Window watch A-N
With the transfer window in full swing we dissect the market moves to and from the Premier League. To date Chelsea and Arsenal have been the biggest spenders, but both Manchester clubs are expected to open the purse strings soon. Kicking off a two-part feature are Premier League clubs A-N
Last Updated: 10/07/12 10:54am
What they need: Midfield steel, a right-back and, if Robin van Persie departs, another striker. Alex Song's dismissal of defensive duties in favour of assisting the Arsenal attack has somewhat necessitated a move for Yann M'Vila, who has impressed for Rennes in Ligue 1 over the past two seasons. Bacary Sagna's struggles with injury continue to prove a problem, with neither Johan Djourou nor Carl Jenkinson offering convincing back-up. The most important consideration, though, is to resolve Van Persie's future and avoid the final-day desperation of the 2011 summer transfer window.
What they'll get: Arsene Wenger has been surprisingly busy so far in the transfer market, finding plenty of value in the deals for Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud. Van Persie's admission that he won't be signing a new contract will lead to bids for the striker, but the Gunners would hold onto the 28-year-old rather than sell him for the laughable fee of £8million that Juventus have reportedly offered. Whether they can fend off Manchester City is another matter altogether. It seems as though a deal for M'Vila should be completed in the near future, while a wildcard acquisition, such as Alan Dzagoev, could follow.
Heading for the exit: While Wenger insists it's imperative Arsenal keep Van Persie, there are a number on the periphery of his squad he'd be glad to be rid of. A bright Euro 2012 showing is unlikely to save Nicklas Bendtner (probably a straight fight between Real Madrid and Barcelona), while Andrey Arshavin could be another high-profile casualty. When you add to that Marouane Chamakh, Carlos Vela, Park Chu Young and Sebastien Squillaci there's a fair few quid to be saved in wages should Arsenal hold a fire sale. Denilson has already agreed to extend his loan stay at Sao Paulo for a further season.
Sky Bet tip - Victor Moses: Keeping skipper Van Persie has to be top of Wenger's 'to do' list, but a move for the promising Moses, who proved last season he can play both on the wing and behind the main striker, would be a valuable addition to a squad that needs bolstering. Latest odds - 3/1
For up-to-the-minute Arsenal transfer news click here
What they need: Joy and a little hope. The 2011/12 campaign was truly rotten for Villa as they finished with only seven wins and a whopping 17 draws. Replacing Alex McLeish with Paul Lambert has brought some relief to supporters, but the squad still needs improving if they are to challenge for a top-half finish. Darren Bent is the club's only reliable goalscorer, while the midfield lacks creativity.
What they're likely to get: Lambert has already started the recruitment drive by securing Karim El Ahmadi from Feyenoord. The defensive midfielder joins Bosman signing Brett Holman at Villa Park for the new season, with a move for Rennes playmaker Yacine Brahimi also mooted. Lambert was linked with a move for Grant Holt before Norwich gave in to the forward's contract demands and a striker is still Villa's priority. Gabby Agbonlahor has scored just eight goals in his last 58 Premier League appearances and Emile Heskey's departure leaves the new manager short of options. Full-back Matt Lowton has joined the club for an undisclosed fee from Sheffield United.
Heading for the exit: Carlos Cuellar has left to join Sunderland, with Heskey having also been released. Of the rest it's a difficult one to gauge given Lambert has only been in the job a couple of weeks. What we do know is that the Scot doesn't like passengers so last season's costly flop Charles N'Zogbia could be on his bike if he doesn't hit the ground running. There have also been murmurs over the futures of senior trio James Collins, Richard Dunne and Stephen Warnock. Former Villa boss Martin O'Neill is thought to be keen to be reunited with Agbonlahor but Lambert would be loath to lose another striker and only an over-the-odds bid would tempt him.
Sky Bet tip - Jordan Rhodes: New boss Lambert was tracking Rhodes before leaving Norwich and the Huddersfield man could provide the answer to Aston Villa's goalscoring issues. Competition will be tough though as a number of Premier League clubs will be eyeing his signature. Latest odds - 8/1
For up-to-the-minute Aston Villa transfer news click here
What they need: A new Didier Drogba, a right-back and one or two players to leave. The acquisitions of Eden Hazard, Marko Marin and Kevin de Bruyne provide Chelsea with yet more creative talent ahead of the new season, but they may need to trim their bursting squad to find the right balance. Completing a £32million deal for Hazard represented a significant coup, but arguably the Blues' most important deal of the summer - replacing Drogba - is yet to be achieved. Hulk and Stevan Jovetic are possible targets and, with more width in the team, signing another powerful centre-forward to convert crosses should be the club's priority. Jose Bosingwa's departure and Branislav Ivanovic's reluctance to play on the right has also made a new right-back a key requirement.
