The January transfer window is almost over, which means Premier League managers will be frantically trying to sew up loose ends ahead of Thursday’s deadline.
Top-flight coaches will be banging on their chairman’s office door with wishlists in the hope they are able to make the required final improvements to their squads.
Some Premier League clubs have already made their mark on the transfer window, but others remain waiting for some much-needed upgrades. And with the deadline closing in, we’ve picked out an ideal, but realistic, target for every club.
Arsenal: Ivan Perisic
Despite the injury problems in defence, Arsenal look likely to bolster their attack before the window closes. The Gunners have been linked with a loan move for Denis Suarez but the likely incoming is Inter Milan winger Ivan Perisic. The Croatian has handed in a transfer request with Inter also willing to let him leave, for the right price.
Bournemouth: Bradley Dack
Bradley Dack has been lighting up the EFL since joining Blackburn Rovers from Gillingham in 2017. After helping his side achieve promotion from League One, he is now shining in the Championship having scored 10 goals already this season. Bournemouth need to add another goalscorer to their team to ease the pressure on both Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser.
Brighton: Nick Powell
In the last January transfer window, Brighton went all out for Wigan Athletic star Nick Powell but failed to get their man. The former Manchester United midfielder has scored four goals and provided five assists in the Championship this term, and there is no reason Chris Hughton will have suddenly gone cold on a player who could be a very useful addition.
Burnley: Jay Rodriguez
Jay Rodriguez was heavily linked with a return to Burnley over the summer but a deal failed to materialise. He has scored 14 goals in the Championship for West Bromwich Albion this season, so the Baggies will want to hold onto him to aid their promotion push. But if the Clarets put in a good offer, Rodriguez could be back in a Burnley shirt for the first time since 2012.
Cardiff: Fernando Llorente
Cardiff require a target man to win more aerial duels. At the moment, Neil Warnock is playing an out-of position Callum Paterson in that role. Fernando Llorente appears to be out of place at Spurs and has already proven his relegation scrap credentials during his year at Cardiff’s fierce rivals Swansea City.
Chelsea: Nicolo Barella
Chelsea have already got their two key targets for the window in Christian Pulisic and Gonzalo Higuain. But Blues boss Maurizio Sarri still desires competition for Jorginho after allowing Cesc Fabregas to leave for Monaco. Both Leandro Paredes and Nicolo Barella have been linked with Chelsea but with the former on his way to PSG, the latter may be the best option.
Crystal Palace: Kemar Roofe
Kemar Roofe has found the net 14 times in the Championship for high-flying Leeds United this term. Roy Hodgson has resorted to playing Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend this season, so an actual striker must be on his list even with Connor Wickham’s return. Before the week is up, Hodgson could give Roofe a tough decision between staying at Elland Road or making a more immediate move to the Premier League.
Everton: Callum Wilson
More than anything else, Everton lack a quick striker to make the right kind of runs into the box and provide an aerial threat. Callum Wilson’s excellent form makes him the right man for the job, and while the striker is settled at Bournemouth, moving to a club perhaps more likely to be playing European football next season could boost his England chances.
Fulham: Gary Cahill
Fulham have conceded 51 Premier League goals so far this season, more than any other side. Claudio Ranieri knows the importance of a solid defence, and the Italian will be keen to add experience to his back line before the window shuts. Gary Cahill, who barely gets a look-in at Chelsea these days, could provide exactly that, and he probably wouldn’t have to move house.
Huddersfield: Neal Maupay
Huddersfield strikers have combined to score just one goal this season, with Steve Mounie the only man to find the net. The Terriers are in serious trouble and, under new manager Jan Siewert, something needs to change.Their underdog status may require them to look to the Championship, where Neal Maupay has scored 16 goals for Brentford.
Leicester: Youri Tielemans
Leicester look set to raid a club in crisis with Monaco’s Youri Tielemans linked to the Foxes. The Belgian enjoyed a good spell of playing time under Thierry Henry, but Leonardo Jardim’s return has seen Tielemans’ future in doubt. The Foxes could do with more depth in central midfield and Tielemans will be eager to continue his development second half of the season. Claude Puel has played down the move, but it could yet happen.
Liverpool haven’t exactly missed Philippe Coutinho since the he left for Barcelona, but the Brazilian’s creativity did add an extra dimension to Jurgen Klopp’s attack. After trying and failing to replace him with Nabil Fekir over the summer, perhaps Liverpool should now consider Isco, who has been warming the bench at Real Madrid all season.
Man City: Sebastian Rudy
Manchester City need a replacement for Fernandinho, with the Brazilian not having much longer to go before his brilliant abilities start to wane. Pep Guardiola’s men lost out to Barcelona in the race for Frenkie de Jong but could look to Schalke’s Sebastian Rudy as another potential replacement.
Man United: Toby Alderweireld
Out of contract at the end of the season, Toby Alderweireld is likely to leave Spurs either this month or next summer. Either way, Manchester United will surely pursue the Belgian after missing out on him this summer and ending up with no new centre-backs, a position they desperately need to resolve if they are to qualify for the Champions League this season. But will Ole Gunnar Solskjaer be given funds?
Newcastle: Miguel Almiron
Atlanta attacker Miguel Almiron was the 2017 MLS Newcomer of the Year and has built on that success with 13 goals in 36 MLS appearances from the No.10 position this season. His creativity would be ideal for Newcastle, who have scored just 19 goals in 23 league matches so far this term. The Magpies may be eager to spend if a much-mooted takeover takes place.
Southampton: Thomas Vermaelen
Southampton may have turned this around under Ralph Hasenhuttl, but Saints’ defence still has problems. Southampton were linked with former Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen last month, a deal that would make sense for all parties. The Belgian isn’t expected to be handed a new deal by Barcelona and at 33 it is probably time for him to take a slight step down, while Southampton need to replace Wesley Hoedt and Cedric Soares.
Tottenham: Abdoulaye Doucoure
Abdoulaye Doucoure signed a new contract with Watford at the beginning of the season, but European football with Spurs may be too difficult to turn down if the Londoners, who need a replacement for departed Mousa Dembele, make their move in January. Doucoure has all of the traits to stand out in a Mauricio Pochettino team.
Watford: Javier Hernandez
Watford have made a relatively impressive start to their Premier League campaign, but they have repeatedly been let down by their lack of an established goalscorer. Javier Hernandez scored twice against Newcastle last month but has been in and out of the team at West Ham. Could Watford offer him more regular football at Vicarage Road?
West Ham: Maxi Gomez
West Ham’s last quest for some success this season is a late push for a Europa League space, but for that they need goals. The Hammers have been heavily linked with Celta Vigo forward Maxi Gomez, who has scored nine goals in 19 La Liga games this season. Originally a Plan B should Marko Arnautovic leave, West Ham do still seem keen on the Uruguayan.
Wolves: Divock Origi
Like many other Premier League clubs, Wolves appear to be a striker away from guaranteed safety. Divock Origi, whose father claimed Liverpool priced out of a move over the summer, would be ideal for Wolves. Bigger clubs aren’t likely to move for him because he hasn’t played regularly under Jurgen Klopp, but Origi’s opportunism against Everton last year proved he remains a clinical goalscorer on his day.