Sat. Oct 31st, 2020

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Where each Premier League club wants to strengthen in the final days of the transfer window

13 min read

We’re into the final few days of the summer transfer window now and for those Premier League clubs who desperately need reinforcements, it’s time to start making moves happen.

The opening three rounds of the season have certainly exposed plenty of deficiencies and no club can afford to leave the repair work until January. 

Sportsmail takes a look at each of the 20 top-flight teams, who they need to keep their season on track and who they’re likely to get. 

Contributions by Adrian Kajumba, Sami Mokbel, Jack Gaughan, Craig Hope and Dominic King.

ARSENAL

What do they need?

Summer reinforcements so far have come largely in defence, with Willian the exception so far.

However, the Gunners remain in the market for a central midfielder, especially with Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi potentially on their way out of the club. 

There’s optimism at Arsenal they will get someone in before the window shuts. 

Who could they get? 

It’s no secret that Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey and Lyon’s Houssem Aouar are Arsenal’s main targets in the midfield position. 

Reports suggest Arsenal have all but given up on hopes of signing Partey and are concentrating on Aouar, whom Lyon value at £54m.

The French club’s president Jean-Michel Aulas, who’s never shy of speaking his mind, has suggested Arsenal don’t have the money to buy him. 

Arsenal remain in the market for a midfield such as Lyon's Houssem Aouar before the deadline

Arsenal remain in the market for a midfield such as Lyon’s Houssem Aouar before the deadline

ASTON VILLA  

What do they need?

As with last summer, Villa have spent big to ensure they establish a firmer foothold in the Premier League this season.

Almost £75m has gone on the likes of Ollie Watkins, Matty Cash, Bertrand Traore and Emiliano Martinez.

There were suggestions Villa could yet strengthen in the central midfield area before deadline. 

Who could they get? 

And Dean Smith looks to have landed a gem with Chelsea’s Ross Barkley joining the club on loan for the season.

Villa had also been in the picture for Chelsea’s Ruben Loftus-Cheek but moved decisively to sign his England colleague Barkley instead. 

Ross Barkley (right) has joined Villa on loan after they were also interested in Loftus-Cheek

Ross Barkley (right) has joined Villa on loan after they were also interested in Loftus-Cheek 

BRIGHTON

What do they need?

Not too many signings so far this summer for Brighton but they have added to their defensive options and also to their midfield creativity with Adam Lallana coming in.

The one remaining area where the Seagulls could strengthen is up front. 

Who could they get? 

There have been suggestions that Andi Zeqiri, the 21-year-old Lausanne and Switzerland under-21 striker, is a target.

Reports say Zeqiri is ‘of interest’ to Brighton with Italian club Parma also interested. 

BURNLEY 

What do they need?

It’s been a summer of frustration in the market for Sean Dyche, who has brought in a back-up goalkeeper and midfielder Dale Stephens and that’s it. 

Injuries have left the Burnley squad looking threadbare and the finances simply aren’t there to go on a huge last-minute shopping spree. 

It may be that Dyche has to wait until what is effectively a second transfer window, which allows them to sign players from EFL clubs, from October 5-16.

Dyche wouldn’t turn down the opportunity to build up the depth of his squad in pretty much every department. 

Who could they get?  

They have been linked with Liverpool and Wales winger Harry Wilson, who spent last season on loan with Bournemouth, but it would take a club record £15m to bring him in. 

There’s no question Wilson would be a fine signing but Dyche really needs 3-4 players to boost the numbers in his thin squad. 

Liverpool winger Harry Wilson has been linked with a £15million switch to Turf Moor

Liverpool winger Harry Wilson has been linked with a £15million switch to Turf Moor 

CHELSEA

What do they need?

No shortage of new arrivals at one of the biggest spenders of the summer. 

Chelsea have added top quality players in attack, attacking midfield, left-back, central defence and in goal to try and lift them to the next level.

But it’s clear Chelsea aren’t there yet and Tuesday night’s defeat to Tottenham in the Carabao Cup served to emphasise their need for a defensive midfielder before the window closes next week.

Who could they get? 

Chelsea have long been linked with West Ham’s Declan Rice this summer and the 21-year-old, formerly of their academy, would certainly fit the bill. 

It’s likely to take £40m to prise Rice away from their London rivals and it could well be the deal that keeps us most excited during the final few days of the window.

Chelsea could well make a last-minute push to sign West Ham midfielder Declan Rice

Chelsea could well make a last-minute push to sign West Ham midfielder Declan Rice

CRYSTAL PALACE

What do they need?