What they're likely to get: In short, everything they need. Winning the UEFA Champions League previously seemed to be the height of Roman Abramovich's ambitions, but Chelsea's transfer dealings this summer have hinted that it may just be the start. After beating Manchester City and United to the Hazard signing, Chelsea are certain to further strengthen their squad with centre-forward targets currently being discussed. Gregory van der Wiel looked set to join the Blues from Ajax for £8million at the start of June, but the right-back's performances at Euro 2012 may have encouraged Roberto Di Matteo to look elsewhere - perhaps to Maicon.
Heading for the exit: It is not expected Di Matteo will make sweeping changes but what we do know is that Jose Bosingwa has not been offered fresh terms and Salomon Kalou has joined Lille. Neither Florent Malouda nor Michael Essien were regulars under the Italian last term and the arrival of Hazard is unlikely to improve their chances of regular football either. The same could be said of Yossi Benayoun, who spent last term on loan to mixed results at Arsenal.
Sky Bet tip - Thomas Muller: The Bayern Munich star would be a valuable addition to the Blues' ageing midfield and could provide the perfect foil to Hazard. After admitting in the German press last month that he could 'listen to offers' Muller may be a target. Latest odds - 4/1For up-to-the-minute Chelsea transfer news click here
What they need: Everton will look to hit the ground running for a change, and David Moyes will be praying that Nikica Jelavic can continue his form from the end of last season. Two or three new faces would encourage optimism, but it's doubtful whether the Toffees can afford to open the purse strings. Marouane Fellaini must be replaced if a rumoured exit transpires.
What they're likely to get: Everton's shoe-string summer spending is rather like a family camping trip at home in good ol' Blighty. Moyes is a big fan of sporks - an ingenious utensil that acts as both a spoon and a fork - and Steven Naismith has sated his compatriot's desire for versatility. A move for Steven Pienaar was expected before Spurs sacked Harry Redknapp, but that will now depend on the outcome of talks between the South African and Andre Villas-Boas. It's a harsh dose of reality for Moyes, who was linked with the Spurs job following Redknapp's departure.
Heading for the exit: Fellaini continues to be linked with a big money switch away from Goodison, with Chelsea and Real Madrid thought to be amongst his suitors. Moyes is desperate to keep the influential Belgian, but could sanction Tim Cahill's departure with the Aussie having spoken of a desire to try his hand outside of the Premier League at some point in the future. Rumours of Leighton Baines going to Manchester United refuse to go away and it is thought Sir Alex Ferguson is also a fan of team-mate Jack Rodwell.
Sky Bet tip - Wilfried Zaha: The young Crystal Palace winger would be an ideal signing for the Toffees. The 19-year-old impressed in Palace's Carling Cup run last term and is a versatile midfielder who could add pace to the Toffees' attack and could link up with Pienaar, if Moyes secures his signature. Latest odds - 12/1
For up-to-the-minute Everton transfer news click here
What they need: A new striker (two if Clint Dempsey leaves) and a central midfielder. Martin Jol seemed to allow Pavel Pogrebnyak to join Reading without much of a fight, which suggests the Fulham manager wasn't entirely convinced by the big Russian. Indeed, a deal for Mladen Petric was completed just a few days later and we expect Jol has a number of other forwards on his shortlist. A replacement for Danny Murphy is also a priority and a move for Spurs' Tom Huddlestone has been mooted.
What they're likely to get: At least one more striker should arrive at Craven Cottage, with Jol splitting his budget between that acquisition and a new central midfielder. If Andre Villas-Boas recruits Joao Moutinho for Tottenham, a deal for Huddlestone could arise. Otherwise, Jol will probably pluck someone from obscurity - pray it's not Hossam Ghaly.
Heading for the exit: Jol is nothing if not ruthless and having decided Bobby Zamora wasn't up to the task last season in shipping him off to QPR in January, he has done exactly the same to Andy Johnson over the summer. The failure to land Pogrebnyak on a permanent deal leaves Fulham more in need to buy than sell but if reports from West London are to be believed, Simon Davies is another possible exit as Jol continues with his plan to lower the average age of his squad. Orlando Sa has also left the club after a miserable 12 months in the capital.
Sky Bet tip - Jordan Rhodes: After losing Zamora, Pogrebnyak and Johnson in the last six months, the Cottagers will be keen to re-inforce their ranks and Rhodes could fit the bill. The lure of a realistic chance of Europa League qualification could give Fulham the edge over their rivals. Latest odds - 6/1
For up-to-the-minute Fulham transfer news click here
What they need: Players who can slot seamlessly into Brendan Rodgers' football philosophy. In many ways, the return of Alberto Aquilani could be one of the most important deals of the summer for Liverpool, with the Italian's composure in possession suitable for Rodgers' plans. Swansea's Joe Allen is an obvious transfer rumour. The departure of Dirk Kuyt - and the fact that the club scored fewer goals than relegated Blackburn last season - also puts a new striker on the shopping list, with Demba Ba's release clause still waiting to be activated.
