Will Guardiola finally buy a centre back?

January 1, 2020

  • The transfer window opens for business for Premier League sides on January 1
  • Managers throughout the division will be seeking players to improve their side
  • Sportsmail has taken a look at what each squad needs and who they may go for 

 

The wait for the start of the January transfer window is almost over and managers will soon find their phones inundated with agents and chairman trying to get deals done.

For some managers they need fresh faces to stave off the threat of relegation, for others it is a case of finding a diamond in the rough to help achieve a top four finish.

Sportsmail looks at what each club needs, who could be moved on and who they are targeting as the window opens for business:

Liverpool have already secured the signing of Red Bull Salzburg star Takumi Minamino

Liverpool have already secured the signing of Red Bull Salzburg’s Takumi Minamino.

 

ARSENAL

What they need: Centre-back, right-back, midfielder

Who do they like: Merih Demiral (Juventus), Jonjoe Kenny (Everton), Dayot Upamecano (RB Leipzig), Pau Torres (Villarreal), Glen Kamara (Rangers), Jarrad Branthwaite (Carlisle development), Antonio Zarzana (Sevilla development), Adrien Rabiot (Juventus)

Who could go: Granit Xhaka, Lucas Torreira

Budget: £30m

Mikel Arteta has only just got his feet under the table at the Emirates Stadium but he will be keen to begin leaving an imprint on the squad, forming a side in his image.

Shoring up a shaky back-line will be his priority in the winter window with 21-year-old RB Leipzig star Dayot Upamecano among those high on the wishlist. With cash set to be made available, expect incomings in north London.

 

ASTON VILLA

What they need: Winger, midfielder, striker, full-back

Who do they like: Josh Maja (Bordeaux), Pedro (Chelsea), Said Benrahma (Brentford), Danny Drinkwater (Chelsea), Glen Kamara (Rangers), Marcus Tavernier (M’Boro), Omar Elabdellaoui (Olympiakos), Sam McCallum (Coventry)

Who could go: Jonathan Kodjia, James Chester

Budget: After a busy summer, Villa would prefer loans

Pedro is an attractive winger for Aston Villa and they may try to explore a loan deal for him

Pedro is an attractive winger for Aston Villa and they may try to explore a loan deal for him

January is an opportunity for Dean Smith and the Aston Villa staff to address the wrongs of the opening 20 games.

Villa have shipped the second highest number of goals so far (36) and they simply do not score enough to compensate for that. They spent big after winning promotion but they may look to use assistant manager John Terry’s Chelsea connection to pull off a major loan deal with interest in Pedro.

 

BOURNEMOUTH

What they need: Centre-back, centre midfield, forward

Who do they like: Joe Rodon (Swansea City), James McCarthy (Crystal Palace), Karlan Grant (Huddersfield Town), Jarrod Bowen (Hull)

Who could go: Nathan Ake, Emerson Hyndman, Ryan Fraser, Andrew Surman

Budget: £30m

Perhaps the best bit of business Bournemouth can do in January is to keep hold of in-demand centre back Nathan Ake.

Eddie Howe’s side find themselves in the thick of a relegation battle and need freshening up across the park. With a lack of creativity hurting the side right now, someone like Jarrod Bowen at Hull may find himself high on the list.

 

BRIGHTON

What they need: Full-back, forward

Who do they like: James Tavernier (Rangers), Kyle Walker-Peters (Spurs), Emil Bohinen (Stabaek), Sebastian Andersson (Union Berlin), Moussa Konate (Amiens), Jamie Hamilton (Hamilton A), Fedor Chalov (CSKA Moscow)

Who could go: Ben White

Budget: £20m

Graham Potter has worked his magic in his first season in the Premier League and has got his squad playing with smiles on their faces (which is great PR for any potential signings in January).

Rangers captain James Tavernier would be the pick of the bunch as they look to bolster the ranks at full-back with Dan Burn and Marcus Montoya currently sharing the workload.

Rangers will be braced for offers for club captain James Tavernier following his good form

Rangers will be braced for offers for club captain James Tavernier following his good form

 

BURNLEY

What they need: Centre-back, centre midfield, striker

Who do they like: Josh Maja (Bordeaux), Jayden Bogle (Derby), James McCarthy (Crystal Palace), Jamie Hamilton (Hamilton A), Adrien Tameze (Nice)

Who could go: Danny Drinkwater (end loan), Ben Gibson, Matej Vydra, Dwight McNeil

Budget: £25m

Sean Dyche is not in the situation some of his compatriots are in whereby they need to spend their way out of trouble.

