It’s that time of the year where transfer news and rumours dominate the headlines – and no more so than for the Premier League’s top sides.
Arsenal transfer news
This one’s pretty simple. They’re not short of goals with 25 between strikers Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette this season. But, despite solving their lack of a combative midfielder in the summer with the acquisition of Lucas Torreira, the Gunners continue to leak goals.
Arsenal have conceded the joint-most in the top half of the Premier League and almost twice as many as fourth-placed Chelsea after 22 games.
Gunners boss Unai Emery has chopped and changed his centre-backs all season, mainly down to injuries, and it’s becoming evidently clear the Spaniard is in desperate need of some Premier League experience in the heart of defence. Reports have seen the north London club linked with Real Valladolid’s Fernando Calero, but the youngster is not what Emery requires at this stage of the season.
While the 23-year-old may be a more realistic target, either of Chelsea’s experienced Gary Cahill or Manchester United’s Eric Bailly would no doubt sure up Emery’s back line.
Cahill is understood to be surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge, having played just 21 minutes of Premier League football under Maurizio Sarri, and would come cheap at the age of 33, but it remains to be seen whether the Blues would sell to a direct rival.
The same goes for Bailly at Old Trafford. The Ivory Coast international, who has two-and-a-half seasons in England’s top-flight under his belt, is out of favour under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. But with both United and Arsenal on the same points as they look to make ground on the top four, it may take some convincing.
Arsenal will also be in the market for a new midfielder with Aaron Ramsey expected to depart at the end of the season for Juventus. Barcelona’s Denis Suarez seems to be high up on Emery’s wishlist and may not need much persuading with the Spaniard keen to find more game time.
Tottenham transfer news
Tottenham have enjoyed a remarkable first half of the campaign as they sit third in the table and just nine points off leaders Liverpool, especially for a club who failed to sign a single player during the summer.
But, with Harry Kane out injured until March and Son Heung-min at the Asian Cup, Mauricio Pochettino has no choice but to bring in attacking reinforcements if he has any hope of winning his first piece of silverware with Spurs.
One option that has emerged for Pochettino is Liverpool forward Divock Origi. The Belgium international has been limited to just 72 minutes of league football this season but has managed to return a goal and an assist in that time. The 23-year-old has proven his talent in front of goal time and time again and would certainly do a job for Spurs until Kane returns to full fitness. And with 18 months left on his contract, Origi would not cost a fortune which would suit Spurs down to the ground.
Pochettino is also said to be a fan of West Brom striker Jay Rodriguez, who he managed for a season at Southampton before his move to White Hart Lane. The 29-year-old has been in fine form this term with 13 goals in the Championship and would likely push for a return to the Premier League.
Hull’s Jarrod Bowen, who has as many goals as Rodriguez this season, is also said to be on Spurs’ radar and would also be a prospect for the future at just 22-years-old.
Tottenham should also consider a long-term replacement for Mousa Dembele, who today completed a move to the Chinese Super League for £9m. And one name that sticks out is PSG midfielder Adrien Rabiot, who would be a massive upgrade and come cheap with just contract running out in the summer.
Man City transfer news
There’s not much Pep Guardiola needs to do to his squad in terms of attacking, with the likes of Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero, Leroy Sane, Riyad Mahrez, Gabriel Jesus and Kevin De Bruyne at his disposal.
But the City boss could do with bringing in a back-up for holding midfielder Fernandinho. City lost both games to Leicester and Crystal Palace last month with the experienced Brazilian missing with a thigh problem.
Both centre-back John Stones and attacking midfielder Ilkay Gundogan were tested just in front of the defence but neither could not provide anywhere near the same service as they shipped five goals in those two games.
Reports claim City are closing in on 18-year-old Croatian midfielder Ante Palaversa with a view as Fernandinho’s long-term successor. But that doesn’t solve City’s problem for the rest of the season, with the 33-year-old likely to need a rest as City fight in four competitions. Wolves’ Ruben Neves would slot in effortlessly but Guardiola has already stated the club are not willing to meet his hefty £100m price tag.
Midfielder Fabian Delph would do a job if he weren’t covering for the injured Benjamin Mendy at left-back. And that position is another problem for Guardiola, with Leicester’s young England international said to be a target. But the champions would likely wait until the end of the season to sign competition for Mendy, who is close to match fitness.