January transfer window: What do Premier League clubs need?
Sky Sports News reporters assess every club
By Sky Sports News
Last Updated: 31/12/18 2:10pm
The January transfer window will soon be open but what do Premier League clubs need and how likely are they to do business?
Whether it's reinforcements to boost their challenge at the top of the table or additions to help them pull away from the danger zone, top-flight bosses will be on the hunt for that vital extra quality or experience when the window opens on January 1.
But in a notoriously difficult winter market, who is set to deal? Here, Sky Sports News reporters assess potential incomings and outgoings at every side.
Arsenal would see two of the previous stars under Arsene Wenger - Aaron Ramsey and Danny Welbeck - depart on free transfers in the summer, so they may look to replace them six months in advance.
The Gunners have been linked with a move for Lille winger Nicholas Pepe, but they do have a winger of their own already performing well in Reiss Nelson, who is on loan at Hoffenheim.
Defenders may also be on the agenda with ongoing injuries to Hector Bellerin (calf), Konstantinos Mavropanos (groin) and Rob Holding (knee) forcing Unai Emery to play Stephan Lichtsteiner in a back three in recent weeks.
With interest in the likes of strikers Callum Wilson, Lys Mousset and defender Nathan Ake, Bournemouth will be focusing on keeping hold of their key players come January.
In fact, Eddie Howe has already issued a warning to Chelsea that Wilson, who is currently one of the Premier League's top goal-scorers, will not be sold next month, and he also appeared to pour cold water on Fulham's pursuit of Mousset.
Despite a strong start to the season, Bournemouth have had a tough few weeks with injuries, which could force Howe to have a more serious look at new recruits.
There has been speculation too that former England striker Jermain Defoe, 36, is considering leaving the south coast to get more game-time.
With Brighton spending in excess of £50m strengthening the squad in the summer and owner Tony Bloom saying he does not like signing players in the January window, the focus may fall on possible departures from the Amex Stadium.
Highly-rated striker Aaron Connolly, who won the PL2 Player of the Month Award for November, may be loaned out as part of his development and Sky Sports News understands Hoffenheim are one of a number of clubs tracking his progress.
Right-sided defender Ezequiel Schelotto may leave the club, either permanently or on loan, after failing to make a first team appearance this season, while Markus Suttner's future may also be in doubt after falling down the pecking order behind Bernardo and Gaetan Bong for the left-back position.
Centre-back Dan Burn will join the squad next month after being loaned to Wigan immediately after signing from them late in the summer window.
Burnley are embroiled in a relegation fight and they recently brought in Mike Rigg as technical director to help them improve their recruitment.
Sky Sports News reported in November that the Clarets are hoping to find a player that can play both as a striker and winger, and remain interested in signing Jay Rodriguez after missing out on the West Brom striker in the summer.
They also like Chelsea youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi, who is available for loan, but subject to a £20m+ bid from Bayern Munich, and Brentford's Ollie Watkins.
Cardiff City are understood to be targeting a new striker, a midfielder, a right-back and possibly a centre-back as they look to secure a squad that can keep them in the Premier League.
They have been in talks with Nantes over striker Emiliano Sala but boss Neil Warnock recently cast doubt over a deal after the French club asked for more money.
Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri is thought to want a new centre-forward in January, although he admitted there was no urgent need for one after recently playing Eden Hazard as a 'false nine' to great effect.
Sky in Italy understand Sarri would like to be reunited with Gonzalo Higuain and a swap deal with Juventus for Alvaro Morata to return to Turin has been mooted. The catch? Higuain is on loan at AC Milan and the Blues will have to compensate the loan deal they agreed with Juve in the summer.
Crystal Palace are seeking a centre-forward and two wide players in the January transfer window. They have long-term doubts over Christian Benteke and Connor Wickham and are looking at Liverpool's Dominic Solanke as a potential option on loan.
A move for Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi, who is on loan at Valencia, has been ruled out, while a more ambitious target would be Luka Jovic - a 20-year-old striker on loan at Eintracht Frankfurt from Benfica, who has scored 20 goals in 37 games in the Bundesliga.
Palace's star forwards Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend are performing well and the club feel they need to sign replacements, as they fear losing both in the near future.
Everton's run of results before the 5-1 thrashing of Burnley raised a few questions about the depth of their squad. They would like to bring in a striker and a central midfielder, while recognising that January might not be the best time to do so because they will not pay over the odds.
Director of football Marcel Brands has also admitted there is a need to offload players to free up some room within the squad, using the term 'one-in, one-out'.
Brands is also keen to ensure a clear pathway for the development youth graduates such as Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Tom Davies and Kieran Dowell, who has joined Sheffield United on loan.
As Claudio Ranieri looks to steer Fulham away from the relegation zone, Sky Sports News understands they are hoping to add a new striker, a centre-back and possibly a right-back in the January window.
They want to sign out-of-favour Chelsea defender Gary Cahill, and are also interested in Bournemouth striker Lys Mousset.
