in the German top-flight.

AC Milan, Juventus join race to sign €40 million-rated Boniface
Photo by Icon Sport

Steidte is the main brain behind the signings of Edson Alvarez and Mohammed Kudus and has now set his sights on bringing Boniface to the East London outfit.

According to Hammers News, the club wants a young striker who will lead the team for years to come and regards Boniface as the perfect candidate, with Michail Antonio set to turn 34 next week, while Danny Ings has struggled to convince.

David Moyes has often used Jarrod Bowen in the centre-forward role this season but the England international also prefers playing on the ring flank. West Ham are reportedly, therefore, planning a record £50 million offer to try to sign Boniface from Leverkusen in the summer.

Steidte has an impressive record of signing his transfer targets but it remains to be seen if the German will be successful in his pursuit of Boniface, who has also been linked with a move to Arsenal and Napoli.

Boniface out? Bundesliga champions-elect ponder striker sale to fund summer spree
Emmanuel Ayamga

Emmanuel Ayamga is an Asante Kotoko fan and a passionate sports journalist with a little over five years of experience writing about African football.

His articles and features have been published in renowned news media like The Guardian, DW, Al Jazeera and Sportskeeda. His bylines can also be found in the UK journals World Soccer Magazine and These Football Times.