What every Premier League club should do before the transfer window shuts on 31 January

With the scrap over European places and relegation escapes causing panic for a number of Premier League clubs, the urgency to bring in reinforcements before 11pm on 31 January has dawned. 

Arsenal are desperately pursuing a centre-back, Manchester United are still haggling over Bruno Fernandes, Chelsea face a stalemate with their preferred targets staying put until the summer, while for the likes of Southampton it’s more a case of holding on to their best players.

Our writers take a look at what each team needs and who they’re hoping to bring in before the window slams shut:


New boss Mikel Arteta is looking to freshen up his squad this month but in truth doesn’t really have the funds to do it. The Gunners are firmly in the short-term deal and loan market before next week’s deadline with PSG left-back Layvin Kurzawa the likeliest arrival. Keep an eye on departures too with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, a loan target for Barcelona, one of a few first-team players who are wanted elsewhere.

Aston Villa

Dean Smith finally has the striker he craves, Tanzania international Mbwana Samatta arriving from Genk for £10m earlier this week. Smith could also look for more help in the final third with AC Milan’s Krzysztof Piatek, Leicester’s Islam Slimani and Rio Ave’s Mehdi Taremi have also been linked. The long-awaited move for Louie Barry from Barcelona finally went through on Thursday, a deal which could well prove the shrewdest of all this window.


A new right-back is top of Graham Potter’s wishlist with Martin Montoya’s form patchy at best of late. Tottenham’s Kyle Walker-Peters, available for around £12m, is a target as is Nottingham Forest starlet Matty Cash. On-loan midfielder Aaron Mooy will make his loan move from Huddersfield Town a permanent one with a fee of around £5m set to get it done. Ex-France under-19 Billel Omrani, rated at around £3m by his club CFR Cluj, is another possible arrival before the window shuts.


Eddie Howe wants goals as he plots the Cherries way out of trouble. To get them it appears he has money to spend with a forward and/or a winger a priority. Lyon’s Bertrand Traore looks to be his top target with the French club looking for around £35m to do a deal for the former Chelsea man. Out wide Borussia Dortmund’s Jacob Bruun Larsen has been mentioned with a loan move the likeliest outcome for the Danish youngster. Nathan Ake looked a near-certainty to be departing this month but former club Chelsea appear to have cooled their interest. For now at least.


Sean Dyche is keeping his cards close to his chest as the deadline nears with perhaps a central midfielder the likeliest late addition after Danny Drinkwater left for Aston Villa earlier in the window. That said, his priority may well be keeping hold of his stars with the likes of Dwight McNeil and James Tarkowski wanted men. Ben Gibson could be allowed to leave though with former club Middlesbrough one of a number of Championship clubs interested in a loan move.

Moussa Dembele is set to remain at Lyon this month (Getty)


Chelsea are of course available to sign new players this month after the Court of Arbitration for Sport reduced their Fifa transfer ban after an appeal. Top of their wish list is a new striker, potentially to replace Olivier Giroud, who has been linked with a move to Italy. Edinson Cavani on loan is one option, while the club have long held an interest in Moussa Dembélé, only for the 23-year-old to very publicly commit himself to Lyon for the rest of the season. There have been repeated whisperings that the club intend to sign a new goalkeeper given Kepa’s poor form, although such a move this month is highly unlikely given the amount of disruption shelving the £71.6m record-signing would cause.

Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace have already been very active this transfer window. They had to be. They entered the new year in the midst of an injury crisis and moved swiftly to bring in Cenk Tosun on loan, from Everton respectively. They also signed Scotland Under-19 midfielder Scott Banks from Dundee, although the midfielder is unlikely to be thrown straight into the first-team. Now they need to address the defence, particularly out wide, where Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s departure is still keenly felt, with Tottenham’s Kyle Walker-Peters an attractive option. There are likely to be some departures, too, with Connor Wickham among those available to leave in the wake of Tosun’s arrival.


