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Who's after who in the January window?
8:00am Friday 20th December 2013 in Sport
The transfer window opens in less than two weeks, with Premier League clubs across the country hoping to give themselves an all-important boost for the second half of the season.
Here, Echo Sports reporter GORDON SIMPSON takes a look at what we can expect from each of the division’s teams during January.
ARSENAL: Life is good for Arsenal right now.
Arsène Wenger’s side have defied many pre-season predictions and have been the class of the division so far, meaning they are arguably less in need of reinforcements than anyone else.
Certainly, their midfield is overflowing with talent, but if there is one area they do need to strengthen then it is up front.
Olivier Giroud has been excellent, but the Gunners have little else in the way of strike options beyond the Frenchman.
Likely to have given up on Luis Suárez after last summer’s failed pursuit, but may wish to revisit Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema, while also linked with Olympiakos forward Konstantinos Mitroglou.
LIVERPOOL: After the Luis Suárez saga last summer, Liverpool will be expecting the January window to be less fraught.
The Uruguayan appears settled again at Anfield – at least for the moment – and is in exceptional form.
Suárez has helped the Reds enjoy a strong season so far, but manager Brendan Rodgers might feel he needs to strengthen to maintain a title challenge.
Like Arsenal, they too have been linked with Mitroglou.
Hoffenheim midfielder Kevin Volland is also said to be on the radar.
Daniel Agger could be on his way out, with Napoli reportedly interested.
CHELSEA: The Blues aren’t averse to splashing cash, but January is expected to be a reasonably quiet month by their standards.
At least one signing looks likely, though, with Inter Milan’s Colombian international midfielder Fredy Guarin looking like he will make a £15m switch to Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea have also been linked with a move for Saints full back Luke Shaw, but they have little chance of prising him away, while the player himself has already stressed he will be staying put.
MANCHESTER CITY: They have an abundance of talent but, despite some incredible displays this season, City have so far lacked a bit of consistency.
One of their biggest problems has been in goal, where the form of Joe Hart has dipped. The England number one was recently dropped, and it seems as if manager Manuel Pellegrini is keen to bring in a new stopper.
Real Madrid’s Iker Casillas has been linked, amid reports he is considering his future at the Spanish giants.
EVERTON: A magnificent final day of the summer transfer window has set Everton up wonderfully.
Romelu Lukaku has been outstanding up front, while the additions of Gareth Barry and James McCarthy have been extremely valuable. With money still in reserve from the £27.5m sale of Marouane Fellaini to Manchester United, there is scope to do business.
Manager Roberto Martinez is said to be keen to bolster his squad out wide and at the back, with Spartak Moscow’s Aidan McGeady linked, as well as Feyenoord centre back Bruno Martins Indi.
NEWCASTLE: Loic Remy was the only arrival in the summer, but Newcastle have overcome concerns about their lack of depth following a magnificent start to the campaign.
Alan Pardew will not want the club to rest on their laurels, though, and will expect director of football Joe Kinnear to have more success securing targets in the upcoming window.
Like Everton, they have also been linked with McGeady, while Pardew is said to be keen on a loan deal for Manchester United’s Wilfried Zaha.
Keeping Yohan Cabaye will also be important.
TOTTENHAM: After forking out about £100m on players in the summer, Spurs wouldn’t really have been expecting to do much work in mid-season.
But the post-Gareth Bale era has been a difficult one, with manager Andre Villas-Boas paying for it with his job.
What that means for their transfer plans in January remains to be seen.
But what does seem clear is that Spurs need to improve up front.
Roberto Soldado has not been a huge success yet, and it is now reported that the London club will bring in Juventus striker Mirko Vucinic.
MANCHESTER UNITED: David Moyes needs something good to happen soon if he is to appease the United fans who are becoming increasingly unsure about his ability to follow Sir Alex Ferguson.
A disappointing summer window didn’t help, and he and chief executive Ed Woodward will need better this time around if they are to revive fortunes.
Midfield undoubtedly needs strengthening, and they could go back for Athletic Bilbao’s £30m man Ander Herrera, after failing to land him a few months ago.
United also want a left-back, with Porto’s Alex Sandro linked.
SAINTS: The word from St Mary’s is that January is unlikely to be a busy month, and Mauricio Pochettino himself has hinted as much.
There will no doubt be plenty of reports linking players with moves elsewhere, particularly Luke Shaw, but most of it is likely to be background noise, with the teenage defensive ace already firmly stating he is going nowhere.
