Sam Kerr: What does future hold for superstar striker?

Media playback is not supported on this device

'Sam Kerr has scored them all' - Aussie superstar hits four

Sam Kerr is one of the world's best female footballers so it is no surprise the uncertainty over her future has caused a stir.

The Australia captain, 26, has broken goalscoring records for fun while playing in the United States and her home country in recent years.

Fresh from scoring the winner which sent her Chicago Red Stars team into the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) final on Sunday, the 26-year-old could be eyeing up a move to Europe next.

BBC Sport understands Chelsea are interested in signing the striker, as are Lyon, Paris St-Germain and Bayern Munich, and remaining in Chicago also remains an option.

So where could she go? Why is she in such demand? And what does European football have to offer?

Why is she in demand?

Kerr is a goalscoring phenomenon.

From October-April, she plays with Perth Glory in the Australian W-League and joins up with Chicago Red Stars in America from April-September.

She has dominated both divisions in terms of goalscoring, becoming the all-time leading scorer in the W-League with 70 goals and again, in the NWSL, with 69.

Sam Kerr's stats for Chicago Red Stars
YearGamesGoals Assists
201921185
201820164
201722174
2016950

Kerr has also picked up the Golden Boot award in three successive seasons in America and has topped the goalscoring charts in the last two years in Australia.

This season, Kerr's 18 goals for Chicago Red Stars - 44% of the team's total number - was a record tally in a single season in the NWSL (excluding play-offs) and she finished fifth in the league with five assists.

And that was after Kerr netted 17 goals in 13 appearances for Perth Glory last season and finished joint-third in the assists charts.

Where could she end up?

The striker has been linked with several clubs in Europe, including Women's Super League giants Chelsea.

The Blues would be an attractive destination given they have challenged for domestic and European titles in recent years, as well as boasting a number of top internationals.

There would be competition for places with the likes of English duo Bethany England and Fran Kirby, as well as Switzerland international Ramona Bachmann and Scotland star Erin Cuthbert already at the club - but Kerr would challenge for a role.

Elsewhere in England, Arsenal and Manchester City could provide Kerr with opportunities to pick up silverware but they have established strikers in Vivianne Miedema and Ellen White respectively.

And it's unlikely that newly-promoted Manchester United would be able to match the wages of other top European clubs and are not expected to be playing Champions League football next season.

There has been interest from French giants Lyon, the six-time Champions League winners, as well as Paris St-Germain - a club that reached Champions League finals in 2015 and 2017.

Other European leagues are an option - compatriot Lisa De Vanna joined Italy's Fiorentina in August, while Emily Gielnik joined German club Bayern Munich.

Why would she favour Europe?

Sam Kerr scores for Chicago Red Stars
Kerr has won five Golden Boot awards in two domestic leagues since 2017

While Kerr has proven herself in the NWSL and the W-League, she is yet to test herself among Europe's elite.

She has missed out on competing in the Champions League and that might have been a factor for her exclusion in recent Fifa award nominations and the Ballon d'Or.

The WSL secured its first overseas broadcast rights deal in September and that would provide an opportunity for her to raise her global profile.

There is also the business of money.

In February, it was reported Kerr had received offers from Spanish side Barcelona, as well as Chelsea, worth between 200,000 and 300,000 Australian dollars (£106,160 to £159,238).

A month later the Football Federation Australia (FFA) offered Kerr a marquee deal to keep her in the W-League and her salary increased when she became a face of Nike before the World Cup.

More clubs are turning fully professional across Europe and the biggest stars - the majority playing at French champions Lyon - can reportedly earn as much as £140,000 on average a year in club wages alone.

What effect would a move to the WSL have?

If Kerr did opt for England's WSL, it could have a big impact.

As one of the world's best players, she would act as a poster girl and could help attract more fans in a league which has seen attendances rise in recent years.

Dutch striker Miedema told BBC Sport last month the WSL was "one of the most attractive leagues to go to right now" and should Kerr choose England as her next destination, that would only strengthen this opinion.

She would be just the ninth player from Australia to play in England, following in the footsteps of the likes of Gielnik (Liverpool), Tanya Oxtoby (Doncaster Belles) and Caitlin Friend (Notts County).

But with the new W-League season due to start on 14 November, there will be plenty in Kerr's homeland hoping she doesn't make the switch.

BBC Sport has launched #ChangeTheGame to showcase female athletes in a way they never have been before. Through more live women's sport available to watch across the BBC in 2019, complemented by our journalism, we are aiming to turn up the volume on women's sport and alter perceptions. Find out more here.