Guide To The January Transfers: Part Two

Part Two of our transfer guide looks at Liverpool's need for reinforcements and Man City's search for another centre-back. Plus, will Everton strengthen for a top-four push?

Last Updated: 30/12/13 at 15:29 Post Comment

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EVERTON

What they need
Just tweaks and cover, because their first team looks pretty sorted for the moment. It might largely depend on Leighton Baines' future, with a few reports suggesting the full-back will move to Manchester United in January, although Roberto Martinez has dismissed those naughty rumours. If he goes, a left-back will obviously be required, and they could sign a striker, or two if they can persuade West Ham to take Nikica Jelavic.

What they will probably get
Cover in midfield and attack, certainly. With long-term injuries to Arouna Kone and Darron Gibson (as well as a lack of a convincing alternative to Romelu Lukaku), Roberto Martinez needs to be active. And he seems to recognise this, too...

What's been said
"We are going to use the window in January to try to help the team because we lost two players for the long term. Arouna and Darron are two very important players for us so we will try to see if we can identify one or two players that can help the group. We have been working hard to identify who can help the group and that is what we are looking for in January" - Martinez, December 6.


FULHAM

What they need
Well, some youngish players might be nice, given they managed to field a side with an average age of above 32 against Aston Villa at the start of December. Again, much may depend on who leaves, with Dimitar Berbatov seemingly displeased with his lot. Actually, even if Berba stays, they could do with a striker or two, with Darren Bent's impact thus far somewhat minimal. A bit of defensive strenthening to ensure the terrifying sight of Phillipe Senderos isn't seen very often would not go amiss either.

What they will probably get
The most likely area of the side that Fulham will strengthen is midfield. Scott Parker, Giorgios Karagounis and Steve Sidwell aren't exactly the most dynamic midfield combo, and there has been some eyebrow-raising talk that Meulensteen might go back to Manchester United for his old buddy Anderson. Good job west London is notoriously light on high-end restaurants, then.

What's been said
"I don't usually speculate as nobody knows what will happen in January but what I can tell you is he (Berbatov) is not happy at Fulham. He would like, if possible, to find another option...I cannot comment (on whether there has been any approach) but the priority is to find a solution to stay in England" - Emil Dantchev, Berbatov's agent, December 4.


HULL

What they need
Hull have surprised everyone in the first half of the season, climbing into tenth position at New Year after a 6-0 thrashing of Fulham. Steve Bruce bought well in the summer, with Tom Huddlestone, Curtis Davies and loan signing Jake Livermore all impressing so far, but there is still plenty of room to add more quality to the Tigers' squad. Another striker is a priority following just one strike in 17 matches for Danny Graham.

What they will probably get
Although there has been talk of a budget-busting bid for Jordan Rhodes, it's likely Bruce will have to shop in the bargain bin again in January. That doesn't necessarily mean that he'll struggle to strengthen his squad, however, and Bruce may use his numerous overseas contacts to find the quality Hull require. Yannick Sagbo has proved a hardworking acquisition, and his recent form could persuade Bruce to see what other gems are waiting to be unearthed in Ligue 1.

What's been said
"We are halfway there, but we have to repeat the whole thing in the second half of the season. Hopefully we can bring one or two in to give a bit of quality in January. But overall I am delighted" - Bruce, December 22.


LIVERPOOL

What they need
Liverpool's league position suggests they don't require a great deal to keep their top-four challenge ticking over - especially considering the absence of European football at Anfield - but Brendan Rodgers will surely have an eye on bolstering his squad in January. The Reds still require a third option at centre-forward, while goals from midfield is another area in which they can improve. Rodgers should also seek back-up to Lucas, whose absence in autumn 2012 coincided with a run of just six wins in 20 matches.

What they will probably get
The arrival of Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge at the start of 2013 helped Liverpool finish the season in blistering form and carry that momentum into the current campaign, with Rodgers looking to find another timely boost this month. There is money in the kitty for an attacking midfielder after Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Willian both rejected the Reds in the summer, while a move for a young striker such as Real Madrid's Alvaro Morata - or even Burnley's Danny Ings - is a possibility. A lot could depend on where Liverpool are sitting in the table come the last week in January; if it looks as though they stand a genuine shot at the title, FSG have the funds for a sudden splurge. Although we all remember what happened the last time they decided to get giddy in January.

What's been said
"January can be a hard window. While we were very successful in it last year - with Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge - we just won't be buying for the sake of it. We will wait and see what is out there" - Rodgers, December 13.


MANCHESTER CITY

What they need
If this feature had been compiled before City's win over Arsenal, we would have said a defender and that's about it. However, Sergio Aguero's injury has left Manuel Pellegrini facing a difficult decision - should he continue to place his faith in Edin Dzeko and the absent Stevan Jovetic or should he look for an alternative partner for Alvaro Negredo?

What they will probably get
The third option, of course, is that Pellegrini could tweak his 4-4-2 system to play David Silva just behind Negredo with Samir Nasri and Jesus Navas occupying the wide roles. With Dzeko notching almost a goal every other game in all competitions, it seems likely that City will make do with their current forwards until Aguero's return, but a new defender remains a priority. Martin Demichelis has gradually improved since his promotion to the starting line-up, but City can't afford to take any more risks over Vincent Kompany's injury woes and a proven centre-back should be sought to help maintain their momentum on four fronts.

What's been said
"I put my trust in him (Dzeko) before the season and I have just as much trust in him now. It is very important for this club to have a good squad because we have a lot of games to play from now until April and, if we want to win trophies, we need important players" - Pellegrini, December 3.

Nick Miller and Matt Stanger (who wrote the bits you liked).

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