January transfer window: The players who could move and our predictions for each Premier League club

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Man City

What they need: A world-class striker remains the priority after the failed pursuit of Harry Kane although that will not happen before next summer. City are one of several top clubs eyeing Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland.

Who they need to move on: Finalising the deal to take Ferran Torres to Barcelona for £55 million before the window was even formally open represents the biggest January departure.

Who’s doing the deals: Director of football Txiki Begiristain and chief executive Ferran Soriano handle the negotiations.  

January track record: City tend to avoid doing business in the winter window but their last major signing in January, Aymeric Laporte, was a resounding success. James Ducker


Liverpool

What they need: If everyone stays fit and available, not much. If the African Nations Cup goes ahead and they are short of depth again? Plenty. But short-term transfer policy has long been off the agenda, and signing strikers to cover for Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane for a few games does not make a lot of financial sense. Liverpool look on course for another season where they get close to, or even surpass, 90 Premier League points. What they really need is Man City to slip up.

Who they need to move on: Klopp has basically been centre-half Nat Phillips’ agent for the last six months, shocked that no Premier League club has bid for him after his Liverpool breakthrough last season. He will surely attract more interest this time. Klopp is similarly surprised no-one has offered Divock Origi a guaranteed starting role, although interest in the Belgian in this window would be complicated without a ready-made replacement because it would reduce the cover for Salah and Mane.

Who’s doing the deals: Michael Edwards is still around until the end of the season, although the transition from him to the next sporting director Julian Ward (current assistant) will ensure if anything is to be done, they will both be in the loop. It will make sense, however, for Ward to take more of a leading role in the coming months. 

January track record: Liverpool tend not to do much. Last year was an exception because of the centre-back crisis, but the performances of Ozan Kabak and lack of game time afforded Ben Davies served only to underline why the club is reluctant to make reactionary decisions. Liverpool’s squad is in good shape. Chris Bascombe


Chelsea

What they need: Chelsea may seek to recall Emerson Palmieri from his loan at Lyon to provide cover for the injured Ben Chilwell and are considering their options with right wing-back Reece James also out with a hamstring tear. 

Who they need to move on: Defender Malang Sarr almost went out on loan during the summer and he may look for a temporary switch in January, but like all clubs, Chelsea will be aware of the need to carry a large squad to cope with potential coronavirus issues. 

Who’s doing the deals: Executive director Marina Granovskaia is the person who does the Chelsea deals, but all decisions are taken together with Thomas Tuchel and technical and performance advisor Petr Cech.

January track record: Mixed. Olivier Giroud was an example of a good January deal for Chelsea, while the likes of Alexandre Pato and Gonzalo Higuain did not work out. Matt Law


Arsenal

What they need: The striker situation must be resolved and, although it might be more realistic to do so in the summer, the uncertainty over Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s future means that Arsenal could need a new forward now. 

Who they need to move on: Eddie Nketiah has so far refused to sign a new contract, so this is the last chance to generate a transfer fee for him. Calum Chambers and Mohamed Elneny could also leave. Will anyone come in for Aubameyang or Nicolas Pepe?

Who’s doing the deals: Mikel Arteta and technical director Edu. Their work in the transfer market has been impressive over the past couple of years.

January track record: Martin Odegaard was an excellent acquisition on loan last year. The previous season, they signed Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares. Neither have been game-changers. Sam Dean


West Ham

What they need: A centre-back, following injuries to Angelo Ogbonna and Kurt Zouma, and a striker who can provide support for Michail Antonio. West Ham would love to have Jesse Lingard back at the club. 

Who they need to move on: Andriy Yarmolenko is the obvious answer, given his lack of game-time and high wages. Goalkeeper Darren Randolph could leave.  

Who’s doing the deals: West Ham recently appointed Rob Newman as their head of recruitment. Newman previously worked for Manchester City. David Moyes is the key man, though, and has taken control of the process since his return as manager.

January track record: Exceptional in recent seasons. Tomas Soucek and Jarrod Bowen both arrived in January 2020, while Lingard was a revelation last year following his loan from Manchester United. SD


Tottenham

What they need: Antonio Conte will be hoping to make additions to his squad with a central defender, a forward and a midfielder all on his list of priorities. Dusan Vlahovic is a long-term target of Spurs, but they will face competition for the Fiorentina striker.

