With Manchester City and Chelsea in impressive form, some Gunners fans are starting to get a bit twitchy at the thought of Nicklas Bendtner being asked to fire their team to the title. But while the search for a striker remains a priority for supporters, it seems Mario Mandzukic may well be staying at Bayern Munich until the summer. If in doubt, bring in another attacking midfielder. Antoine Griezmann and Julian Draxler are precisely the sort of players to get Arsene Wenger spending.
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Villa boss Paul Lambert spoke at the beginning of January about the need to add experience to his squad and his transfer manoeuvrings suggest he intends to be as good as his word - not only bringing in players with experience of football but ones he has experience of working with. Grant Holt may not have been the signing to set Holte End pulses racing but 31-year-old Wes Hoolahan would at least offer a little subtlety in the final third.
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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer finds himself bottom of the Premier League just weeks into his role as Cardiff manager and has acted swiftly to bring in new signings. Mats Moller Daehli, Magnus Wolf Eikrem and Jo Inge Berget have all followed Solskjaer from Norway and the swap deal to bring Kenwyne Jones to the Welsh capital gives his team an experienced target-man option. But getting the loan signing of Manchester United winger Wilfried Zaha over the line could be key to their hopes.
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The exit of Juan Mata was not a decision taken lightly at Stamford Bridge but the feeling within the club is that with Mohamed Salah and Nemanja Matic coming through the door, Chelsea have significantly strengthened their squad in this January window. Jose Mourinho has the pace he craves from his attacking midfielders and the arrival of Matic gives him another defensive midfield option. Antoine Griezmann is attracting interest but that could be Chelsea's business done.
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Tony Pulis is determined to keep that relegation off his CV and has helped power Palace away from the Premier League drop zone. The Welshman will be anxious to strengthen from a position of relative strength so it would be no surprise to see him dip into the market before last orders on Friday night. Momo Sissoko would add steel to the midfield, while Scott Dann could get another top-flight chance with the Eagles.
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A devastating 4-0 defeat in the Merseyside derby coupled with Romelu Lukaku joining Arouna Kone, Seamus Coleman and Sylvain Distin on the injury list has added to the sense of discomfort at Goodison Park as the window draws to a close. Roberto Martinez has little choice but to examine a list of options that are thought to include Ajax defender Ricardo van Rhijn. With Nikica Jelavic gone, it could be a centre forward that is the more pressing concern for the Everton boss despite the arrival of Lacina Traore.
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Fulham's miserable form had shown some signs of abating under Rene Meulensteen with three wins from six Premier League games either side of Christmas but perhaps it was little more than a dead cat bounce. It's three league defeats in a row now and it could require drastic action to arrest the slide. Olympiakos striker Kostas Mitroglou looks quite the coup for the Cottagers and he'll need to be if they are to avoid tasting the joys of the Championship. The Alan Hutton link is not encouraging.
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Steve Bruce had the rest of football purring after guiding the Tigers into the top half of the table with some fine early season form following the club's promotion from the Championship and the January transfer window additions of Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long were supposed to see Hull build on that success. Instead there have now been four back-to-back defeats that could prompt Bruce back into the market to avoid the worst case scenario. Nick Powell would help.
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Schadenfreude can be one mighty motivator and Liverpool fans will be desperate to seize the top-four spot that could end Manchester United's interest in next season's Champions League. If they are to do so, it might require more than bringing back Thomas Ince to Anfield and supporters will be looking for Brendan Rodgers to strengthen a back line that has shown signs of insecurity so far this season. Will the Reds boss get the backing he needs in the coming hours? Yevhen Konoplyanka would do nicely.
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With Manchester City flying under Manuel Pellegrini, panic buys late in the window are unlikely. However, City are always open for business and Fernando looks set to make the move from Porto, while his team-mate Eliaquim Mangala is also thought to be a target. With Joleon Lescott's future uncertain, the centre of defence is probably the area of the team most in need of strengthening in the long term and the arrival of Mangala would address this issue. Ominous stuff.
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"This is the first, and there will be many more to come in time. I want the quality of Juan to be the start of it," said Manchester United manager David Moyes. The arrival of Juan Mata has given everyone at Old Trafford a lift but more might be needed if United are to secure Champions League football next season. Antoine Griezmann, Toni Kroos and Arturo Vidal are all believed to be targets but Moyes may have to wait until the summer to continue his revolution.
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The sale of Yohan Cabaye to Paris Saint-Germain has added a sense of urgency to proceedings and this week could be a big test of Joe Kinnear's credentials in the acquisitions department. Luuk de Jong has already completed a loan deal, while Clement Grenier and Remy Cabella would appear likely candidates to replenish the French contingent on Tyneside. No doubt Alan Pardew would like to add a striker as well but with the Magpies safely ensconced in midtable, will Mike Ashley bother?