Some fringe players may depart, though.
Gaston Ramirez is the most notable one, after failing to impress following his £12m move from Bologna in 2012.
SWANSEA: The Welsh club are hoping to make two new additions in January, with chairman Huw Jenkins already confirming that Blackpool winger Tom Ince, who they looked at in the summer, is one player who they remain keen on. The £8m asking price put them off at the time, but a deal could be struck next month. Manager Michael Laudrup is also expected to add some cover in either defence or midfield before the window shuts.
ASTON VILLA: Villa haven’t been pulling up any trees this season, but after the stress of last term, when they came close to going down, Paul Lambert will probably be quite content with mid-table for now.
Villa will again want to make sure they keep hold of the likes of Andreas Weimann and Christian Benteke, despite his lack of goals recently, but one or two additions also wouldn’t go amiss.
A return for Ashley Young is rumoured, after falling out of favour at Manchester United.
HULL CITY: Steve Bruce can be well pleased with their start in the Premier League, but they could still use more goals and that appears to be the area they plan to focus on in January.
Bruce has already said he has no intention of making a move for one rumoured target – Shola Ameobi – but he has also been linked with Celtic forward Giorgios Samaras, and it seems likely a new striker will be arriving during the window.
STOKE CITY: Stoke have made it clear the priority in January is to sign a striker, with Mark Hughes having been unable to improve that area satisfactorily in the summer, but they are also keen on bolstering their defence.
Borussia Moenchengladbach forward Luuk de Jong has been linked, as have Mame Biram Diouf, of Hannover 96, and West Brom’s Shane Long.
NORWICH CITY: The Canaries spent a fairly hefty amount of cash by their own standards in the summer, but it looks as if more will be needed to elevate them to a level where they feel comfortable of avoiding the drop.
Juventus striker Fabio Quagliarella, who they were linked with in the summer, could be on the agenda again, while manager Chris Hughton has said he is keen on adding a winger.
Norwich are one of many clubs linked with ex-Celtic wide man McGeady.
CARDIFF CITY: The club’s manager, Malky Mackay, would like to add three new players in January – one in defence, one in midfield, one in attack.
The club’s owner, Vincent Tan, has other ideas. Tan was “extremely upset” to hear Mackay’s comments and said there had already been a £15m overspend in the summer, which apparently caused him “great upset”.
All this upset means Mackay has been told there won’t be any money for him next month. At this rate, there might not be a job for him at Cardiff either.
WEST BROM: Steve Clarke has been removed as Baggies boss, but his successor, whoever he might be, will not be able to do much to the squad in January.
There is unlikely to be any significant funds available to strengthen, so any additions will have to come through the loan market or short-term deals.
Keeping hold of Youssouf Mulumbu may be a more pressing concern, though, with the midfielder linked with a move away.
WEST HAM: Manager Sam Allardyce is under pressure and he needs some help quickly, especially up front, where the Hammers have been misfiring.
A serious injury to summer signing Andy Carroll has not helped, with the England man yet to play this term.
Allardyce has already revealed he is in talks with a club about an attacking player, and the likelihood is West Ham will want to be active early.
CRYSTAL PALACE: Tony Pulis’ arrival has coincided with a little upturn in form for the Eagles and that may prompt them to delve into the market, despite making a huge number of signings in the summer.
The problem there appeared to be quantity over quality, and Pulis is already rumoured to be hoping to address that by making moves for Stoke striker Peter Crouch or Blackburn’s Jordan Rhodes.
Wilfried Zaha has also been linked with a loan move back, although that seems unlikely.
FULHAM: Dimitar Berbatov might be heading out the door this January, but regardless of that it seems like new head coach Rene Meulensteen will have money to spend.
Owner Shahid Khan is reportedly willing to make up to £10m available to bail the Cottagers out of their current position.
Manchester United midfielder Anderson is said to be attracting their interest, as is former Fulham player Clint Dempsey, now with the Seattle Sounders.
SUNDERLAND: Paolo Di Canio brought in 14 new players last summer, but that didn’t do the Black Cats much good.
They are already losing a bit of touch with those in safety, and Gus Poyet has indicated he wants to make a whole load of his own signings next month.
Lorient defender Lamine Kone has been linked, but it is hard to pinpoint exactly where Sunderland’s attentions will be focused, with Poyet seemingly believing that a lot of areas need to be improved.
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