5 stories that will shape the January transfer window
With one of the most unpredictable and competitive Premier League campaigns in full flow, the fast-approaching January transfer window could prove one of the most intense and crucial in recent years.
Up and down the table are questions to be asked; will Arsene Wenger sign an outfield player? Can Leicester manage to keep hold of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez? Will Chelsea or Manchester United buy some attacking flair? Will the teams fighting hard at the bottom attempt to spend their way out of trouble?
It’s all to play for at the top, while at the bottom Chairmen may just get out the chequebook in the hope of grabbing a slice of the huge boost in Premier League TV revenue kicking in next season.
Here’s a little rundown of what to expect on the back pages next month…
The QPR frontman is out of contract in the summer, so Rangers are between a rock and a hard place.
They are largely expected to get £8-10m for the England international if they sell in January, but their hopes of a return to the Premier League would be a dealt a potentially larger financial blow.
Every club in the bottom half is likely to be interested, but Sunderland, Newcastle and Aston Villa appear to be keenest to secure the 26-year-old’s signature.
The Borussia Dortmund captain has been linked with Liverpool ever since Jurgen Klopp took charge at Anfield.
Liverpool’s owners have reportedly given Klopp the green light to spend, but the colourful boss has allegedly stated he won’t get the chequebook out unless a star signing presents itself.
One clean sheet in their last seven Premier League games however suggests Klopp may need some defensive reinforcements.
When most Arsenal fans say Arsene Wenger should go and do X, the Frenchman often goes and does Y and that was certainly the case when the Gunners boss signed exactly zero outfield players in the summer.
With injuries mounting however, and a very credible Premier League title challenge on the go, the pressure will be bigger than ever for Wenger to bring in extra bodies.
Victor Wanyama, William Carvalho and Adrien Rabiot are just some of the names linked with the north Londoners.
Jamie Vardy/Riyad Mahrez
Even a new Star Wars film can’t stop people talking about Leicester City this Christmas.
The Foxes have stunned all before them this term, with Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez have netting 26 Premier League goals between them – more than every team except Arsenal, Man City and Tottenham.
The east Midlands club spent less than £1.5m on the pair too, with Vardy costing £1m from Fleetwood Town and Mahrez an incredible £350k from Le Havre.
Foxes boss Claudio Ranieri is adamant his star forwards will stay, but they will both be high on many clubs’ wish-lists.
Everton breathed a huge sigh of relief when the summer window shut and John Stones remained a Toffee, and now they’ll have to dig deep all over again to deter Chelsea’s advances.
However, the champions’ endless problems on and off the pitch could deter the young Englishman, who has missed just two league games this season with Everton impressing in recent weeks.
Chelsea couldn’t break the Goodison Park resolve in August, and they’ll need at least £40m to even try in January.
You can also expect a host of column inches on Andros Townsend’s likely departure at Tottenham, the in-form Pierre-Emerick Aubemeyang being one of many names linked to solve Chelsea’s problems, while Man United reject Javier Hernandez could attract attention too following a stunning glut of goals for Bayer Leverkusen.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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