The January transfer window has not yet opened and already a huge deal has been agreed, with Virgil van Dijk heading from Southampton to Liverpool for what is understood to be £75million, the highest price ever paid for a defender.
Here, we look at each of the 20 Premier League clubs in terms of areas in which they need or may need strengthening and the business they might do after the window opens on Monday.
It has been the same old story for Arsenal so far this season – great going forwards, but too soft at the back. Also, manager Arsene Wenger must decide whether to sell contract rebels Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil now or risk losing them both for nothing in the summer.
Possible targets: Jonny Evans (West Brom), Medhi Benatia (Juventus)
The Cherries look in need of cover in defence and midfield, while boss Eddie Howe has said he will not be pressed into recruiting a short-term replacement for striker Jermain Defoe, who is out for eight to 10 weeks with a broken ankle. Howe also insists Harry Arter, linked with West Ham, is going nowhere.
Possible targets: Daniel Amartey (Leicester)
A new striker was the priority in the summer for newly-promoted Brighton and, with one having not materialised, it remains so in January. Manager Chris Hughton has denied bidding for Celtic’s Moussa Dembele but would no doubt be interested in bringing the French forward to the south coast.
Possible targets: Moussa Dembele (Celtic), Ze Luis (Spartak Moscow)
Burnley boss Sean Dyche has worked wonders with one of the thinnest first-team squads in the division but could use reinforcements after being stretched in recent weeks. Robbie Brady’s season-ending injury means an extra winger would feature high on any wanted list.
Possible targets: Jordan Jones (Kilmarnock), Majeed Waris (Lorient)
Manager Antonio Conte would welcome new additions in January to a Chelsea squad he considers slight for challenging on four fronts. A forward is a priority, given a lack of trust in back-up striker Michy Batshuayi. The Blues could also do with left-sided cover for Marcos Alonso. David Luiz and Kenedy could depart.
Possible targets: Thomas Lemar (Monaco), Ross Barkley (Everton), Alex Sandro (Juventus)
Palace boss Roy Hodgson has said up front, in goal and central midfield are the areas in which he would like to strengthen. The Eagles are understood to have made an approach for £10million-rated Monaco striker Guido Carrillo.
Possible targets: Guido Carrillo (Monaco), Diego Lopez (Espanyol)
Manager Sam Allardyce is in desperate need of a goalscorer to take some of the burden off Wayne Rooney. Another pacy forward would also bring in an element which has been lacking all season, while new options in central midfield are being looked at.
Possible targets: Cenk Tosun (Besiktas), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Steven Nzonzi (Sevilla)
The Terriers are on course to survive in their first Premier League season but head coach David Wagner could be tempted to draft in a central defender and a winger, with Michael Hefele and Elias Kachunga injured. A playmaker could also be on his wish-list, subject to the return to form and fitness of Kasey Palmer.
Possible targets: Terence Kongolo (Monaco), Jonathan Bamba (St Etienne), Ben Woodburn (Liverpool)
Leicester will have midfielder Adrien Silva registered after the debacle of his summer transfer from Sporting Lisbon, and a striker may come in if Islam Slimani and Ahmed Musa depart. A new centre-back would not go amiss considering Robert Huth, who has been sidelined since the summer, and Wes Morgan are both 33.
Possible targets: Hatem Ben Arfa (Paris St Germain), Solomon Kvirkvelia (Lokomotiv Moscow), Andre Almeida (Benfica)
Liverpool’s critics will have said the Reds needed reinforcements in central defence and the club have now made a considerable statement with the deal for Van Dijk, the man they had been interested in over the summer. The introduction of an additional creative midfielder would also be helpful.
Possible targets: Thomas Lemar (Monaco), Max Meyer (Schalke)
The Premier League leaders are clearly keen to bring in Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal but indications are they are happy to wait until the summer, when they may also look for a defensive midfielder. More of a priority for January is a centre-back.
Possible targets: Jonny Evans (West Brom), Inigo Martinez (Real Sociedad)
Jose Mourinho on St Stephen’s Day said the amount United have spent since he was appointed as manager in 2016 – roughly £286million – is “not enough” and it was recently reported he is keen on signing a central midfielder and a winger in January. Juventus’ Paulo Dybala is a name being linked with the Red Devils this week.
Possible targets: Paulo Dybala (Juventus), Malcom (Bordeaux), Julian Weigl, Christian Pulisic (both Borussia Dortmund), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal), Danny Rose (Tottenham)
Newcastle’s greatest need is for a striker and they are short of pace. The fact that a takeover has not yet happened suggests there will not be a lot of money available. The Magpies have been linked with a loan move for Danny Ings and are hoping to bring in Chelsea’s Kenedy, also on loan.
Possible targets: Danny Ings (Liverpool), Islam Slimani (Leicester), Kenedy (Chelsea)
With Van Dijk going, the big question now in terms of Southampton is what they will do with the money from the transfer. Obviously, Mauricio Pellegrino’s squad will be a central defender short, and the Saints could do with a striker as well.
Possible targets: Ben Gibson (Middlesbrough), Paco Alcacer (Barcelona)
The defence has been a key area of concern for Stoke, who in 20 Premier League matches this season have conceded 41 goals, more than any other club in the division. Along with boosting that department, a new striker also may be on the agenda.
Possible targets: Dusko Tosic (Besiktas), Daniel Opare (Augsburg), Danny Ings (Liverpool)
Bottom-of-the table Swansea have brought in a new manager in Carlos Carvalhal – in terms of players, his predecessor Paul Clement had strikers at the top of his wish-list given the chronic lack of goals (11 in 20 games), and also wanted a full-back capable of playing on both flanks.
Possible targets: Vincent Aboubakar (Porto), Nacer Chadli (West Brom), Andy Yiadom (Barnsley)
Spurs will be on the look-out for an attacking threat to help crack those opponents out to defend and frustrate. Central midfield is a position in need of bolstering considering Victor Wanyama and Mousa Dembele’s fitness problems.
Possible targets: Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace), Ross Barkley (Everton), Geoffrey Kondogbia (Inter Milan), Ryan Sessegnon (Fulham)
Boss Marco Silva impressed with the way his Watford team performed during the opening half of the season, but sustaining that form will be tough – as a run of four straight defeats before Christmas showed – and the Portuguese may well look to freshen things up in January, particularly in attack.
Possible targets: Islam Slimani (Leicester), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), Pontus Dahlberg (IFK Gothenburg)
It is understood West Brom may be tempted to cash in on captain Jonny Evans, who has 18 months left on his contract, if they cannot persuade him to sign a new deal – Manchester City, Arsenal and Leicester all had summer bids rejected for the centre-back. The other major issue is scoring goals, with Albion registering only 14 in 20 league games.
Possible targets: Ben Mee (Burnley), Glen Johnson (Stoke), Danny Ings (Liverpool)
Boss David Moyes wants to add a holding midfielder to a West Ham squad he described as “unbalanced” when he took over from Slaven Bilic. Right-back cover for the willing but ageing Pablo Zabaleta could also be on the cards but a new striker looks unlikely unless Moyes can ship one out.
Possible targets: Steven Nzonzi (Sevilla), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal), William Carvalho (Sporting Lisbon), Harry Arter (Bournemouth)