Premier League transfer needs: Where does each club need to strengthen?

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Where does each club need to strengthen during the January transfer window?

[ RELATED: Latest transfer gossip ]

Here’s a quick look at all 20 Premier League teams and the business they should do, if possible, over the next few weeks before the window slams shut on February 2.

Let’s get to it, as PL managers and chairman will be scheming on how to shift players on and bring in reinforcements.

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Striker Manchester City: The Citizens have been hit with injuries up top and adding a new forward will bolster their charge in the UCL and the PL. Playing Milner in the false nine role should not be an option. Will Wilfried Bony arrive?
source:  Center Back Chelsea: An injury to John Terry or Gary Cahill would be pretty disastrous right now. Kurt Zouma & Ivanovic can step in, but Jose should look to bolster his slightly leaky backline. Maybe Micah Richards?
source:  Defenders   Manchester United: Well, United certainly do not need forwards. Reports continue to link the Red Devils with Mats Hummels. That would be a perfect buy.
source:   Center Back West Ham: The Hammers are going to lose Winston Reid on a freebie and although they’ve signed Doneil Henry, he’s one for the future. Big Sam has a little work to do.

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CB/Holding Mid ArsenalAh, the Gunners. Every transfer window they should sign a new center back or holding midfielder… then they go and buy another forward. Arsene, never change. Expect for this window, as Morgan Schneiderlin and Moussa Sissoko could arrive.
source:   Striker Stoke City: Mark Hughes’ men are pretty well stocked across the board but they could certainly do with some more goals. Peter Crouch has been linked with a move to QPR. Maybe Hughes can trade him in for a younger, more prolific model?
source:   CB/Striker/GK EvertonRoberto Martinez has spoken about getting a new ‘keeper in during Tim Howard’s injury as Joel Robles has struggled. The Toffees need a new CB and a striker too, as their PL woes continue. They are in the knockout stages of the Europa League, so need reinforcements.
source:   Defender/GK Newcastle UnitedWith Alan Pardew gone and no new manager in place, the Magpies need more than a few new faces. With Tim Krul out, an experienced ‘keeper on loan could do the business. But they must not let Sissoko and others leave.
source:  Striker BurnleyWe all know Burnley have the lowest budget in the PL and probably won’t do much business. If they are going to stay up, against all the odds, they need to score more. Getting a striker in on loan is a must.
source:   Striker Southampton: Saints are set, despite losing a few players to injury and the Asia Cup and African Cup of Nations. They have already signed Eljero Elia on loan and may need one more attacking option in case Graziano Pelle goes down.
source:   Winger Tottenham Hotspur: Spurs are looking decent, with DeAndre Yedlin arriving and Kyle Walker coming back from injury, they look okay across the board. Rumors of Pochettino buying Jay Rodriguez persisted in the summer. Can Spurs afford him? Maybe Delph will turn up?
source:   Striker/Attacking mid SunderlandWith Jozy Altidore likely to head out of the door in January, Sunderland will replace him and need goals. The third-lowest scoring team in the PL have been linked with Brown Ideye from West Brom.
source:   Striker/Winger Aston VillaTalking about low-scoring, Villa have scored 11 times in 20 games this season. Awful. The Villains need a new man to partner Benteke, but all the rumors are about Delph, Vlaar and others leaving.
source:  CB/Striker  West BromTony Pulis is now in charge at the Hawthorns so expect him to wheel and deal this January. Does he get the final say on deals? He should do, as the new guys brought in this summer are struggling. Crouch could arrive, but Berahino may leave.
source:   Center Back QPRGoing forward the R’s look dangerous every game. They just need to shore things up at the back. With Richard Dunne and Rio Ferdinand not getting any younger, is Virgil van Dijk the answer?
source:   CB/Striker LiverpoolThe Reds will need to get another forward in if their recent upsurge is to continue. Balotelli and Lambert just aren’t doing it and who knows how rusty Sturridge will be? Bony and Berahino should be their main targets. Also, another CB and more is needed badly. Work to do.
source:   Striker/CB Crystal PalaceWith Alan Pardew on board, he needs to strengthen his squad to sustain a battle against relegation. Arsenal striker Yaya Sanogo on loan has been rumored, another CB would be decent too.
source:   Striker/Center mid Swansea CityBony could leave so the Swans will need to line up another forward. They have Nelson Olivera arriving on loan from Benfica, but he’s young and unproven. With Jonjo Shelvey struggling, they need extra bodies in midfield too.
source:   Striker/CM/CB Hull City: Steve Bruce went for it on the summer window, but not all of those moves have panned out. The Tigers have been linked with Vedran Corluka but have been priced out of a move for Jermain Defoe.
source:   Striker/CB Leicester CityDefoe is the main man linked with Leicester as Nigel Pearson wants to add more goals to his front line (who doesn’t?). Some more experienced bodies here and there will help the Foxes, big time.