Who they need to move on: Dele Alli is the highest-profile player of those Tottenham will be willing to listen to offers for on loan or permanent deals. Harry Winks and Matt Doherty are two others who will be allowed to leave if the right offer comes in.

Who’s doing the deals: Fabio Paratici was appointed managing director of football during the summer and chairman Daniel Levy has said that he wants recruitment at the club to improve so the pressure will be on the Italian, with Conte having a big say.

January track record: Mixed. Steven Bergwijn has not set the world alight since joining in January 2020, although Lucas Moura who arrived three years ago has proved to be a sound investment. ML


Man Utd

What they need: Ralf Rangnick would like to bring in a defensive midfielder but only if a player of the right quality and mentality can be found but United may need to first trim a bloated squad to free up space on a soaring wage bill and free up funds. 

Who they need to move on: Anthony Martial’s agent has said the France striker wants to leave. Dean Henderson, Donny van de Beek, Eric Bailly and Edinson Cavani are the subject of loan interest. Jesse Lingard is likely to see out the season at Old Trafford before leaving as a free agent in the summer.

Who’s doing the deals: John Murtough, United’s football director, and Rangnick will settle on targets. Negotiations are done by Matt Judge.

January track record: A mixed bag. Bruno Fernandes has been a hit but Alexis Sanchez was an unmitigated disaster. JD


Wolves

What they need: Bruno Lage is targeting at least two, perhaps three, new signings in January and wants to strengthen the spine of his squad. Lille’s Sven Botman was a target in the summer and will come into contention again, while Renato Sanches (also at Lille) is on the radar. Cover for Raul Jimenez is also crucial, but cash is tight.

Who they need to move on: The million dollar question for Wolves is whether they sell Adama Traore in January. Talks over a new contract have reached an impasse and with 18 months left on his deal, now could be the time to cash in with a fee of over £25million required.

Who’s doing the deals: Lage has made it clear that additions have been needed since the summer so the onus is on chairman Jeff Shi and technical director Scott Sellars to deliver.

January track record: Mixed. Willian Jose failed to impress last January after signing from Real Sociedad. The £16.5 million capture of Daniel Podence the year before was far better. John Percy


Leicester

What they need: Leicester’s defensive frailties have defined their season, though it has to be said that injuries have been a major factor. Wesley Fofana and James Justin have not featured all season but they will both return early next year in a huge boost for the club. Brendan Rodgers has already admitted there are no funds available.

Who they need to move on: Hamza Choudhury has been close to leaving in the last two windows and arguably needs a loan move to revive his career. Nampalys Mendy, the midfielder, is also expected to leave.

Who’s doing the deals: Rodgers has the final say on players, with Head of Senior Recruitment Lee Congerton – who is a target for Serie A club Atalanta – and director of football Jon Rudkin working on potential signings with Leicester’s revered recruitment team.

January track record: Pretty bad, in recent years, despite Leicester’s reputation. They failed to sign anyone last January and Ryan Bennett’s arrival from Wolves the year before was very underwhelming. JP


Crystal Palace

What they need: Perhaps one for the summer rather than January, but Palace will need to find a replacement for star midfielder Conor Gallagher once he returns to Chelsea. Another ball-playing centre-back would be helpful.

Who they need to move on: Jairo Riedewald signed a new contract in February but has started only one game all season and is clearly not part of Patrick Vieira’s plans. Some youngsters could go on loan. 

Who’s doing the deals: Sporting director Dougie Freedman had a remarkably busy summer as Palace went through a dramatic overhaul of the squad, and he will lead the way again.

January track record: Jean-Philippe Mateta, last year’s January signing, has not worked out. Neither did Cenk Tosun, who arrived on loan in the previous winter window. SD


Brighton

What they need: Brighton wanted to sign a striker in the summer but were ultimately unable to do so. Neal Maupay has had an inconsistent season and Graham Potter could do with another option.

Who they need to move on: A couple of the youngsters might benefit from loan moves, but the more important focus is keeping this team together. Alexis MacAllister has not played regularly so far this season.

Who is doing the deals: Technical director Dan Ashworth, although Brighton take a modern and collaborative approach to transfers. Ashworth has been given permission to speak to Newcastle United, which could complicate things.