Fair play to Palace for staying true to their philosophy of flying wingers.  Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend have brought speed to their game in recent seasons.

This summer has also seen the arrival of the talented Eberechi Eze from Queens Park Rangers, who can play either out wide or as a No 10.

But Palace wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to sign another wide attacker. 

Who could they get? 

Palace’s efforts to sign Said Benrahma, among the best performers in the Championship last season, from Brentford looked set to be successful.

But their pursuit of the Algerian, valued at £20million, has stalled and now Fulham have emerged as potential competition. 

Brentford's flying winger Said Benrahma is a target for Crystal Palace and Fulham

Brentford’s flying winger Said Benrahma is a target for Crystal Palace and Fulham 

EVERTON

What do they need?

There have certainly been no complaints in the blue half of Merseyside about Everton’s summer signings with James Rodriguez, Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure looking right at home amid a positive start.

Everton don’t need much else but remain in the market for a centre-back on loan before Monday’s deadline.  

Who could they get? 

One name in the centre-back frame include Barcelona’s Jean-Clair Todibo, who spent last season on loan at Schalke and isn’t in Ronald Koeman’s plans for the season.

Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma has also been mentioned and also Merih Demiral of Juventus.

But the situation remains fluid as we approach deadline day.  

Jean-Clair Todibo (right), who spent last season on loan at Schalke from Barcelona, is a potential centre-back signing on loan for Everton

Jean-Clair Todibo (right), who spent last season on loan at Schalke from Barcelona, is a potential centre-back signing on loan for Everton

FULHAM 

What do they need?

Three games played, 10 goals conceded. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that Fulham desperately need defensive reinforcement to ensure their return to the Premier League isn’t short-lived.

Co-owner Tony Khan said as much after Monday’s 3-0 home defeat to Aston Villa, saying four moves for central defenders had fallen through already for different reasons.  

Who could they get? 

Well, reports on Wednesday suggest Fulham could break the bank and try and sign Milan Skriniar, who was a target for Tottenham, from Inter Milan.

This could well be a club record purchase for Fulham with Skriniar valued at £45million by Milan, a price tag that is putting Spurs off. 

Scott Dann of Crystal Palace and Ryan Bennett of Wolves (on loan) are two of the other names in the frame to help plug that gaping defensive hole. 

Further forward, Fulham have emerged as a potential destination for Brentford winger Said Benrahma after his expected move to Crystal Palace stalled when close to completion. 

Fulham are also sealed the loan signing of winger Ademola Lookman, formerly of Charlton Athletic and Everton, from German club RB Leipzig which would offer a boost to their attacking options. 

Ryan Bennett is a potential target for Fulham, whose defensive frailties have been exposed

Ryan Bennett is a potential target for Fulham, whose defensive frailties have been exposed

LEEDS UNITED

What do they need?

Newly promoted Leeds have already made an exciting and encouraging start to life back in the Premier League.

Coach Marcelo Bielsa has brought in new signings in attack and at centre-half but there would still be more to come.

Another central midfielder and a winger could yet arrive at Elland Road before the slamming shut of the window. 

Who could they get? 

A deal with Bayern Munich for midfielder Michael Cuisance, worth £18m, is set to go through subject to a medical. 

The Frenchman told the European champions he wanted more playing time and Bayern granted permission for him to speak with Leeds with a deal moving closer. 

In terms of wide midfield options, Leeds are keen on Demarai Gray of Leicester or Gyrano Kerk of Utrecht.  They’ve also been linked with Man United’s Dan James.

Leeds are moving closer to an £18m deal for Bayern Munich midfielder Michael Cuisance

Leeds are moving closer to an £18m deal for Bayern Munich midfielder Michael Cuisance 

LEICESTER 

What do they need?

Leicester’s main focus this summer has been on their defence with Timothy Castagne, a right-back, coming in from Atalanta.

The other priority was a centre-back… 

Who could they get? 

And it appears that central defensive box has now been ticked with the £36m signing of Wesley Fofana from French club Saint-Etienne. 

They weren’t too keen to let him go amid interest from Leicester and West Ham but the Foxes made an acceptable offer that includes add-ons.

And that could well ensure a quiet last few days in the window for Brendan Rodgers and the recruitment staff at the King Power Stadium. 