 

Rumored Neymar for Bale swap: Who wins?

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Who would gain more of an advantage from the rumored, sensational Gareth Bale for Neymar swap: Paris Saint-Germain or Real Madrid?

Both players are currently problems for their clubs, though neither is known as a true rabble-rouser; Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane wants to be done with the newly-minted 30-year-old Bale, while PSG knows Neymar wants to leave and would love to satiate Kylian Mbappe’s appetite to be the man at their club.

[ REPORT: Man Utd, Leicester agree Maguire fee ]

Presumably some money would be headed PSG’s way in addition to Bale, and both clubs would be getting a motivated megawatt star.

Neymar doesn’t turn 28 until February, but the difference in age may be offset by the Brazilian’s track record of injuries.

In fact, his injury status last season combines with an off-field accusation of sexual assault and a red card for confronting a fan to overshadow his production: Neymar’s 23 goals and 13 assists in just over 2300 minutes last season, including five and two in the Champions League (and a goal and an assist against defensively-stout Liverpool).

Bale presents very few personality challenges, and PSG won’t have a problem with his massive wages (especially with Neymar off the books). His numbers have dipped in two of three seasons since his otherworldly 2015-16, but La Liga is a more difficult scoring league than Ligue 1.

Neymar has twice been a Ballon d’Or finalist and, presuming his legal troubles don’t persist, could be a title fight changer in La Liga. Imagine the Neymar, Eden Hazard, and Luka Jovic trying to outgun Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann, and Luis Suarez? Insane.

We’d say Real would be winning the straight-up swap, and that it’s pretty unlikely to go down that way. So it depends what PSG does with the relative Financial Fair Play freedom that would come with the money that also arrives from Spain. Is it Idrissa Gana Gueye? Someone else who helps take PSG’s Champions League hopes to the next level?

Manchester United in ‘concrete talks’ with Lille over Pepe

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Manchester United are reportedly in “concrete talks” to agree a fee with Lille for much-tracked playmaker Nicolas Pepe.

The 24-year-old attacking midfielder has been linked with Liverpool and Arsenal amongst others, and Lille has admitted he’ll be leaving the club.

[ REPORT: Man Utd, Leicester agree Maguire fee ]

United’s reported salvo was around $87.5 million. He’d give them a star who could play across from Anthony Martial or as an attacking midfielder under Romelu Lukaku.

Only Kylian Mbappe and Teji Savanier garnered better season-long ratings than Pepe in the 2018-19 Ligue 1 campaign, and Pepe’s 22 goals and 11 assists stand out from the pack. Only Mbappe had more goals and only Savanier more assists.

Pepe has four goals in 11 caps for the Ivory Coast, and made three starts in Les Elephants’ five-match run at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. He’s a fit for the Premier League, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s system. And if the Red Devils can keep him from Liverpool, well, all the better we’re sure.

Report: Manchester United, Leicester agree to monster Maguire fee

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Manchester United and Leicester City have agreed a fee for Harry Maguire, clearing the way for the English center back to join the Old Trafford set.

That fee is a whopping $100 million, according to Bleacher Report’s Dean Jones. That’s about $4 million more than the world record for a defender, set when Liverpool purchased Virgil Van Dijk from Southampton.

[ MORE: USMNT CB to West Ham? ]

Maguire has been a statistical monster for Leicester City, and he passes the eye test, too.

Manchester United has needed to upgrade its stable of center backs for some time, and now the biggest question is who will work best alongside the 6-foot-4 26-year-old.

The former Sheffield United, Wigan Athletic, and Hull City defender is now 20-times capped by England.

The move could have a ripple effect on the Premier League, as the Foxes have been expected to bid for Burnley star James Tarkowski should Maguire leave the King Power Stadium.

Transfer rumor roundup: USMNT’s Long to London, Newcastle linked with pair

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Could USMNT center back Aaron Long be headed to the Premier League?

The 26-year-old could join West Ham United’s stable of center backs, which includes Issa Diop, Fabian Balbuena, and Angelo Ogbonna.

Sky Sports says that the Red Bulls defender has drawn the interest of Lyon and Fiorentina, but been offered to the Irons should they match his $5 million release clause.

Unable to find a place with Portland and Seattle, Long spent a few seasons in the USL before earning a place with RBNY.

Now 11-times capped by the USMNT with two goals, Long could be bringing his talents to London’s Olympic Stadium.

Elsewhere in the Premier League, Newcastle United has the chance to sign oft-injured Danny Welbeck on a free transfer.

The longtime Arsenal striker, weaned at Manchester United, scored five times in 12 matches last season in a return to injury woes following a 43-match season the prior year.

Newcastle is also being linked with a former defender. James Tavernier has gone on to captain Glasgow Rangers, and the 27-year-old would cost around $10 million.

Surely Steven Gerrard would want more for the defender, but prices haven’t met quality for Scottish Premiership players as we’ve seen with Kieran Tierney at Celtic.