A new face in central midfield would provide competition for places with James McCarthy one player that are interested in.

 

CHELSEA

What they need: Full-back, centre-back, centre forward, winger

Who do they like: Timo Werner (RB Leipzig), Moussa Dembele (Lyon), Wilfried Zaha (C Palace), Richarlison (Everton), Jadon Sancho (B Dortmund), Ben White (Brighton), Nathan Ake (Bournemouth), Jonjoe Kenny (Everton)

Who could go: Olivier Giroud, Michy Batshuayi, Andreas Christensen, Emerson, Marcos Alonso, Pedro

Budget: £125m

Timo Werner is one of the most in-demand strikers in Europe and is of interest to Chelsea

Timo Werner is one of the most in-demand strikers in Europe and is of interest to Chelsea

No longer under a transfer ban, Frank Lampard can finally get stuck in in the transfer market at Chelsea.

Any budget for the summer will roll over and it is expected that he will eye another striker, easing the pressure on England’s Tammy Abraham, who has stepped up impressively.

A winger is also high on the priority list with the club still feeling the effects of Eden Hazard’s departure to Real Madrid in the summer.

CRYSTAL PALACE

What they need: Forward, winger

Who do they like: James Tavernier (Rangers), Josh Maja (Bordeaux), Odsonne Edouard (Celtic), Dwight McNeil (Burnley), Michy Batshuayi (Chelsea)

Who could go: Wilfried Zaha, James McCarthy, Connor Wickham, Victor Camarasa

Budget: £30m plus sales revenue

Roy Hodgson has remained upbeat on the Eagles’ prospects of keeping star man Wilfried Zaha and there is a sense it would take a huge offer to prise him away.

A striker is top of the list in January with Celtic’s Odsonne Edourard and Chelsea’s Michy Batshuayi – who has spent time on loan at Selhurst Park – two of interest.

 

EVERTON

What they need: Centre-back, centre midfield, centre forward

Who do they like: Jarrad Branthwaite (Carlisle development), Ruben Dias, Ferro (Benfica), Joe Rodon (Swansea), Adrien Rabiot (Juventus)

Who could go: Oumar Niasse, Cenk Tosun, Jonjoe Kenny

Budget: £50m

While new boss Carlo Ancelotti has played down the idea of adding to the current squad, expect Everton to use the appeal of their Italian manager in the transfer market.

Over time, Ancelotti will want to strengthen the spine of the team but that may prove tough in January. Out-of-favour Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot is a potential incoming given Ancelotti’s Serie A connections.

Adrien Rabiot (right) has been linked with a Juventus exit just months after joining the club

Adrien Rabiot (right) has been linked with a Juventus exit just months after joining the club

 

LEICESTER CITY

What they need: Centre-back, forward

Who do they like: Ben White (Brighton), Merih Demiral (Juventus), James Tarkowski (Burnley), Aurelio Buta (Royal Antwerp), Jarrod Bowen (Hull), Karlan Grant (Huddersfield Town), Sam McCallum (Coventry)

Who could go: Daniel Amartey, Filip Benkovic (loan)

Budget: £60million may save until summer

Brendan Rodgers will kick back and watch madness unfold around him. For he has a side that is second in the Premier League heading into 2020 and on course to secure Champions League football.

A centre-back could be targeted to flesh out the squad with Merih Demiral and James Tarkowski on the radar.

 

LIVERPOOL

What they need: Cover at left back, midfield, forward

Who do they like: Ben White (Brighton, on loan at Leeds), Ferran Torres (Valencia), Jude Bellingham (Birmingham City), Sam McCallum (Coventry), Jarrad Branthwaite (Carlisle development), Max Clark (Vitesse)

Who could go: Rhian Brewster, Curtis Jones, Caoimhin Kelleher (all on loan), Allan

Budget: £50m but likely saved until summer

Birmingham City teenager Jude Bellingham is on the radar of a number of top-level sides

Birmingham City teenager Jude Bellingham is on the radar of a number of top-level sides

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was quickest out of the blocks when it was announced the club had agreed a deal with Red Bull Salzburg for Takumi Minamino.