Everton had a very busy summer window – splashing the cash on the likes of André Gomes, Moise Kean and Alex Iwobi, among others – and with an already large squad, they were always unlikely to make too many signings this window. They have been rumoured to be interested in signing a new centre midfielder, although reports from Italy that they could move for Napoli’s Allan seem fanciful, and the poor form of Jordan Pickford has resulted in speculation they could sign a new goalkeeper. But Everton signed Jonas Lössl from Huddersfield in the summer and also have Holland international Maarten Stekelenburg warming the bench.​

Everton are reportedly interested in Napoli’s Allan (AFP via Getty Images)

Leicester City

A relative lack of activity in the January transfer window looks set to end this week, as Leicester attempt to capitalise on an unexpectedly strong start to the season by securing their place in the Champions League. The defence needs attention: Wes Morgan has been struggling with form and fitness while Brendan Rodgers has not been convinced by Filip Benkovic. That leaves just Çağlar Söyüncü and Jonny Evans – Southampton’s Jannik Vestergaard could join them given that he has fallen out of favour at St Mary’s. The club also wish to sign another attacker, a desire that will have only grown since the recent injury suffered by Jamie Vardy. Bertrand Traoré is a target, albeit an ambition one.


No, Liverpool are not going to sign Kylian Mbappé this January. Sorry. The Premier League leaders have been one of the busier clubs this month having signed Takumi Minamino from Red Bull Salzburg for £7.25m and 21-year-old Joe Hardy from Brentford’s reserve team. Minamino will play a role in the remainder of Liverpool’s campaign; Hardy joins the club’s Under-23 team. If they dip into the market again it will almost certainly be for another young player. They have been persistently linked to Nice winger Pedro Brazão, although face stiff competition from the usual suspects, with Paris Saint-Germain seemingly at the front of the queue for the 17-year-old.

Manchester City 

Pep Guardiola’s squad looks back to being formidable with the return from injury of Aymeric Laporte. While Oleksandr Zinchenko is adequate at left-back or wing-back, perhaps another more experienced option might help enhance City’s chances of landing the big one in Europe. Preferably with some added height, to ensure they remain as versatile as can be for a Guardiola side determined to stay loyal to their philosophy.

Elsewhere there really is not much more City can do, though a dependable partner for Laporte would obviously be welcomed, with Shakhtar’s Mykola Matviyenko linked. Anybody with the required quality will undoubtedly come with a hefty price tag and be extremely difficult to acquire in the window, let alone this close to the deadline. So for now, City just need to hope Laporte stays fit and can lift the level of Nicolas Otamendi beside him. Should an opportunity arise to secure a talent for the future or next season, then City could be ready, with Brescia’s Sandro Tonali and Benfica’s Florentino high on their wanted list

Bruno Fernandes’ transfer saga rumbles on (Getty)

Manchester United

Where to start? There is obviously major surgery to be done, but realistically, this late in the window, what can United expect? Well, Bruno Fernandes just needs to be done, you’ve come this far, stop squabbling over pennies. Matias Vecino, of Inter Milan, could be a smarter choice if the faith in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is truly waning. Jude Bellingham, the Birmingham prodigy, will contribute little for the remainder of the season, but the 16-year-old would be a smart buy as he continues to break out in the Championship for the Blues. Up top, to pick up the slack left by Rashford, United may privately regret missing out on Erling Haaland, who went to Borussia Dortmund after United baulked at agent demands. Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente are underwhelming short-term options, with Moussa Dembele an excellent immediate and long-term option, who comes with a huge price tag. Simply put, Ed Woodward must frantically bring in a couple of signings to give United a chance of a top-four finish.


A smarter club than most want to admit and savvy in the market without spending huge sums, Nabil Bentaleb has arrived already from Schalke. A wide player is wanted by Steve Bruce, with Valentino Lazaro an option after Inter signed Victor Moses and Ashley Young. But a new centre-forward is where the Magpies will be especially keen to strengthen given Joelinton has really struggled to settle. Emmanuel Dennis from Club Brugge and veteran Glenn Murray are both options. While rumours have died down in the last few weeks, Adam Lallana was linked at the beginning of the window and could be a target when his contract expires this summer.