What they're likely to get: Following the lavish and somewhat questionable fees FSG have splurged in the last 18 months, Rodgers will have limited funds to spend this summer, highlighted by the club's refusal to enter a wage war with Spurs over Gylfi Sigurdsson. A move for Allen would make sense (a tempting offer would negate any gentleman's agreement), with the midfielder an impressive exponent of the new manager's system at Swansea, while Scott Sinclair could offer trickery on the wing. Liverpool can't attract top talent without Champions League football, so approaching Europe's current elite for possible loan deals could be a sound option. Barcelona's speedy winger Cristian Tello has been mentioned.
Heading for the exit: Long-serving workhorse Kuyt has cut ties with the club after six years at Anfield to join Fenerbahce, while Fabio Aurelio failed to earn a contract extension after an injury-hit campaign last term. Youngsters Stephen Darby and David Amoo have also been shown the exit door. Craig Bellamy has been linked with a return to Cardiff City but Rodgers insists he is in no rush to oversee a clear-out on Merseyside. Should Rodgers elect to swell his coffers by selling one of his prized assets there'd be no shortage of takers. Manchester City continue to flash admiring glances at Martin Skrtel and AC Milan are missing Mark Hateley so much they've said they'd love to take Andy Carroll to Serie A. Rodgers has spoken of a desire to tie Luis Suarez to a new long-term deal with Juventus hovering in the background, while there have been murmurs on Merseyside that Jose Reina is also attracting interest from afar.
Sky Bet tip - Clint Dempsey: Dempsey was in sensational form for Fulham last season and Liverpool are favourites to sign the USA international. He originally stated he would only move for Champions League football, but the lure of the Kop could see him at Anfield in August. Latest odds - 4/1
For up-to-the-minute Liverpool transfer news click here
What they need: A new centre-back, perhaps more width, and a replacement for Edin Dzeko should the striker leave for Juventus, AC Milan or Bayern Munich, as reported. The pursuit of Eden Hazard indicates that Roberto Mancini wants to sign a new winger ahead of the big kick-off, with Adam Johnson possibly set to depart after failing to convince the manager of his worth. Robin van Persie would suit a wide role in a 4-2-3-1 system and Martin Skrtel and Fabricio Coloccini have been suggested as defensive targets.
What they're likely to get: Although Mancini has confirmed his interest in Van Persie, the club won't break the bank for a player with just one year left on his contract. Indeed, City's owners appear keen to adhere to the Financial Fair Play restrictions, with reports that Mancini will need to trim his squad in order to bring in new faces. If the manager achieves that aim, stellar names such as Edinson Cavani, Javi Martinez and Karim Benzema are among the list of rumoured targets.
Heading for the exit: With UEFA's Financial Fair Play regulations to come into play next season City will be keen to shed their squad of any excess fat. Forgotten man Wayne Bridge has remembered he's still a footballer in joining Brighton on a season-long loan. John Guidetti's goal glut while on loan in the Eredivisie last term has made him a target for a smattering of clubs across Europe, with Newcastle and Sunderland both interested closer to home. More high-profile casualties could be Nigel de Jong - in the final year of his contract - and Aleksandar Kolarov, who both found regular football hard to come by last season. It is thought the club would listen to offers for Dzeko and they're desperate to get Roque Santa Cruz and Emmanuel Adebayor off the wage bill. Should they sign Van Persie the future of Carlos Tevez will come under scrutiny once again, although the Argentine insists he's happy now he's found the other restaurant in Manchester. Johnson has admirers elsewhere but will want to prove he can cut it at the champions - namesake Michael will be heading for the exit door as soon as City can find a taker.
Sky Bet tip - Robin van Persie: RVP has told the Gunners he is not going to sign a new deal at the Emirates which is certain to alert the likes of big spending City. If the Dutch striker wants to win trophies the champions seem the obvious choice to land his signature. Latest odds - Evens
For up-to-the-minute Manchester City transfer news click here
What they need: After missing out on the title on goal difference last season United are expected to challenge again this campaign. However, the continued reliance on Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes, and the failure of squad players, such as Anderson, to command a first-team place necessitates new faces at Old Trafford. Shinji Kagawa will make an impact and Nick Powell continues the building with youth policy, but Sir Alex Ferguson could benefit from having an additional experienced central midfielder in the squad. He'll probably sign a winger, though.