Huddersfield are another club battling against relegation and will try to be busy in the market to bolster their squad. They are understood to be open to improving most areas of the team but are predominantly looking at loans due to limited funds.
One player they want is Liverpool striker Dominic Solanke, who could be allowed out for the rest of the season for more first team games - but they face competition for the forward.
Leicester's focus will be to try to reduce the size of their squad, though they will keep an eye open for any quality targets that emerge.
Sky Sports News understands they will listen to offers for Shinji Okazaki, Danny Simpson, Andy King, Matty James, Yohan Benalouane and Adrien Silva - the player they signed 14 seconds after last January's deadline and could not register until the summer.
Their transfer targets in January and the summer will depend a lot on which of their unwanted players they can move on; a midfielder and left-back to increase their options in those positions would be key.
A year on from signing Virgil Van Dijk, Liverpool are not expecting to be active in this transfer window. That would only change if their injury situation was to worsen, with two of their centre-half options - Joe Gomez and Joel Matip - currently out injured.
The only other chance of them bringing in new players would be if an opportunity presented itself that made sense to do next month, ready for the future.
Manchester City continue to search for a holding midfield player to take some of the burden off Fernandinho, who turns 34 next year and is entering the final 18 months of his contract.
Until now, Pep Guardiola has been clear that he does not expect to sign anyone in the January window, but he has since seen his side lose consecutive Premier League matches.
Although unlikely, if the right player became available now rather than in the summer, it could be that City review that position and move for him in this window to help their title bid. They have been interested in Ajax's Frenkie de Jong and Borussia Dortmund's Julian Weigl.
The feel-good factor is back at Manchester United and suddenly the chatter about a need to strengthen in January is not at fever pitch.
The key question is who would be behind any comings and goings in this winter window, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his team working closely with Ed Woodward and his recruitment advisors.
Departures are therefore more likely than arrivals but, if United can secure a defensive target, they will do.
The proposed takeover of Newcastle United is complicating things to an extent at St James' Park but, despite that, Rafa Benitez has outlined his need for a left-back, a striker and a new No 10 this month.
Atlanta United's Paraguay international Miguel Almiron is his primary target, with talks already under way between the two clubs. Almiron can play out wide or behind the striker and, if bought on a permanent transfer, he would break a long-standing club-record fee.
Benitez also remains keen on Paris Saint-Germain left-back Stanley N'Soki - a player he tried to sign in the summer.
Southampton want to restore their reputation for developing English talent and it will form the basis of their recruitment under new manager Ralph Hasenhuttl.
Sky Sports News understands the Saints want to strengthen at centre-back and add more pace in wide areas.
Tottenham need to move players out in order to bring any in, having submitted their Premier League squad a man short due to only having seven of the eight homegrown players required.
Sky Sports News has already reported their interest in Bournemouth's Nathan Ake, while they missed out on Jack Grealish last summer as they looked to fill that last homegrown space.
Midfield is the area they are thought to be looking at most closely. They have been scouting for long-term replacements for Mousa Dembele, who is also out of contract at the end of the season, over the last 18 months and injuries to him, Victor Wanyama and Eric Dier could force them into the market next month.
They like players such as Abdoulaye Doucoure, Tanguy N'Dombele, Amadou Haidara and Donny van der Beek, and should they move on either Georges-Kevin N'Koudou or Fernando Llorente, then a space would open up for a non-homegrown player to come in.
Due to injuries to Jack Wilshere, Manuel Lanzini and Andriy Yarmolenko, Manuel Pellegrini is looking to add more creativity to his squad, which will likely come from the addition of Samir Nasri on a short-term contract until the end of the season, with a view to extending it into a longer-term deal.
The Hammers may also look to strengthen with a right-sided defender, with Pablo Zabaleta out of contract at the end of the season and yet to agree a new deal, while summer signing Ryan Fredericks is also out with a long-term injury.
One player West Ham are interested in is Besiktas' Gary Medel, who can also fill a gap in defensive midfield, where Pellegrini has been without Carlos Sanchez and is currently playing Declan Rice.
The name dominating the headlines at Watford is not a new arrival but a potential departure. Abdoulaye Doucoure has emerged as a target for French giants Paris Saint-Germain, with Javi Gracia admitting he is "not surprised" by interest in the midfielder.
The Hornets are determined to keep hold of Doucoure but they are believed to be scouting possible replacements, with Nice midfielder Adrien Tameze the latest name to crop up in newspaper reports. Watford are also said to be interested in Huddersfield's Philip Billing and Poland U21 international Szymon Zurkowski, who plays for Gornik Zabrze in his homeland.
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Wolves are understood to be in the market for a new right wing-back to deputise for and compete with the impressive Matt Doherty, and another striker.
Their star midfielder Ruben Neves is being tracked by a host of big clubs across Europe but has a huge price tag and a bid of that sort is unlikely in January. If it does come, however, Wolves will need to replace him.