EPL January transfer window (cont.)
Crucial position: Most fans want to see a change of manager above all else, but there are several on-field positions that need attention. It looks like Rennes left winger Sylvain Marveaux will be first through the door, followed by midfielder Yann M'Vila, which leaves central defense and the front line as priorities.
Hey, big spender: NESV has said it will spend if it can find value, and wait until summer if it can't.
Linked with: With that in mind, defense might have to wait -- PSG's Mamadou Sakho would cost at least £15m and Bolton reckons Gary Cahill is worth even more. Perhaps a cut-price deal for Johan Elmander, who's out of contract in the summer -- it's easier to imagine than NESV financing a move for West Ham's Carlton Cole, surely?
Signed: Yusuf Mersin (goalkeeper, Millwall, undisclosed)
Crucial position: It's arguable whether City needs to strengthen anywhere too urgently, but the depth of Roberto Mancini's striking options has been questioned.
Hey, big spender: Default setting is Richard Gere in Pretty Woman. "We're going to spend an obscene amount of money."
Linked with: A £30 million ($47million) deal for Wolfsburg frontman Edin Dzeko is apparently on the table, with Anderlecht's Romelu Lukaku lined up for £18 million ($28 million). Rogelio Funes Mori (River Plate) has also been mentioned.
Crucial position: There's been a lot of talk about bringing in a central attacking midfielder, but the current system ups the need for a deeper, all-purpose midfielder -- like Owen Hargreaves, only fit.
Hey, big spender: Alex Ferguson seems to spend less and less and has already said that he won't give out a cent during January.
Linked with: Not that that's stopped newspaper gossip about moves for Lassana Diarra (Real Madrid) and Wesley Sneijder (Internazionale). It would be more like Fergie to launch a stealth move for Athletic Bilbao's Javi Martinez, however.
Crucial position: Alan Pardew has acknowledged he needs back up at left back: behind first choice Jose Enrique, there's ... er... James Perch, a right-footer who's useless at right back.
Hey, big spender: United has tended to make a smattering of signings in the January, but low-cost deals are most likely.
Linked with: Chelsea's Patrick van Aanholt, who covered for Enrique on loan last season, would be a popular choice; Aston Villa's Stephen Warnock is apparently on Gerard Houllier's "out" list.
Crucial position: Tony Pulis' priority was getting Jermaine Pennant's signature on a permanent contract. Now fullbacks (Stoke has been playing with central defenders Robert Huth and Danny Collins out there) top the list.
Hey, big spender: Pulis is a fan of midseason change so he'll almost certainly be in the market, though spending will be relatively modest unless Stoke makes significant sales.
Linked with: Wayne Bridge, though his hefty wages would be the first of several stumbling blocks.
Signed: Pennant (winger, Real Zaragoza, £2.8m)
Crucial position: New signings aren't a matter of urgency, but a bit of spark down the left hand side wouldn't go amiss.
Hey, big spender: Bruce has been handsomely backed in the transfer market and though he has admitted doubts as to the value-for-money available in January, he'll be confident of more of the same.
Linked with: There's talk of borrowing Manchester City supersub Adam Johnson until the end of the season (which would depend on signing Nedum Onuoha permanently). Charles N'Zogbia has been mentioned, but he'd cost at least £10 million/$15 million -- less, though, than alternative Stewart Downing is being touted for.
Crucial position: Harry Redknapp likes to tinker everywhere but his biggest task remains from the summer: find a top quality striker. His professed faith in Robbie Keane is as dubious as Peter Crouch's recent form.
Hey, big spender: Few clubs have spent as much and as consistently as Spurs in recent years and January is no exception, even if Redknapp insists he's not looking.
Linked with: Most likely that the David Beckham circus will roll into town. As for strikers, a host of names has been mentioned, from Feyenoord whippersnapper Luc Castaignos to Juventus' elder statesman Vincenzo Iaquinta via Fernando Llorente (Athletic Bilbao). Andy Carroll looked probable for a few hours, now fans are talking about bagging Liverpool target Luis Suarez.
Crucial position: "The whole Barclays Premier League is after a goal scoring striker," Roberto di Matteo said recently, adding himself to the list. Peter Odemwingie has only scored two in his last six appearances but is still the Baggies' top goal scorer.
Hey, big spender: Di Matteo is confident enough to be shopping around but knows he'll have to move on a couple of his current squad to fund any purchases.
Linked with: Some hardly outlandish reports have suggested that John Carew, who's been off-color at Aston Villa, fancies joining Albion. Georgios Samaras, out of contract at Celtic come the summer, has also figured.
Crucial position: Anywhere Scott Parker doesn't play could be strengthened, but the Hammers could really do with improved options in midfield.
Hey, big spender: Avram Grant will get a bit of pocket money but that could be boosted by sales, with half the squad deemed surplus to requirements either by fans or the manager.
Linked with: A deal for Steve Sidwell is reportedly in place, which makes a move for Jamie O'Hara (Tottenham) unlikely. Some talk that Nico Kranjcar might move from White Hart Lane, but impressive young Barnsley winger Adam Hammill would be a cheaper, longer-term investment.
Crucial position: The most important thing for Wigan is to hold on to Charles N'Zogbia. Beyond that, and with defender Adrian Lopez finally signed, forward options would help -- especially as Mauro Boselli looks to be on his way out.
Hey, big spender: Roberto Martinez is well practiced at bidding on a budget. He currently has the maximum two players in on loan, though, so making Ali Al-Habsi's move from Bolton a permanent one would be worth the cost.
Linked with: Soon-to-be out-of-contract Leeds midfielder Bradley Johnson would help fill an N'Zogbia shaped hole. Arsenal striker Jay Emmanuel Thomas would make an excellent loanee, though there's also been mention of David Nugent (Portsmouth).
Crucial position: It's no secret that Wolves need a bit of toughening up at the back -- only two teams have conceded more goals at home.
Hey, big spender: Mick McCarthy didn't do much last January, but his stance is that: "if the players are available that we want and we can attract, then funds will be made available."
Linked with: Joleon Lescott (Manchester City), Curtis Davis (Aston Villa), Steven Taylor (Newcastle United). Middlesbrough's David Wheater might be more readily available, but a loan deal for Richard Dunne, who hasn't had much joy since Gerard Houllier arrived at Villa Park, looks like a good bit of business.
Georgina Turner has worked as a sports journalist since 2003. She covers the English Premier League, but also reports on tennis and women's sports for UK magazines.
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