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Chris Hughton was handed considerable transfer funds in the summer but the Norwich boss might need to invest again if he is to avoid slipping into the relegation zone. Given Norwich chief executive David McNally has already gone on record as saying he'd prefer death to relegation, Hughton would be well advised to act quickly. Scott Dann and Thomas Ince have been linked with a move to Carrow Road but hard graft might be the only wait for the Canaries to stay out of trouble.
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Given Southampton are currently smack bang in the middle of the table, Mauricio Pochettino would likely settle for no incoming players on the proviso none of his prize assets go the other way. Luke Shaw's burgeoning reputation makes it ever more tempting for Manchester United or Chelsea to steal ahead of their erstwhile rivals with a bid before Friday's deadline, while Adam Lallana is a target for bigger clubs. To lose either would be the bitterest pill to swallow. With record signing Dani Osvaldo seemingly on his way out after hitting the target for just the fourth time this season in a training ground altercation with a team-mate, Southampton look light in terms of No.9s with Rickie Lambert likely to be lonely between now and the end of the season. A swap deal with Mirko Vucinic that would see Osvaldo return to Italy to join Juventus has been reported, while Wolfsburg forward Diego has also been linked - though any deal for the Brazilian would more likely occur at the end of the season.
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It's been widely reported that Mark Hughes is another top flight boss enamoured by Blackpool winger Thomas Ince. Considering the Welshman's oft-mentioned desire to make Stoke less agricultural a move for Lee Cattermole seems less obvious and somewhat flies in the face of such a master plan. Nonetheless the combative/combustible Black Cat purportedly remains a chief target. The additions of Peter Odemwingie (in exchange for Kenwyne Jones) and John Guidetti would seemingly rule out further in-comings of a striking nature but with relegation a real possibility, expect Hughes to wring every last drop out of a January transfer window that could make or break his Stoke City tenure.
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Given right-back Phil Bardsley is Sunderland's joint-second most prolific goalscorer it's no surprise Gus Poyet hankers after an additional goal threat. Argentinian forward Ignacio Scocco is close to completing a £3million switch, which presumably quells reported interest in Genoa's Alberto Gilardino. Valencia midfield Ever Banega, who has 24 caps for Argentina, has been asked about and would represent quite the coup were he to be convinced to join a growing South American contingent in the North East. Few would be surprised were Poyet to return to Brighton to make an improved offer for Liam Bridcutt, while Ince's whistle stop tour of Premier League clubs is also thought to have taken in a look around the Stadium of Light.
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A current position of tenth should not disguise the fact this has been a tough season for Swansea City. With Europa League exertions taking their toll on a squad that has looked a little threadbare at times, Michael Laudrup will be eager for a couple of new faces to freshen up a squad that is only six points above the drop zone. David Ngog has already arrived and Andy King from Hearts is set to follow shortly, but it is Thomas Ince who remains their, and half the top flight's, primary target. Alternatively, Norwich winger Anthony Pilkington remains very much on the radar.
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After a summer of recruitment that saw Andre Villas-Boas make light of the £85.3million brought in through the sale of Gareth Bale, it's widely been reported that Tim Sherwood will have to make do with what he's inherited. Having given Emmanuel Adebayor's career a kiss of life the rookie tactician has at least, for now, solved the conundrum of not having a regular goalscorer but with Roberto Soldado still feeling himself in and Jermain Defoe packed for Toronto, additional firepower will be at the top of his wishlist. Much though could depend on whether Sherwood can further shed his Spurs squad of any excess fat, with Lewis Holtby (who looks to be on his way back to Schalke), Etienne Capoue and Nacer Chadli already reportedly exasperated by a lack of playing time. If Daniel Levy is feeling generous, bids for Alvaro Morata and Mirko Vucinic could be sanctioned, though both players have also been linked with north London neighbours Arsenal.
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New boss Pepe Mel has already ruled out raiding former club Real Betis for January recruits, which if nothing else has left a raft of journalists clutching at straws with regards possible signings. Having sanctioned Shane Long's departure and in light of the Baggies' struggles in front of goal, a centre forward is a priority. An ambitious move for Valencia's Brazilian forward Jonas has been mooted, though they can expect rival interest in a player who has scored nine goals in 18 appearances for Los Che this term.
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Earlier in the week Sam Allardyce said West Ham's business was done with the acquisition of Italian duo Antonio Nocerino and Marco Borriello but until Jim White has retired his yellow tie for another year he'll be working his phone(s). Graham Dorrans, who is out of contract at West Brom in the summer, continues to be monitored, while Leeds United captain Ross McCormack remains a target despite Allardyce's insistence that a rejected bid of £3.2million will not be increased. As Allardyce attests though, you can never quite tell: "The volatility of this window is pretty ferocious. You can't think you are going to get somebody until he has signed on the dotted line. You never know what is going to happen."
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