Don’t expect Liverpool to be too active in January. They could well save their funds for the summer. Should they dip back into the market, 16-year-old Birmingham star Jude Bellingham could be acquired with a view to the long-term.

 

MANCHESTER CITY

What they need: Centre-backs, winger

Who do they like: Nathan Ake (Bournemouth), Pau Torres (Villarreal), Jarrad Branthwaite (Carlisle Utd, development), Juan Larios (Barcelona, development), Mikel Oyarzabal (Real Sociedad), Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal), Milos Pantovic (Crvena Zvezda), Mohamed Ihatarren (PSV)

Who could go: Leroy Sane

Budget: £50m

Pep Guardiola may have conceded that a defence of their Premier League title is very unlikely, but the former Barcelona boss may seek new faces to bolster their bid to win the Champions League.

Even with Aymeric Laporte coming back in the New Year, centre back has proven a major weakness for City in this campaign and Ake at Bournemouth would represent a ready-made star to slot into the side should they meet his sizeable price tag.

 

MANCHESTER UTD

What they need: Two midfielders, striker

Who do they like: Odsonne Edouard (Celtic), Emre Can (Juventus), Leandro Paredes (PSG), Gedson Fernandes (Benfica), Declan Rice (West Ham), Jude Bellingham (Birm City), Boubakary Soumare (Lille), Sean Longstaff (Newcastle), Saul Niguez (Atletico Madrid), Jadon Sancho (B Dortmund), Christian Eriksen (Tottenham), Jack Grealish (A Villa), James Maddison (Leicester), Kalvin Phillips (Leeds)

Who could go: Nemanja Matic, Ashley Young, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Angel Gomes, James Garner (loan)

Budget: £100m

Jadon Sancho is considered one of the finest young players in Europe, but would cost a big fee

Jadon Sancho is considered one of the finest young players in Europe, but would cost a big fee

With the race for the top four so finely balanced, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will no doubt want to be proactive in the January window.

United want to strengthen in midfield, as well as in attack having opted out of a deal for Erling Haaland, but players United are after will be tough to acquire mid-season.

Jadon Sancho is a top target but it will take more than £100m to get him out of Borussia Dortmund.

 

NEWCASTLE UNITED

What they need: Winger, centre midfield, defender

Who do they like: Lewis Smith (Hamilton), Mason Holgate (Everton), Granit Xhaka (Arsenal), Jarrod Bowen (Hull City), Ibrahima Sissoko (Strasbourg), Marcus Tavernier (M’Boro), Lewis Smith (Hamilton), Alfredo Morelos (Rangers)

Who could go: Dwight Gayle, Ki Sung-Yeung, Yoshinori Muto, Jack Colback, Henri Saivet, Javier Manquillo

Budget: £25m

Steve Bruce has defied all expectation in the first half of the 2019-20 campaign with a squad that was roundly condemned to relegation before a ball was kicked.

Another winger would be of interest given the lack of offensive arsenal, while they would surely jump at the chance to land free-scoring Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos.

 

NORWICH CITY

What they need: Winger, centre back, def midfield

Who do they like: Mbwana Samatta (Genk), Jarrod Bowen (Hull City), Bilal Basacikoglu (Free), Glen Kamara (Rangers), Victor Camarasa (Crystal Palace), Victor Wanyama (Tottenham), Mike Tresor Ndayishimiye (NEC)

Who could go: None

Budget: £25m

With a budget of around £25m, Norwich will try for Championship stars like Jarrod Bowen

With a budget of around £25m, Norwich will try for Championship stars like Jarrod Bowen

Bottom of the league in the New Year, Norwich cannot afford to be slow off the mark in January if they are to revive hopes of avoiding relegation.

Their budget will struggle to compete with a number of sides around them and so Daniel Farke and his staff may need to get creative. Bowen at Hull would seem a shrewd buy if they can pull it off.

 

SHEFFIELD UTD

What they need: Centre-back, midfield, forward

Who do they like: Jack Rodwell (free), Eberechi Eze (QPR), Ollie Watkins (Brentford), Lyle Taylor (Charlton), Jordan Jones (Rangers)

Who could go: None

Budget: £15m and loans

Who saw this coming? Sheffield United in the top eight of the Premier League after 20 games.

Chris Wilder is unlikely to seek wholesale changes having added a number of new signings, particularly in attack, in the summer. May look to add a midfielder on loan.

