It’s hard to believe that we’re already one-third of the way into the thrilling 2023-24 Premier League season.
The busy festive season will be over before we know it, and the January transfer window will be open for business.
It’s an opportunity for the Big Six to strengthen going into the latter half of the campaign, so let’s take a look at who could be each of their top targets.
Manchester City – Lucas Paqueta
Manchester City have such a strong squad that they don’t tend to do too much business in the January window.
However, the English champions have been heavily linked with Brazilian international Lucas Paqueta since the summer.
The move failed to materialise back then, but Pep Guardiola reportedly sees the West Ham United midfielder as the perfect replacement for Kevin de Bruyne.
Arsenal – Douglas Luiz
Arsenal have strengthened so much in recent seasons that they have become title challengers and regular selections in football accumulators.
But Mikel Arteta is far from done when it comes to improving his starting XI, and Douglas Luiz is believed to be top of his list this winter.
The Gunners also failed to sign the Brazilian in the summer, however, they aren’t ready to give up just yet.
Liverpool – Lloyd Kelly
Liverpool used to be a side that rarely did big business in January, but they have dipped their toes in the waters in recent years — bringing in Luis Diaz and Cody Gakpo in the last two winter windows.
Jurgen Klopp put such an onus on strengthening his midfield in the summer that there were no resources left to enhance his defence.
It’s reported he wants Lloyd Kelly in January, with Bournemouth perhaps forced to let him leave for cheaper than they would like, while Rayan Ait-Nouri is another name linked.
Tottenham Hotspur – A defender
Another side who don’t do a lot of business in the January transfer window, Tottenham Hotspur aren’t expected to break the bank this winter either.
New boss Ange Postecoglou was given a war chest of around £200 million in the summer and put it to good use on the likes of James Maddison, Brennan Johnson and Mickey van de Veen.
If the Australian is lucky enough to have any funds filtered down from Daniel Levy, he would likely seek a new central defender — with Kelly and Crystal Palace’s Marc Guehi both amongst the rumoured names.
Manchester United – Jean-Clair Todibo
At this stage, it appears the majority of the Big Six are going to be in the market for a new defender in January.
Manchester United could do with fresh faces in a few positions, but there is no question that playing Jonny Evans in centre-back is unsustainable going forward for Erik ten Hag.
The Red Devils’ top target is believed to be 23-year-old Nice defender and new France international Jean-Clair Todibo, but Newcastle United could also be interested in his services.
Chelsea – Victor Osimhen
It wouldn’t be unlike Chelsea to make a big statement in the January transfer window. They broke the winter record when they signed Fernando Torres for £50m from Liverpool in 2011.
And, the Blues are still accustomed to making exuberant deals in the middle of the season to this day — like the £89.5m purchase of Mykhailo Mudryk in a spending spree over £320m earlier this year.
Victor Osimhen could be their marquee signing this winter, as the prolific Nigerian forward had a public falling out with Napoli.