Liverpool set the tone before the market had even officially begun when they splashed out a world record fee for a defender, paying £75million for Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk.
Manchester City might be running away with the Premier League title race, but the leaders can afford to add a piece or two from a position of strength, while Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham prepare to spend, spend, spend in a bid to catch their rivals.
On a record 18-match winning streak in the league, City have no obvious flaws, but that won’t stop boss Pep Guardiola considering making additions.
West Bromwich Albion centre-back Jonny Evans, who City made two bids for in the summer window, is still on Guardiola’s wish-list as defensive cover for injury-prone Vincent Kompany.
Guardiola could also go back in for long-term target Alexis Sanchez if he thinks he can land the Chile forward on the cheap in the final six months of his Arsenal contract.
Frustrated by United’s failure to keep pace with City at the top, Jose Mourinho has already made it clear his side must spend big to have any chance of bridging the gap.
Top of Mourinho’s shopping list are a left-back and a winger.
Juventus’s Alex Sandro and Tottenham’s Danny Rose would fit the bill for the defensive berth, while fast-rising Fulham youngster Ryan Sessegnon could be signed with one eye on next season.
Long linked with a move to United, Rose is the most likely signing as he may have worn out his welcome at Tottenham after expressing unhappiness with his reduced role on several occasions.
Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil, Borussia Dortmund’s Julian Weigl and Bordeaux’s Malcolm are possible candidates to bolster United’s midfield.
United’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Daley Blind could be sold after falling out of favour.
Blues boss Antonio Conte has spent much of the season grumbling about his squad’s lack of depth after Chelsea failed to land his top targets in the summer.
Lagging well behind City in the title race, Chelsea can ill-afford to waste this chance to upgrade Conte’s options.
Atletico Madrid’s Yannick Ferreira Carrasco and Napoli’s Dries Mertens have been linked as Conte searches for a forward who can offer better back-up to Alvaro Morata than the underwhelming Michy Batshuayi
Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal, who worked with Conte at Juventus, is another player who interests the champions.
Having broken the bank to bring Netherlands centre-back Van Dijk to Anfield, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp might find himself most preoccupied with trying to hold onto Philippe Coutinho.
Brazil forward Coutinho has been in superb form of late and Barcelona are likely to return with another offer after having bids of over £100 million rejected in August.
Daniel Sturridge is a much stronger bet to leave, with Southampton interested in the out-of-favour England striker.
After a frustrating first half of the season in the league, Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino will look to spark his side with a major move in midfield.
Everton’s Ross Barkley is admired by Pochettino and although he rejected a last-minute move to Chelsea in August, the England international might be persuaded to accept an offer from Tottenham, who could land him for a bargain price as he has just six months left on his contract.
Amid mounting speculation that Arsenal players and coaches are sick of a reported lack of commitment from Sanchez, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger must decide what to do with the unsettled former Barcelona forward.
Sanchez has refused to extend a contract due to expire at the end of the season, leaving Wenger to either cash in now or lose him for nothing in June.
City came close to signing Sanchez in August and remain interested, while Paris Saint Germain and Real Madrid are also potential suitors.
Wenger, who could move for Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha, will also receive offers for Ozil, with United and Barcelona interested in the German midfielder, who is approaching the final months of his contract.
Provided by Press Association
The Dutch defender will join the Reds from Southampton when the window opens on New Year’s Day, with the fee understood to be £75million.
That alone is a third of the way to the league’s winter record of £225m, set in 2011. The following January was quiet, with just £60m spent by the 20 clubs, but the trend has been upwards ever since and here, Press Association Sport looks back at the biggest-spending winter windows in the Premier League.
The key spending came late in the window when Chelsea splashed £50m on Fernando Torres and Liverpool replaced the Spaniard by signing Andy Carroll from Newcastle for £35m and Luis Suarez from Ajax for £22.8m.
The Blues also signed defender David Luiz for the first time for £26.5m, meaning they and Liverpool had combined for over £134m of the total on deadline day alone.
The window’s other big-money moves took strikers Edin Dzeko and Darren Bent to Manchester City and Aston Villa respectively.
January 2012 was quiet, with just £60m spent, and following three winters in the £120m to £130m range there was a jump forward two years ago – though it would be fair to suggest the bulk of that window’s biggest moves were not huge successes.
Giannelli Imbula headed the price chart at £18.2m and failed to make an impact at Stoke and Oumar Niasse has only recently and sporadically begun to justify Everton’s £13.5m outlay.
Newcastle spent £12m apiece on Andros Townsend and Jonjo Shelvey while Benik Afobe and Wahbi Khazri were £9m purchases for Bournemouth and Sunderland respectively.
Spending came up only just short of the record, though the big-money sales of the likes of Oscar and Odion Ighalo to the Chinese Super League and Dmitri Payet and Memphis Depay to France meant this was the first window ever in which Premier League clubs made a net profit.
The top deals took Gabriel Jesus to Manchester City and Morgan Schneiderlin to Everton but much of the spending came from clubs in the bottom half, led by Crystal Palace laying out £26m on Patrick van Aanholt and Jeffrey Schlupp and West Ham over £18m on Jose Fonte and Robert Snodgrass.
The upwards trend has been mirrored in the summer windows, giving little reason to suspect spending will slow down – particularly after pro-EU campaign group Open Britain indicated that sterling’s devaluation following the Brexit vote added over £100m to the league’s summer bill.
The Saints have their Van Dijk windfall to spend, with their former star Theo Walcott and out-of-favour Anfield forward Daniel Sturridge reported targets in addition to the defensive replacement they will require.
Clubs will take an interest in Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, both out of contract in the summer at Arsenal – who could make Paris St Germain’s Julian Draxler a pre-emptive replacement – while Besiktas forward Cenk Tosun is a reported £20m-plus target for Everton and Palace.
Liverpool Football Club can confirm they have reached an agreement with Southampton for the transfer of Virgil van Dijk.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 27, 2017
Provided by Press Association Sport
Hazard’s father told a Belgian newspaper his son doesn’t wish to commit to a new contract – he still has over two years left on his present one – because of apparent interest from Spanish giants Real Madrid.
Courtois, who had a highly successful spell with Atletico Madrid, has said he would like to return to Spain one day especially as his children are being brought up in Madrid.
However, Conte, speaking on the eve of his side’s match with Stoke City, stonewalled on both counts saying in the case of 26-year-old Hazard whatever was said would not be revealed in public.
“This is a private conversation – between the club and the player, and the agent of the player,” said Conte.
“I’m proud to have him in my team, in my squad, and I’m very happy to work with him.
“He’s a really good guy and has a lot of space for improvement, to become one of the best players in the world.
But, I repeat, on this issue: this must be a private conversation between the player, the player’s agent and the club.”
The 48-year-old Italian – whose side are third in the table 16 points adrift of leaders Manchester City but just one behind a stumbling Manchester United – said he was not aware of the family situation regarding 25-year-old Courtois.
“Courtois has a contract, also for next season, with the club,” said Conte.
“We are talking about a fantastic goalkeeper, a really good guy, and I’m happy to work with him.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) December 29, 2017
“I don’t know about this issue (surrounding Courtois’ family living in Spain).
“For sure, when you are in a great club and you trust in the project, you want to stay. You want to continue to play for this team. The family is not a problem.
“You are talking about two important players for us.
“It’s very important to try to improve your team, to strengthen your team, and not to sell the best players.”
Provided by AFP Sport