Leicester have had an improved offer of £36million for St Etienne's Wesley Fofana accepted

Leicester have had an improved offer of £36million for St Etienne’s Wesley Fofana accepted

LIVERPOOL 

What do they need?

After their outstanding title-winning campaign, Liverpool had added squad variety by signing Jota, Thiago Alcantara and Kostas Tsimikas for a combined spend of around £72m.

And on the evidence of their performances so far, they remain the team to beat in this season’s title race.

With that in mind, it’s highly unlikely they will do any more business before the close of the window.   

MANCHESTER CITY

What do they need?

Now that City have acquired their centre-back of choice in Ruben Dias, who is poised to sign from Benfica for £64m, they could turn attentions to a new left-back.  

Who could they get? 

Any effort to sign a new left-back depends on whether Oleksandr Zinchenko leaves the Etihad Stadium. 

Ajax’s Nicolas Tagliafico has emerged as one potential target should City look to do some more business before Monday’s deadline.   

Ajax's Nicolas Tagliafico could be a Manchester City target if Zinchenko leaves the club

Ajax’s Nicolas Tagliafico could be a Manchester City target if Zinchenko leaves the club

MANCHESTER UNITED

What do they need?

What started out as a pursuit of a right-sided forward – specifically Jadon Sancho – has morphed into something much more complex after a shaky start to the season.

United’s hopes of prising Sancho away from Borussia Dortmund are fading by the day with an impasse over the German club’s £108million asking price lasting weeks now.

There have been reports of a final offer of £90million being prepared – including £65m up front – in the hope that Dortmund will come to the negotiating table.

But their opening two Premier League games have highlighted a more pressing need for a central defensive partner for Harry Maguire and an addition at left-back.

Victor Lindelof continues to look unconvincing but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer continues to insist he has faith in his central defensive options, which also include Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe.   

Manchester United's pursuit of Jadon Sancho has hit an impasse over Dortmund's valuation

Manchester United’s pursuit of Jadon Sancho has hit an impasse over Dortmund’s valuation

Who could they get? 

United won’t give up on Sancho even though alternatives, such as Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele – on loan – are being mooted.

But bringing in a new left-back looks more imminent.

Porto’s Alex Telles is the target and United have tabled an initial offer of £12m for a player that his club value at more like £17m. 

United argue that Telles is out of contract next summer and could be signed on a pre-contract in the January window in any case, so Porto may as well get some money for him.  

Porto's Alex Telles is a United target at left-back but the Old Trafford club want to pay £12m

Porto’s Alex Telles is a United target at left-back but the Old Trafford club want to pay £12m

NEWCASTLE

What do they need?

A pretty good window for Newcastle all told with Callum Wilson, Jamal Lewis, Ryan Fraser and Jeff Hendrick improving several areas of Steve Bruce’s team. 

Peru international Rodrigo Vilca, 21, who plays in midfield or the No 10 role, is also poised to sign.  

And that may well be the end of Newcastle’s transfer dealings for the summer with the possibility of a loan at centre-back if the right player came up.

SHEFFIELD UNITED

What do they need?

Three consecutive defeats at the start of the Premier League season have dampened hopes the Blades can repeat last season’s heroics.

It’s also increased the likelihood of some new faces arriving before the window shuts with a striker and a centre-back the priorities.  

Who could they get? 

One of those boxes could be close to being ticked with Liverpool striker Rhian Brewster moving closer to a £17m move to Bramall Lane. 

Liverpool have allowed United to discuss personal terms but Crystal Palace remain interested in the England under-21 international. 

Liverpool striker Rhian Brewster is moving closer to a £17million switch to Sheffield United

Liverpool striker Rhian Brewster is moving closer to a £17million switch to Sheffield United

Centre-back Jack O’Connell needs knee surgery and manager Chris Wilder suggested the other day he could miss the rest of the season.

So a replacement will be urgently needed now with Bournemouth’s Steve Cook and Huddersfield’s Terence Kongolo among the possibilities.  

SOUTHAMPTON

What do they need?

There’s not been a great deal incoming business at St Mary’s over the summer with defenders Kyle Walker-Peters and Mohammed Salisu the only arrivals so far.

However, the Saints remain in the market for a central midfielder and potentially a winger and another full-back before Monday’s deadline.  

The winger will depend on whether Sofiane Boufal leaves the club. Manager Ralph Hasenhuttl admitted earlier this month the Moroccan could leave the club. 

Who could they get? 