January track record: Tariq Lamptey was a January signing from Chelsea in 2020, and he soon emerged as one of the Premier League’s most exciting young players. SD


Aston Villa

What they need: A central midfielder is now essential after the injury to Marvelous Nakamba, who has been impressive since Gerrard’s appointment. Gerrard is also targeting left-back cover and could raid former club Rangers for Croatia international Borna Barisic, while Ryan Kent is another player who would appeal.

Who they need to move on: Villa’s squad still requires strength in depth, so the only business with outgoings will be players going on loan, such as Keinan Davis and Cameron Archer.

Who’s doing the deals: Villa’s business is guided by sporting director Johan Lange and chief executive Christian Purslow, who will work closely with Gerrard and the recruitment and analysts.

January track record: Villa signed Morgan Sanson from Marseille last January, who has struggled for consistency due to injuries. The less said about Borja Baston, signed in January 2020, the better. JP


Southampton

What they need: Their most reliable goalscorer following the summer departure of Danny Ings has been Armando Broja, a 20-year-old loan signing from Chelsea. Southampton still need rather more creative firepower if they are to push towards the top half of the Premier League and, as they did with Sadio Mane, have focussed their scouting on ambitious young talent who are not yet ready for a leading European club. Angers striker Mohamed-Ali Cho currently fits that profile. 

Who they need to move on: Manager Ralph Hasenhuttl said on Tuesday that he does not expect any departures this month and that he is “relaxed” about his squad. “I am not a big friend of transfers in the January window,” he said. Clubs will be reluctant to lose players given the uncertainty with Covid-19 but Southampton may cash in if an offer was made for Shane Long, whose contract expires this summer. 

Who’s doing the deals: Southampton chief executive Martin Semmens and Hasenhuttl have a strong partnership and work collaboratively on targets alongside Matt Crocker, the director of football operations. The club are majority-owned by the Gao family, but they take a hands-off approach and leave the staff in Hampshire to make key day-to-day decisions.

January track record: Manolo Gabbiadini felt initially like an inspired signing in January 2017 with six goals in four games but his impact soon dipped and Southampton then really got burnt one year later with the £19m club record signing of Guido Carrillo. Kyle Walker-Peters arrived on an initial loan from Tottenham in 2020 and did develop into an excellent signing. Jeremy Wilson


Brentford

What they need: Another option in attack would be useful, with Brentford looking to build on their impressive start to life in the Premier League. A new right wing-back would also improve squad depth.

Who they need to move on: Unlike in previous years, Brentford have no need to sell any of their best players. A couple of younger fringe options might leave on loan but do not expect mass departures. 

Who’s doing the deals: Phil Giles, the director of football. Giles usually works alongside co-director Rasmus Ankersen, but Ankersen is leaving the club at the end of this year.

January track record: Shandon Baptiste, the talented central midfielder, was a January signing in 2020 who is now an important member of the team. Last year was quiet. SD


Everton

What they need: A couple of full-backs, creative midfielder, centre-forward… and the rest. Rafa Benitez had bids for Rangers’ Nathan Patterson rejected last summer and has registered an interest in Dynamo Kiev left back Vitaliy Mykolenko. It promises to be a busy and imaginative window at Goodison Park, Benitez’s lack of funds making cheap bargains, loans or free transfers the most likely source of fresh blood.

Who do they need to move on: Cenk Tosun would have left last summer but for the fact he was recovering from injury. Benitez’s recent fall-out with Lucas Digne would suggest he would not be averse to receiving a significant bid for the French left-back, especially if he could relocate those funds elsewhere in the squad. But, as ever, it is a fluid situation.

Who’s doing the deals: For as long as Benitez is Everton’s manager, he will be in control. Everton are without a director of football following Marcel Brands’ departure – and a replacement would need to be acceptable to Benitez or there will be carnage – so majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri has gone down the route of putting his faith in the coach. 

January track record: Not particularly good since the David Moyes era. Moyes was always adept at a mid-season freshen up with clever signings like Steven Pienaar and Landon Donovan. Since then, there has been more desperation than shrewdness in January. CB


Leeds

What they need: Injury crisis means they could do with strengthening in a number of areas but their priority is a mobile central midfielder. Ross Barkley is one of a number of potential targets in that area. They could also also do with a centre-back after Liam Cooper’s injury.

