x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Who will loosen their purse strings?

As one door closes on 2011 another window opens to give Premier League teams a chance to build on or resurrect their season so far.

Cologne striker Lukas Podolski is part of the Premier League rumour mill.
Cologne striker Lukas Podolski is part of the Premier League rumour mill.

Arsenal

Funds With cash left over from the summer sales of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, there are resources to buy if the right opportunity comes up.

Strategy In need of short-term cover for African Nations-bound Gervinho, Arsene Wenger delighted Arsenal supporters by setting up a two-month loan for striker Thierry Henry. Also considering a long-term purchase in the position with Lukas Podolski an option.

 

Aston Villa

Funds Alex McLeish has been instructed to keep net spending at zero and to avoid adding to the wage bill.

Strategy Ireland Under-21 left back Enda Stevens arrives from Shamrock Rovers in a deal agreed last summer. McLeish is attempting to extract Steven Davis from Glasgow Rangers on the cheap and wants a goalscorer.

 

Blackburn Rovers

Funds With large debts and losses continuing to mount since the club's Indian takeover, resources are almost as limited as goodwill at Ewood Park.

Strategy Steve Kean wants players in as soon as possible, with Andy Johnson his recommendation up front. A left and right back and a creative midfielder are also on the recruitment list.

 

Bolton Wanderers

Funds Debts of over £100 million (Dh571m) dictate that Gary Cahill's £7m fee might not be reinvested in full.

Strategy Owen Coyle says he needs "two or three in" with a replacement centre back, a full back and a striker the priorities. Relatively low-waged players nearing the end of their contracts are being targeted, and they gave American international Tim Ream a trial.

 

Chelsea

Funds As always, ultimately dependent on the whim of owner Roman Abramovich.

Strategy Though manager and owner want to overhaul a declining squad, there is not a precise plan for achieving it. Personal terms permitting, Cahill will be the new centre back, but Andre Villas-Boas's desire for a new striker and creator could end up in the compromise loan signing of Milos Krasic.

 

Everton

Funds Though the technical staff have been working on the basis that some of Mikel Arteta's final-day fee would be available to them, little is guaranteed at Goodison Park.

Strategy A striker, a creative midfielder and a back-up to Leighton Baines are all wanted. Scotland international Robert Snodgrass was targeted, but he is now recovering from an emergency appendicectomy. Landon Donovan returns on a two-month loan.

 

Fulham

Funds Limited; the majority must be raised from departures.

Strategy Martin Jol was brought in last summer on a mandate of steadily rejuvenating Fulham's squad. Both Bobby Zamora and Andy Johnson are available as he seeks a new striker, winger and a replacement for Mark Schwarzer, whose contract is running down.

 

Liverpool

Funds As they have been since John W Henry and company took charge, net funds are relatively limited at around £20m.

Strategy The main focus of Liverpool's recruitment efforts moved from central defence to midfield when Lucas ruptured knee ligaments. Kenny Dalglish may also move for a striker and a winger, though finding the right quality is a problem.

 

Manchester City

Funds Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, like Abramovich, can provide his club with almost unlimited funds, but Financial Fair Play rules mean City have begun to act within a more restricted budget.

Strategy City say they are concentrating on controlling costs by moving on Carlos Tevez, Wayne Bridge and Nedum Onuoha. Paris Saint-Germain's readiness to offer Milan €50m for Alexandre Pato could aid the former's sale.

 

Manchester United

Funds Fundamentally the Premier League's most profitable club. "Money for a transfer is not a problem if I deem it necessary," says Sir Alex Ferguson.

Strategy Sensing an opportunity to dispose of Wesley Sneijder's £200,000 weekly wage, Inter Milan offered the playmaker to Ferguson last month only to be swiftly knocked back. Ahead of Saturday's traumatic home loss to Blackburn the expectation was that finances would be held for the summer when the likes of Javi Martinez will be easier to lever out of Athletic Bilbao. Defeat may alter that.

 

 

Newcastle United

Funds After several false starts, Newcastle have hit on a successful strategy of hiring overseas talent whose potential exceeds their wage packets. There is money for the right players again.

Strategy Alan Pardew says Modibo Maiga's failed medical means they will not sign a striker, but there is strong interest in a central defender and work being done on a left back. The preference is for players under the age of 24.

 

Norwich City

Funds Norwich have consistently backed Paul Lambert while avoiding committing huge sums to one player.

Strategy Lambert has resisted recruiting from overseas, preferring lower-division talent he considers capable of stepping up to the Premier League. He will continue to "box clever", keeping fees and wages manageable.

 

Queens Park Rangers

Funds A week after his frenzied post-takeover spend, Tony Fernandes talked of spending nothing in this window. Now he has been forced back into shopping mode but funds might not slew out as before.

Strategy Above all else, QPR need a scorer. They are set to take Federico Macheda on loan from Manchster United, and Neil Warnock would like to add Jermain Defoe if he can convince Fernandes to pay and the England international to step down several levels.

 

Stoke City

Funds Tony Pulis was allowed to spend heavily on both wages and transfers in August and will not be allowed to repeat that in the winter window.

Strategy Concentrating on thinning out one of the division's heftier squads, Stoke will take £500,000 for making Danny Pugh's transfer to Leeds United permanent. Any signings should be of players under the age of 24.

 

Sunderland

Funds Martin O'Neill has a limited budget to work with, which should amount to a net spend of £10m.

Strategy A striker and a left winger are the priorities for Sunderland's new manager, who is expected to focus his resources on players he knows and trusts from previous appointments.

 

Swansea City

Funds Minimal. Swansea would prefer to take players on loans and free transfers.

Strategy Brendan Rodgers has already spent £100,000 on Cliftonville's teenage striker Rory Donnelly. He would also like to bring former Chelsea youth-team charge Josh McEachran on loan and, among other things, is looking for a cut-price centre back, a right back and a winger.

Tottenham

Funds Whatever money Daniel Levy puts on the table it will not be enough for Harry Redknapp. There could be up to £16m for a new striker, though.

Strategy Prevented from completing deals himself, Redknapp's tactics are principally about forcing his chairman's hand. The manager would like a "statement signing" in attack or central defence. As usual, Tottenham want to sell squad players at inflated prices.

 

West Bromwich Albion

Funds One of the Premier League's most tightly run clubs, West Brom have cash but have not spent in January for the best part of a decade.

Strategy If those parsimonious habits are broken, it will be to introduce a new striker, centre back or attacking midfielder. Dundee United teenager Scott Allan has been closely observed.

 

Wigan Athletic

Funds Another Northwest club that has consistently spent beyond its means to retain Premier League status. Transfer funds are limited to a few million this January.

Strategy Roberto Martinez is on the lookout for a striker and a central midfielder.

 

Wolverhampton

Funds Limited. They do not want to spend more than £2m on a fee.

Strategy Unusually for a manager at the wrong end of the table, Mick McCarthy has prioritised a central defender and a midfielder over a new scorer. Iceland international Eggert Jonsson has already been acquired.

 

sports@thenational.ae