For the midfielder, a move for Chelsea’s Ruben Loftus-Cheek was discounted because his wage demands were too high, while there were work permit issues with Toulouse’s Ivorian international Ibrahim Sangare, who’s heading to PSV Eindhoven. 

The Saints recruitment team held a meeting on Tuesday to decide how to proceed. 

One potential name could be Celtic’s Olivier Ntcham, 24, who is also catching the eye of West Brom.   

Southampton and West Brom are interested in signing Celtic midfielder Olivier Ntcham

Southampton and West Brom are interested in signing Celtic midfielder Olivier Ntcham

TOTTENHAM

What do they need?

There’s been plenty of business done this summer at Tottenham. Gareth Bale’s return on loan from Real Madrid stole all the headlines, of course, but they’ve also signed Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Sergio Regulion and Matt Doherty. 

But clearly Jose Mourinho isn’t quite done yet and a centre-half and a striker are next on the shopping list as he tries to ensure Spurs can compete on multiple fronts.

Who could they get? 

In defence, Tottenham’s efforts to sign Milan Skriniar from Inter Milan have faltered. Spurs want to pay in the region of £35m but the Italian club are holding out for £55m.

It’s forced Spurs to look for alternatives and they include Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger, who hasn’t made Frank Lampard’s squad in three of their four games so far this season. 

The fact the German has 18 months left on his Chelsea contract complicates both a loan or a permanent move, however, because the Blues would rather not lose him for nothing. 

Up front, there was interest in Napoli’s Arkadiusz Milik but a deal looks unlikely. Any target in that position knows they’ll be back-up to Harry Kane.  

Defender Antonio Rudiger could move across London from Chelsea to Tottenham

Defender Antonio Rudiger could move across London from Chelsea to Tottenham 

WEST BROM

What do they need?

It has been a bit of a slog at times, with manager Slaven Bilic not averse to making his frustrations known, but newly-promoted West Brom have strengthened in most areas of the field. 

Grady Diangana, Matheus Pereira and Filip Krovinovic are three of their promotion season heroes now on board for another year. 

The one area they haven’t strengthened is up front – but there’s time yet.

Who could they get? 

The Baggies are trying to push through a move for Watford’s Troy Deeney, 32, but some work still needs to be done to get a deal wrapped up.

Deeney has played just a minute for the Hornets so far this season having returned late to training following a knee injury.

Watford's Troy Deeney could yet return to the Premier League with a move to West Brom

Watford’s Troy Deeney could yet return to the Premier League with a move to West Brom

WEST HAM

What do they need?

Not much business completed so far this summer at West Ham with the permanent signing of Tomas Soucek about your lot.

So it’s little wonder they remain on the look out for a centre-back, left-back, right-back, central midfielder and right-sided midfielder in the twilight hour of the transfer window. 

Who could they get? 

Slavia Prague’s Vladimir Coufal, a former team-mate of Soucek, could be the right-back option with the clubs in talks over a £4m move. 

In central defence, the Hammers have already seen bids for Burnley’s James Tarkowski and Saint-Etienne’s Wesley Fofana flounder.

On their list of alternatives is Fiorentina’s 6ft 5in Serbia international Nikola Milenkovic.    

Bruges’ goalscoring midfielder Hans Vanaken is also among players manager David Moyes is keen on.

Serbia international Nikola Milenkovic (right) is a potential target for West Ham at centre-back

Serbia international Nikola Milenkovic (right) is a potential target for West Ham at centre-back

WOLVES 

What do they need?

Nuno Espirito Santo famously doesn’t like a bloated squad but with the likes of Diogo Jota and Matt Doherty leaving over the summer, Wolves have needed to do some shopping.

The Porto forward Fabio Silva was signed for £36m and Barcelona right-back Nelson Semedo for £27m – another couple of Portuguese players in their little enclave at Molineux.  

Liverpool’s Ki-Jana Hoever and Lyon’s Marcal were less heralded signings at right-back and left-back respectively.

They might not be finished yet, though, with the potential of another attacking signing before the deadline. 

Who could they get? 

The AZ Alkmaar winger Oussama Idrissi, who is valued at just under £15m and has been linked with Napoli and Sevilla, is reportedly a final summer target. 

Idrissi enjoyed a great 2019-20 in the Dutch league and Europa League, scoring 17 goals and supplying 10 assists to catch the eye of more prominent clubs.  

Potential Wolves target Oussama Idrissi in action for AZ Alkmaar against Man United last year

Potential Wolves target Oussama Idrissi in action for AZ Alkmaar against Man United last year

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