Who they need to move on: Marcelo Bielsa needs all the fit players he can get and has used youngsters to fill the bench. The likes of Rodrigo Moreno or Mateusz Klich have not been regular starters but it could be argued they are needed for depth.  

Who’s doing the deals: Victor Orta. Seen on TV passionately arguing with a Leeds fan after the draw with Brentford. He puts his heart into getting the right players for Leeds.   

January track record: Their attempts to sign Dan James in 2019 were captured by documentary makers. They missed out despite the Wales forward travelling to Elland Road to sign. Mike McGrath


Watford

What they need: In the market for a centre-back and would like Joe Rodon or Sead Kolasinac, although would face competition for both. Claudio Ranieri would also like a left-back for the second half of the season.   

Who they need to move on: Should they want to raise funds they have an asset in Ismaïla Sarr, who has previously attracted interest from Champions League clubs, although selling him would not show much ambition.  

Who’s doing the deals: Sporting director Cristiano Giaretta is Watford’s dealmaker. He was previously at CSKA Sofia in Bulgaria and had spells in Italy with Pro Sesto and Novara.

January track record: The last time they were in the Premier League they signed João Pedro in January and the Brazilian forward was a regular in the Championship promotion campaign after they went down.


Burnley

What they need: Sean Dyche would like a No8 central midfielder to break through lines and attack. At the back, they have one eye on the future as James Tarkowski’s contract is running out. They are adamant he will stay for the rest of the season but clubs are expected to test Burnley’s resolve with bids.  

Who they need to move on: They are not a squad big enough to be allowing first-team players to leave without replacements. They have assets in Maxwel Cornet and Dwight McNeil but do not want to sell. Erik Pieters could consider a move if a bid came in 

Who’s doing the deals: Chairman Alan Pace has been hands-on since the takeover and enquiries have been going through the American. 

January track record: Josh Brownhill arriving from Bristol City two seasons ago represented good business. Ashley Westwood was also a January signing from further back. They were quiet last season. MM


Newcastle

What they need: In an ideal world, an entirely new defence with two centre backs, a left-back and a right back. They also need a defensive midfielder, an attacking midfielder and a striker. So, in other words, half a team. Business is under way with the imminent arrival of Kieran Trippier and other names under consideration include James Tarkowski, Kieran Trippier, Lloyd Kelly, Sven Botman, Harry Winks and Mohamed Elneny.

Who they need to move on: The list is a long one, but Dwight Gayle, Jeff Hendrick, Ciaran Clark, Emil Krafth, Sean Longstaff, Matt Ritchie and Isaac Hayden have all been shown to lack the quality to get Newcastle out of trouble. Finding anyone willing to buy them, though, has been impossible for the last two years.

Who’s doing the deals: Amanda Staveley and her husband Mehrdad Ghodoussi remain in charge of the day-to-day running of the club, with support from Jamie Reuben. They have also hired Nick Hammond, former sporting director at Reading and head of football operations at Celtic to help recruitment. Every deal will have to be signed off by the real people in charge, which means chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan, of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

January track record: It is difficult to draw comparisons with the past as former owner Mike Ashley was limited to loan signings in January for the last four years. Joe Willock was superb after arriving on loan from Arsenal in January last year. Luke Edwards


Norwich

What they need: Norwich want to sign another attacking player but any moves will be dictated by sales, as their budget was all spent in the summer. There is interest in Max Aarons and Todd Cantwell and if either were to be sold, it would give Norwich room to manoeuvre.

Who they need to move on: Norwich’s squad is a decent competitive size so the only player likely to leave is defender Bali Mumba, who has interest from clubs in the Championship.

Who’s doing the deals: Sporting director Stuart Webber signed a new rolling contract earlier this month and remains the focal point of Norwich’s strategy and forward planning. Webber works closely with Dean Smith, his assistant Neil Adams and head of recruitment Lee Dunn.

January track record: Norwich prefer to do the bulk of their recruitment in the summer and rarely have the finance to make big additions in the new year. Last January, Norwich signed PAOK left-back Dimitrios Giannoulis on an initial loan. The year before, Lukas Rupp from Hoffenheim was the only signing to make an impact. JP

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