Valentino Lazano is in talks over a move to Newcastle (Getty)


Desperate for some inspiration to make a late dash for survival, Norwich could move for another forward or attacking midfield. Napoli’s Amin Younes could arrive on loan, to increase the Canaries’ creativity alongside Emi Buendia and Todd Cantwell, while Rayo’s Adrian Embarba is another option reportedly. Lukas Rupp has signed though, the German centre-midfielder joins from Hoffenheim after featuring just seven times in the first half of the season in the Bundesliga. And Rupp is joined through the door by Hertha Berlin loanee Ondrej Duda.

Sheffield United

Chris Wilder has worked wonders this season and may look to add depth before the end of the window to avoid a sharp drop-off in the final months. Long term, Kyle Walker has been offered a return to Bramall Lane by Wilder, while Dean Henderson can only stay on another season-long loan, as the manager admits he could not afford a permanent deal. Striker Tyrese Campbell or midfielder Josh Brownhill have been linked, with the former out of contract at Stoke this summer and the latter available if his £7m buy-out clause at Bristol City is met. Signing either would likely use up all the remainder of the budget for the Blades after signing Jack Robinson and Jack Rodwell earlier this month.


It’s a case of holding on to what they have, rather than necessarily bringing in anybody new. With the club’s owners reluctant to invest in any major signings, Ralph Hasenhuttl says he “trusts every player… we need the squad. I don’t want to let anybody go.” That could impede the potential departure of Che Adams, who was subject to serious interest from Leeds, while Jannik Vestergaard is reportedly being targeted in a £15m move by Leicester.


Despite initially insisting there was little chance of additions in January when Jose Mourinho arrived, Daniel Levy has been provoked into a state of mild panic. The club has already brought in Benfica midfielder Gedson Fernandes on an 18-month loan to provide cover for the injured Moussa Sissoko. However, it’s in front of goal where Tottenham’s greatest concerns lie, with Harry Kane ruled out until April. Real Sociedad’s Willian Jose has emerged as a target, with the two clubs currently in talks. 

Willian Jose is in talks with Tottenham over a potential move (Getty)


For a club that was in such a state of turmoil earlier this season, things are surprisingly peaceful this month under Nigel Pearson. With the ship rising back to the surface, the club have already confirmed the signing of Igancio Pussetto for £7m from Udinese, while Brazilian teenage forward Joao Pedro has also joined up with the squad. A full-back could still be targeted, with Danny Rose previously linked and an interest in Ashley Young reportedly registered before the former Manchester United captain’s move to Inter Milan. Andre Gray may yet be allowed to leave after a disappointing campaign.

West Ham

It’s time for another typically scattergun splurge for the Hammers as they look to extinguish the threat of relegation. David Moyes had done well to stabilise the club’s slide, however, a 4-1 defeat against Leicester illustrated the work which remains to be done. A midfielder is a priority for the club, with Roma’s Steven N’Zonzi linked after missing out on Gedson Fernandes and an approach for Ross Barkley rejected by Chelsea. Conflicting reports have suggested Dimitri Payet could make an unlikely return to the club. Declan Rice remains a source of interest, however, he will stay in east London until at least the summer.


Uncle Jorge is weaving his web again at Wolves, with a host of clients linked with a move to the West Midlands. The club have already signed Ecuador international Leonardo Campana, while Olympiacos’s Portuguese winger Daniel Podence is expected to arrive in the coming days. Former Norwich striker Nelson Oliveira, who is currently on a hot streak of form at AEK Athens, has also been linked. Star striker Raul Jimenez and midfielder Ruben Neves are both believed to have attracted interest from a number of top clubs across Europe, however, any significant departures remain unlikely as Nuno Espirito Santo’s side push for a Champions League place. 


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