Transfer deadline day is here and, like everything in this coronavirus-dominated world, it is set to be different to what we are used to.
The number of transfers so far have been down compared to previous years, with clubs at all levels struggling with the financial impact of Covid-19.
However, with the Premier League season now past its halfway mark, the temptation – or in some cases, necessity – of using the market means there are bound to be some deals being lodged before the 11pm deadline.
Manchester United sit second in the Premier League table, three points behind Manchester City, who also have a game in hand, while Liverpool and Leicester are not far adrift in third and fourth place respectively.
United have already got most of their business down, having completed the £37million signing for Amad Diallo from Atalanta, Timothy Fosu-Mensah left for Bayer Leverkusen, while Jesse Lingard (West Ham), Facundo Pellistri (Alaves), James Garner (Nottingham Forest) and Tahith Chong (Club Brugge) have all been sent out on loan.
Phil Jones, Sergio Romero and Marcos Rojo could all still leave, but what is the picture like for United’s title rivals?
Here we take a look at all six of them and consider what the remainder of Monday could entail for them…
Pep Guardiola’s side are looking in good shape at the moment, sitting top of the Premier League table on the back of eight successive wins and five successive clean sheets.
As Manchester Evening News have reported, Guardiola is happy with his options in defence, meaning a move for Bayern Munich’s David Alaba is not on the cards.
The main news from the Etihad therefore concerns Eric Garcia, who is out of contract in the summer and trying to force through a move to Barcelona. However, the Catalan club are cash-strapped and a deadline day deal appears unlikely.
City are short of depth up front, with Sergio Aguero struggling with Covid-19 after a knee injury, but they are not interested in Edin Dzeko or Diego Costa.
Man City line-up after deadline day : Ederson; Walker, Dias, Stones, Cancelo; Rodri, Gundogan, De Bruyne; Foden, Sterling, Jesus.
Merseyside is one area that could be busy today. Liverpool may have won 3-0 impressively at West Ham United on Sunday evening, but they are still looking to bolster their defensive options.
Jordan Henderson and Nat Phillips played in east London, but they might not need to continue their partnership for much longer.
The Liverpool Echo report that a deal for Preston’s Ben Davies is nearly done, with the Reds set to pay an initial fee of £500,000 for the centre-back, whose contract expires in June.
Liverpool are also after Schalke’s Ozan Kabak and could land him, provided the German club sign a replacement, with Arsenal’s Shkodran Mustafi a possibility.
Liverpool could pay a £2.5million loan fee with an option to make 20-year-old’s move to Merseyside a permanent one in the summer.
Liverpool line-up after deadline day: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, Matip, Robertson; Thiago, Wijnaldum, Henderson; Mane, Salah, Firmino.
Brendan Rodgers is keen on signing an attacking midfielder after Dennis Praet suffered a hamstring injury.
They looked at Inter Milan’s Christian Eriksen and Real Madrid’s Martin Odegaard, but neither came to fruition, with Eriksen’s wage demands too high and Odegaard choosing Arsenal instead.
Now, as the Leicester Mercury report , they have turned their attention to Arsenal’s Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Watford’s Nathaniel Chalobah.
Meanwhile, young midfielder Hamza Choudhury’ is expected to leave on loan, with Newcastle and West Bromwich Albion keen on his services and Demarai Gray has joined Bayer Leverkusen.
Leicester line-up after deadline day: Schmeichel; Ricardo, Evans, Fofana, Justin; Ndidi, Tielemans; Albrighton, Maddison, Barnes; Vardy.
Deadline day was supposed to all be about Dele Alli’s potential move to Paris Saint-Germain on loan, but The Athletic reported this morning that the deal was dead.
Chairman Daniel Levy would only let him join up with Mauricio Pochettino if they could get a replacement and that hasn’t happened due to the expense attached to Eriksen.
Gedson Fernandes could be leaving for Galatasaray, after an ineffectual loan from Benfica, while football.london report that third-choice goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga could join Elche on loan.
Costa’s name is floating around on the ether, but looks unlikely. Danny Rose might stay put and sit out the remaining months on his contract, but Japhet Tanganga could leave on loan in order to get more game time.
Tottenham line-up after deadline day: Lloris; Alderweireld, Dier, Sanchez; Doherty, Hojbjerg, Sissoko, Reguilon; Son, Bergwijn, Kane.
Thomas Tuchel’s recent arrival and the £200million outlay in the summer means new arrivals at Chelsea appears unlikely today.
Tuchel is still getting to know his squad, having played just two matches since replacing Frank Lampard, but it seems he’s made his mind up on Billy Gilmour.
The young midfielder was expected to leave on loan, but now football.london report that Tuchel is blocking such a move ahead of a busy run of games, having been impressed by the Scot’s talent in training.
Chelsea will wait until the summer transfer window, when the likes of Jerome Boateng, Memphis Depay and Angel Di Maria may be of interest.
Chelsea line-up after deadline day: Mendy; Azpilicueta, Silva, Rudiger, Hudson-Odoi, Kovacic, Jorginho, Alonso; Havertz, Mount; Abraham.
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Manchester United missed multiple chances to beat Arsenal on Saturday evening, drawing 0-0 at the Emirates Stadium.
Edinson Cavani and Marcus Rashford were culpable of squandering opportunities, as United now sit three points off league leaders Man City having played a game more.
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The Gunners have already ticked off their objectives for the January window. Mesut Ozil is gone and Odegaard has arrived on loan from Real Madrid as a replacement.
Maitland-Niles could leave on loan, with Leicester and Southampton fighting for his signature. Joe Willock could join Newcastle on loan, Reiss Nelson could also be loaned and Mustafi is set to sign for Schalke, according to football.london , with Arsenal happy to terminate his contract.
Mikel Arteta wants a left-back, with Sead Kolasinac also on loan at Schalke and Kieran Tierney struggling with injury. Crystal Palace’s Patrick van Aanholt is a possibility, with just six months left on his contract, but that may not happen today.
Arsenal line-up after deadline day: Leno; Bellerin, Holding, Luiz, Tierney; Partey, Xhaka; Saka, Smith Rowe, Aubameyang; Lacazette.