 

SOUTHAMPTON

What they need: Left-back, centre-back, defensive midfield

Who do they like: Aaron Long (New York RB), Joakim Maehle (Genk), Glen Kamara (Rangers), Adrien Tameze (Nice)

Who could go: Jannik Vestegaard, Ryan Bertrand, Cedric Soares

Budget: £35m

Southampton have improved massively in recent weeks but they are not out of the woods yet, still 18 adrift of the magic 40 points many feel is what is required to stay up.

Ralph Hasenhuttl wants defensive reinforcements and could give that priority if a combination of Jannik Vestegaard, Ryan Bertrand and Cedric Soares are shown the door.

Like Tavernier, Glen Kamara has caught the eye at Rangers and may be approached in January

Like Tavernier, Glen Kamara has caught the eye at Rangers and may be approached in January

 

TOTTENHAM

What they need: Full-back, centre back

Who do they like: Ben White (Brighton), Merih Demiral (Juventus), Jonjoe Kenny (Everton), Ricardo Pereira (Leicester), Nathan Ferguson (WBA), Mehmet Zeki Celik (Lille), Leon King (Rangers development)

Who could go: Christian Eriksen, Victor Wanyama, Danny Rose, Jan Vertonghen, Juan Foyth, Kazaiah Sterling (loan), Kyle Walker-Peters

Budget: £60m – Spurs have money but likely to save until summer

Jose Mourinho could not have been more complimentary of Tottenham’s squad when he arrived, but the Portuguese will already have a long list of names he would like to bring in.

Full-back remains an area of weakness and Ricardo Pereira has caught the eye at Leicester. He won’t come cheap, though.

 

WATFORD

What they need: Full-back, centre-back, winger

Who do they like: Joao Pedro (Fluminense, agreed), Ricardo Rodriguez (AC Milan), Ignacio Pussetto (Udinese), Milad Mohammadi (Akhmat Grozny), Aurelio Buta (Royal Antwerp), Kim Min-Jae (Beijing Guoan), Marcus Tavernier (M’Boro), Connor Wickham (C Palace)

Who could go: Dimitri Foulquier

Budget: £25m

Watford are seeking a new full-back and they retain an interest in AC Milan's Ricardo Rodriguez

Watford are seeking a new full-back and they retain an interest in AC Milan’s Ricardo Rodriguez

Nigel Pearson has breathed new life into Watford and suddenly, there is renewed belief they can stay up.

Expect a charm offensive for defenders, particularly a full-back, in January with interest in AC Milan’s Ricardo Rodriguez.

 

WEST HAM

What they need: Goalkeeper, centre back, centre midfield, forward

Who do they like: Darren Randolph (M’Boro), Asmir Begovic (Bournemouth), Jack Butland (Stoke); Cedric Soares (Southampton), Aaron Long (New York RB), Joe Allen (Stoke City), Abdoulaye Toure (Nantes), Nemanja Maksimovic (Getafe), Victor Wanyama (Spurs), Chuba Akpom (PAOK), Marcus Tavernier (M’Boro), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea)

Who could go: Roberto Jimenez, Winston Reid, Jack Wilshere, Albian Ajeti, Declan Rice

Budget: £30m

David Moyes ensured reporters at his unveiling that he will be given funds to improve the squad and January will be an indicator of that.

He has a number of holes to fill in the side with a centre back and another central midfielder high on the wishlist. Joe Allen at Stoke and Tottenham outcast Victor Wanyama have been linked.

 

WOLVES

What they need: Full-back, centre back, forward

Who do they like: Aurelio Buta (Royal Antwerp), Gabriel Magalhaes (Lille), Hwang Hee Chan (RB Salzburg), Boubakary Soumare (Lille)

Who could go: Patrick Cutrone, Jesus Vallejo, Cameron John

Budget: £30m

With Wolves competing on multiple fronts, and still in with an outside chance of a top four finish, the hierarchy may just feel flexing their financial muscle in January is worth it.

Hwang Hee Chan is a top target having impressed alongside Haaland and Minamino at Red Bull Salzburg this season.

Hwang Hee Chan (left) is another success at Red Bull Salzburg and he may be snared away

Hwang Hee Chan (left) is another success at Red Bull Salzburg and he may be snared awaySOURCE: dailymail.co.uk


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