January transfer window – our writers' predictions for a frantic final week

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January transfer window - our writers' predictions for a frantic final week
January transfer window - our writers' predictions for a frantic final week

With just one week remaining in the January transfer window, Telegraph Sport's football writers have analysed the deals that Premier League clubs are focusing on - from title hopefuls to relegation battlers.

The top three

Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea

By Matt Law and James Ducker

Manchester City are in advanced talks to sign River Plate forward Julian Alvarez in a deal expected to be worth around £18 million. The Argentina international, 21, has attracted interest from a number of leading European clubs but City are set to wrap up a deal before the end of the week, with Alvarez likely to be loaned back to River until the summer at least with a decision then made on his future. It remains to be seen if he will move to England this year or face a longer-term loan somewhere else.

Chelsea are still looking at solving their left wing-back position. They would preferably like to recall Emerson Palmieri from his loan, but, so far, Lyon have held firm. Sergino Dest has been considered as an alternative to help fill in for the loss of Ben Chilwell to injury, but on Monday there had been no official talks. In terms of outgoings, Chelsea will allow Ross Barkley to leave on loan if a club comes in, while Kenedy will also go on loan if a full-back arrives.

Liverpool are braced for a bid for central defender Nathaniel Phillips, who has been linked with Newcastle United, Aston Villa, Watford and West Ham United.

Race for Europe

Manchester United

By James Ducker

There is little expectation of any major incomings at Old Trafford but it could be a busy final week in terms of players leaving and Anthony Martial seems set to be the first one out of the door. After weeks of haggling, Sevilla have finally agreed to cover all of Martial’s wages, with the France striker hoping to now kick-start his career in Spain.

It is thought Martial has been prepared to take a cut to his pay to help push a loan agreement through. Sevilla are chasing a first La Liga title for 76 years and coach Julen Lopetegui, who has been linked with the permanent manager’s job at United, has been keen to add more firepower to his attack and eager to add Martial to his ranks. Their initial offer only covered around half of Martial’s wages, with United digging in their heels and adamant he would not leave on the cheap. Martial is due to fly from Paris, where he is currently staying after United's players were granted some time off, to Seville on Tuesday to undergo a medical and complete his six-month loan.

Newcastle are trying to get a loan deal for Jesse Lingard over the line although United are driving a hard bargain for the wantaway England forward. They have rebuffed interest from Tottenham and West Ham amid reservations about loaning Lingard to rivals for a top-four spot.

Leicester are also thought to have registered some interest. United would stand to earn more by selling Lingard permanently this month but the player favours loan with a view to then leaving as a free agent in the summer, when he will have a wider choice of clubs.

Ivory Coast forward Amad Diallo has attracted loan interest from a host of clubs and could go but goalkeeper Dean Henderson, despite wanting regular football, has been told he cannot leave this month. There could be late loan moves in the window for any of Donny van de Beek, Eric Bailly and Phil Jones although United are keen to keep the squad big for now to help them deal with any potential Covid-related absences and personnel problems.

Manchester United could still loan out Amad Diallo - PA
Manchester United could still loan out Amad Diallo - PA

Tottenham

By Matt Law

Antonio Conte wants Dele Alli, Tanguy Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso all out this week, with the Italian targeting a right wing-back, midfielder and an attacker.

Having had one bid of £15million rejected for Adama Traore, Spurs are hopeful of signing the Wolverhampton Wanderers star and have held talks with AC Milan over midfielder Franck Kessie, who is out of contract at the end of the season. The Italian club are interested in Japhet Tanganga, but Tottenham would prefer to sell the defender, rather than loan him out.

Arsenal

By Sam Dean

So far this month, Arsenal have allowed four players (Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Folarin Balogun, Pablo Mari and Sead Kolasinac) to leave the club without bringing anyone in to replace them.

It is a state of affairs that Mikel Arteta is desperate to address in the coming days, although the Spaniard is clearly unsure about how much business the club will be able to complete. “We are certainly trying,” he said on Sunday. “But I don’t know if we are going to be able to do it.”

Arsenal are in advanced negotiations with Juventus over Brazilian midfielder Arthur Melo, who would provide another high-class option in a position where Arteta is worryingly short. They are also hoping to conclude a deal with USA goalkeeper Matt Turner, who plays for New England Revolution and would arrive as a backup for Aaron Ramsdale. Turner’s potential arrival goes hand-in-hand with the future of Bernd Leno, who wants to leave.

The other key area for Arsenal to strengthen is the centre-forward position. Dusan Vlahovic, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Alexander Isak are all options, but they would all be extremely expensive. Can they find a move for the exiled Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang? If not, they will have to find a way of bringing him back into the fold

Dusan Vlahovic is one of Arsenal's centre-forward options - AP
Dusan Vlahovic is one of Arsenal's centre-forward options - AP

Aston Villa

By John Percy

Aston Villa will continue talks with Juventus over a £18 million deal for midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur. Villa are hopeful of striking an agreement with the Serie A club over the Uruguay international, who has won the title three times.

Luis Suarez has given former Liverpool team-mate Steven Gerrard a glowing review of his international compatriot and discussions between the two clubs are ongoing.

Villa are also keen to sign a centre-half, possibly on loan, to strengthen Gerrard's options in that position. There will be no more players leaving on loan, after striker Cameron Archer joined Championship club Preston for the rest of the season.

Fight to stay up

Newcastle

By Luke Edwards

No club in Europe will be working harder on transfers this week than Newcastle United who have a potent combination of wealthy new owners, in the shape of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and a relegation battle to win.

Newcastle sources told Telegraph Sport of a “manic Monday” as they stepped up their interest in a clutch of potential signings with as many as five players wanted before the window closes.

Whatever plan there was at the start of the month has been replaced by a desire to simply get the best players they can get hold of this month.

There is a hint of desperation creeping in, which could lead a panic buy the closer we get to the deadline. Newcastle are in dire need of a new centre back but have not been able to land one yet as they could not prise with Sven Botman away from Lille or Diego Carlos from Seville. Only a huge bid is likely to change that.

Loan moves for Dele Alli and Jesse Lingard are already underway, while there has been contact with Juventus with the intention of bringing Wales international Aaron Ramsey back to the Premier League.

It is a constantly evolving situation, though, with one senior source saying things are changing “almost by the hour”. It is going to be hugely entertaining to see how things unfold over the next seven days.

Could Aaron Ramsey be swapping Turin for Tyneside? - GETTY IMAGES
Could Aaron Ramsey be swapping Turin for Tyneside? - GETTY IMAGES

Burnley

By James Ducker

Sean Dyche is in a race against time to bring in a striker following Chris Wood's £25m sale to Newcastle and could be backed into a corner if leading targets prove unobtainable. There is interest in Crystal Palace's Christian Benteke but his wages are an issue.

Dyche has been mulling over a move for Andy Carroll if he leaves Reading although Premier League promotion chasers Bournemouth are also interested in former Newcastle, Liverpool and West Ham striker. Dyche has been unconvinced so far about Kieffer Moore, of Cardiff, and QPR's Lyndon Dykes but desperately needs another striker in. He would also like another wide player.

The Burnley manager is also thought to be concerned about Newcastle bidding for James Tarkowski but the expectation to date has been that the defender will see out his contract at Turf Moor and leave as a free agent in the summer.

What are your predictions for the frantic final week? Let us know in the comments section below