Countdown to transfer deadline day... what the big five need
There are just eight days left of this summer’s transfer window and the clubs with their eyes on the biggest prizes in the Premier League are all looking to make up for lost time in the race for star names.
Here is your Sunday World guide to what is required in the last few days of the transfer window – along with the chief targets they are likely to hone in on as the hours tick down to the September 1st, 6pm deadline.
Summer arrivals: Nathan, Radamel Falcao, Asmir Begovic, Danilo Pantic, Baba Rahman, Pedro.
What is required: New faces to freshen up their title winning squad.
Targets: John Stones (Everton - below), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris Saint-Germain), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid).
Manager Jose Mourinho arrogantly appeared to assume that he did not need to spend big money in a bid to maintain Chelsea’s dominance over their Premier League rivals, but the opening two weeks of the season have given him a jolting reminder that standing still is a dangerous game, even for the best manager of them all.
Everton appeared to have slammed the door on defender John Stones moving to Chelsea, but don’t be surprised if he launches an audacious bid for unsettled striker Ibrahimovic from Paris Saint-Germain, as Mourinho is a huge admirer of the Swedish striker he worked with during his days as Inter Milan boss. Atletico Madrid winger Antoine Griezmann is another long-term target.
Summer arrivals: Raheem Sterling, Fabian Delph, Nicolas Otamendi.
What is required: Additional pace in attacking third, defensive strengthening.
Targets: Kevin De Bruyne (Wolfsburg - below).
The watering down of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules has given clubs like City a license to use the vast wealth of their ambitious owners to attack the transfer market once again and after flexing their muscles with the vastly overpriced £49m deal to sign Raheem Sterling, expect more of the same in the coming days.
Expect Belgian attacking star De Bruyne to join City ahead of the transfer deadline and they may also consider a move for an additional forward, following the departure of Edin Dzeko to Roma.
Summer arrivals: Petr Cech
What is required: A world-class striker and holding midfielder
Targets: Mario Gotze (Bayern Munich - below), Aleksandr Kokorin (Dynamo Moscow)
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger confirmed he had three areas of his squad that he needed to improve upon for this season and while he didn’t identify the specific positions, it didn’t take a genius to work out where he was targeting.
Signing of a player of Benzema’s class would have transformed Arsenal’s image, but the player has now confirmed that deal will not happen in this transfer window. Alternatively, Bayern Munich outcast Gotze -- the scorer of Germany’s winning goal in last summer’s World Cup final - would be a classy addition.
Summer arrivals: Memphis Depay, Matteo Darmian, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Morgan Schneiderlin, Sergio Romero.
What is required: Attacking support for the faltering Wayne Rooney is imperative.
Targets: Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich - below), Neymar (Barcelona).
United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has signed off on a few high profile signings this summer, but the Old Trafford ‘transfer guru’ has been guilty of another series of disastrous attempts to sign players that never looked likely to move this summer.
Chelsea’s success in beating United to the signature of Barcelona forward Pedro was a blow to Woodward’s reputation and while he seems to have the financial backing to compete for the best players, there are not many players left to target in the final week of the window.
Summer arrivals: James Milner, Danny Ings, Joe Gomez, Roberto Firmino, Nathaniel Clyne, Christian Benteke.
What is required: Rodgers says he is satisfied with his squad after a summer of rebuilding.
Targets: Liverpool to have signed their last players this window.
Liverpool were never going to attract the world’s top players to Anfield in this transfer window, but they have signed the best available talent from the second tier pool of players and if they fail to improve on last season, boss Rodgers will be the fall guy this time.
Their business in this transfer window may well be done, with Mario Balotelli's loan move to AC Milan on Wednesday one of the best pieces of business Liverpool have done this summer as they were desperate to get the Italian out of the door.