What they're likely to get: The recent admission in the club's share issue that they are struggling to compete suggests that it will be yet another thrifty summer for United. Ferguson has spent more than £3million on a player aged 27 or over on only three occasions in the last 15 years and will stay loyal to his self-inflicted policy. Angelo Henriquez is an exciting prospect who looks set to join the club from Universidad de Chile, but a £30million bid for Porto's James Rodriguez is a pipe dream.
Heading for the exit: Michael Owen's luck has finally run out at Old Trafford after Sir Alex conceded the chats about horse racing probably weren't worth £50,000 a week. More disappointing is the departure of the highly-rated Paul Pogba to Juventus, with fellow starlet Ezekiel Friers set to join Tottenham in a surprise switch to the capital. A disenchanted Dimitar Berbatov has caught the eye of Galatasaray and could move on, should as expected Ferguson add to his striker pool. Fabio, who has fallen some way behind his twin Rafael in his development, will be given chances to impress at QPR on a season-long loan. Midfield stalwart Park Ji-sung has joined the buccaneering full-back at Loftus Road, while Anderson would be allowed to leave if the money was right. What price the Brazilian being used as a make-weight if United firm up interest in Porto's Moutinho?
Sky Bet tip - Robert Lewandowski: With question marks surrounding Berbatov's future, the Borussia Dortmund striker could provide the perfect solution. After bagging 30 goals last season the Poland star would also add much-needed physical presence to a diminutive United frontline. Latest odds - 8/1
For up-to-the-minute Manchester United transfer news click here
What they need: Despite Mike Williamson deputising admirably for the injured Steven Taylor last season, Newcastle still require an extra centre-back. The Magpies have also been scouting full-backs with Mathieu Debuchy the subject of much speculation. A new striker is needed to provide competition following Leon Best's departure, and the club will be wary that Demba Ba's release clause could be activated at any stage over the coming weeks.
What they're likely to get: A deal for Debuchy appears to be close, and the France right-back would represent significant value for money at around £8million. However, the club have turned their attention away from Luuk de Jong after Twente rejected an offer of around £10million and chief scout Graham Carr, who was recently awarded a new eight-year contract, will be asked to come up with a suitable alternative. Vurnon Anita and Raul Garcia are two talented midfield options and Alan Pardew will strengthen his squad wisely in time for the start of the season.
Heading for the exit: Upon signing for Blackburn a disgruntled Best let it be known he felt underused at St James', but Newcastle fans will have breathed a sigh of relief when they realised headlines of 'Striker leaves Toon' did not refer to either Papiss Cisse or Ba. Decent squad men Danny Guthrie and Fraser Forster have moved on to Reading and Celtic respectively, while Peter Lovenkrands and Alan Smith have been released. Danny Simpson remains at loggerheads over a new deal and could yet quit the North East for QPR, but of greater concern to Pardew will be keeping the vultures a safe distance away from midfield talisman Yohan Cabaye.
Sky Bet tip - Junior Hoilett: The Blackburn forward has technically left Ewood Park as his contract has expired and Newcastle will be looking to boost their already impressive midfield with the gifted Canadian playmaker by signing him for a fee to be determined. Latest odds - 4/1
For up-to-the-minute Newcastle United transfer news click here
What they need: Quality acquisitions to avoid 'second-season syndrome'. Chris Hughton is a capable replacement for Paul Lambert, but Norwich will be fearful of treading the familiar path of promoted teams - such as Hull City and Reading in recent seasons - and suffering relegation in their second campaign back in the top flight. To avoid this nightmare scenario, Hughton will have to maximise the potential of his limited transfer budget, and using a portion of the funds to pay for Grant Holt's contract extension was a shrewd start. Jacob Butterfield is a talented prospect, but Norwich require a few older heads with proven Premier League experience.
What they're likely to get: The Canaries will follow up the capture of Steven Whittaker with bids for a number of other targets. Robert Snodgrass has been linked with a move to join the Leeds escapees, but lacks the pace to have a significant impact in the Premier League. Come the end of August Norwich's squad will certainly have grown, but not necessarily in quality.
Heading for the exit: For the first part of the summer it looked as though Holt was trying to engineer a reunion with Lambert at Villa Park and there's nothing to say the Scot doesn't have his eye on a couple of his other former charges. Getting John Ruddy and Andrew Surman to join Holt in committing their futures to Carrow Road is a major plus point for Hughton. Long-serving Adam Drury has been allowed to join Leeds United and Zak Whitbread and Aaron Wilbraham weren't far behind in heading out of the back door.
Sky Bet tip - Jordan Rhodes: Previous manager Lambert is a fan of the Huddersfield man and Hughton will be keen to bolster his strike-force. The Canaries flourished with players from the lower leagues last season and Rhodes was League One's brightest star. Latest odds - 10/1
For up-to-the-minute Norwich transfer news click here