With Christmas fading into the rearview mirror, the January transfer window will be the centre of attention in the new year for the majority of Premier League clubs at both ends of the table. Teams will be viewing the next four weeks as a chance to add the one or two missing pieces that could take their campaign to the next level, while balancing the well-known fact that buying in January rarely brings value for money. It also appears that many clubs had the same Christmas wish: a new striker.

With the Premier League title race closer than ever this season, January wheeling and dealing becomes all the more important. Make a shrewd move and it could be the difference between being crowned champions and fighting for a spot in the top four. Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool are all eyeing the prize, with Everton, Tottenham, Newcastle and Manchester United hovering within striking distance. 

Inside Futbol takes a closer look at the possible additions for each of the Premier League big guns.


Will the success of the Mesut Ozil deal convince Arsene Wenger to bring out the chequebook and chase more big names? Unlikely, but the Gunners have been linked with several swoops during the transfer window. Sceptics continue to believe that Wenger's squad is too lightweight to go all the way, especially with Olivier Giroud as the only top class striker and that the heavy fixture list will eventually catch up with Arsenal. Injuries are beginning to stack up at the Emirates, with Giroud and fellow striker Nicklas Bendtner sidelined.

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Finding another striker should be a key objective this month, as well as a little more steel in midfield, particularly after being exposed in the 6-3 loss at Manchester City. Wenger is seemingly interested in bringing Real Madrid's Alvaro Morata to north London, despite the Spanish giants' insistence that there will be no sales in January. Morata has shone for the Spain Under-21 side and would give the Gunners another quality option at that end of the pitch. Karim Benzema and Diego Costa have also been linked with Arsenal, though Atletico Madrid want to keep the latter until at least the end of the season as they chase domestic and European glory. If Wenger wishes to add another central midfield option, Yohan Cabaye (with a price tag likely north of £20m) and Youssouf Mulumbu are two talented targets. Real Madrid's Iker Casillas could be a goalkeeping upgrade if Wenger wishes to address that area.


  Manchester City

While Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero have set their sights on luring Lionel Messi to Manchester, Manuel Pellegrini will likely focus on more realistic targets. Manchester City are in fine form, despite Aguero's absence through injury, and already boast the Premier League's strongest squad – however, never rule the Citizens out of the transfer market. Joe Hart's return to the first team reduces the likelihood of a bid for Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer but Manchester City have been linked with Villarreal's Argentine defender Mateo Musacchio, who is quickly becoming one of Europe's most in demand targets. Stoke keeper Asmir Begovic and Real Madrid duo Casillas and Pepe could also emerge as transfer options too.

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Jose Mourinho insists that a new striker is not on his January wishlist, but the Portuguese will know that a proven goalscorer is all that separates Chelsea from topping the table at this point. Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Samuel Eto'o have all struggled this season, contributing to the astonishing statistic that no Chelsea striker scored away in the league in 2013. That is simply not good enough. That trio has given little indication that they can spearhead a title challenge, showcasing just how well the defence and midfield have played to keep the Blues in the hunt. Goalscoring saviours will come at a hefty price, however. Monaco's Radamel Falcao is the name most frequently linked with a move to Stamford Bridge while FC Porto's Jackson Martinez has reportedly shot up Chelsea's wishlist. Either player would represent a significant upgrade. Hulk and Diego Costa have also been mentioned but would appear to be long shots. Given that Chelsea are in the thick of the title race, it would be a huge surprise if Mourinho does not dip into the transfer market to solve the striker situation this month.

In terms of addressing other areas, a deal for Inter Milan's Fredy Guarin looks imminent while defender Andrea Ranocchia and former Liverpool man Xabi Alonso have also been mentioned.


Brendan Rodgers is unlikely to view January as a month to tinker dramatically with his squad, despite heartbreaking losses to Manchester City and Chelsea over the Christmas period. Squad depth is no longer a major issue for the Reds and the returns of Daniel Sturridge and Steven Gerrard will be a major boost. That said, Luis Suarez's phenomenal goalscoring is not sustainable over the next five months and Rodgers will need others to relieve some of that burden if the Reds are to stay in the title picture. Sevilla star Ivan Rakitic and Barcelona youngster Cristian Tello are rumoured to be on the Reds' radar, but FC Basel's Mohamed Salah looks a safer bet to arrive at Anfield this month. Burnley sensation Danny Ings and PSG's Javier Pastore are other names that have surfaced.

Manchester United

The champions are unquestionably off the pace but, after their recent gritty winning streak, will still believe that they can close the gap further with a surge in the new year. While flaws have popped up in various areas this season, a creative and dynamic midfield playmaker is still most glaring hole to fill. Predictably, Manchester United have been linked with every big name midfielder in Europe, despite David Moyes' claims that he may only add squad players to the mix in January. Borussia Dortmund duo Ilkay Gundogan and Marco Reus have seen their names associated with a move to Old Trafford, but their price tags are likely to scare off Manchester United. More likely prospects include Galatasaray's Wesley Sneijder (long admired in Manchester) and Everton Ribeiro, who has impressed for Cruzeiro. The club's long-term pursuits of left-backs Leighton Baines and Luke Shaw will likely bear no fruit in January, but Ross Barkley is gathering momentum as a target.


Like so many other years, Everton's primary focus will be on retaining their key men, rather than chasing a host of targets. With bids likely to land on their doormat for Baines and Barkley, Roberto Martinez must stand firm if the Toffees are to realistically compete for the top four, and the Spaniard believes the club are in a position to resist. Prolific Standard Liege striker Michy Batshuayi, also linked with Arsenal, is rumoured to be one major target for Martinez. Lazio's Eddy Onazi and Feyernoord's Bruno Martins Indi would strengthen the midfield and defence respectively, and are on the radar.

Tottenham Hotspur

After all the additions over the summer, Tottenham's priority should be helping the current group gel rather than chasing more new faces. Tim Sherwood is still settling into his role and the club are unlikely to be active over the next few weeks. Of course, that has not stopped Tottenham being linked with more attackers, including Ezequiel Lavezzi, Shane Long and Diego Perotti. A left-back and another striker would certainly help Sherwood in the chase for a top four finish, but he may have to settle for recalling Benoit Assou-Ekotto from a loan spell at QPR. If Tottenham choose to enter the transfer market, Manchester United's Alexander Buttner would be a good fit. 


Like Everton, Newcastle's focus should primarily be on repelling interest in Cabaye and goalkeeper Tim Krul. Alan Pardew has done a fine job this season and confidence is clearly high on Tyneside. It is hard to envision any earth-shattering moves ahead, but Manchester United winger Wilfried Zaha is a target on a loan deal while Spartak Moscow's Aiden McGeady has also been linked with a move to Newcastle. Given the club's knowledge of French football, also look for Pardew to chase a couple of Ligue 1 additions – Lyon's Bafetimbi Gomis and Bordeaux's Cheick Diabate are two possible options.

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