Friday 20 April 2018

Window poised for low-key finale

Wilfried Bony's move from Swansea to Manchester City has been one of the stand-out deals of the transfer window
Wilfried Bony's move from Swansea to Manchester City has been one of the stand-out deals of the transfer window

For all the tension, drama, rumour and speculation usually associated with transfer deadline day, the conclusion of the winter transfer window is shaping up to be a bit of an anti-climax.

The general theme of this transfer window has been restraint, but there has been some activity from teams looking to add the missing pieces required to achieve their seasonal goals.

Reigning champions Manchester City have added undoubted firepower in Wilfried Bony and one of the deals which should go through on Monday is Chelsea's purchase of Juan Cuadrado from Fiorentina.

That could be comfortably the biggest deal completed on the day, with the sides chasing the top four Premier League places unlikely to be heavily involved in any last-gasp moves.

Arsenal's defensive strengthening appears to be done following the acquisition of Gabriel Paulista, and Manchester United will probably wait for the summer to start spending big again.

Southampton could bring in one of Ronald Koeman's targets, with Tonny Vilhena or Filip Djuricic possibly taking Jack Cork's place in the Saints squad after he moved on to Swansea, while Tottenham are more likely to move on fringe players than bring in fresh faces.

Aaron Lennon could continue the White Hart Lane exodus to strugglers Hull and link up with former Spurs team-mates Michael Dawson, Tom Huddlestone and Jake Livermore as Steve Bruce looks to keep the Tigers in the top flight.

Whether any other relegation-threatened side does any deadline day business remains to be seen but QPR boss Harry Redknapp may be busy as usual as the Rs look to reinvest the money received from Jordon Mutch's departure to Crystal Palace. Emmanuel Adebayor of Tottenham and Mark Noble of West Ham are rumoured targets.

Budgetary issues mean the likes of Aston Villa, Leicester and Burnley are unlikely to be doing any late business, with Sunderland's move for Jermain Defoe not only likely to be their main deal but also the masterstroke of the whole window.

Liverpool will feel as though they have unveiled their own new signing as Daniel Sturridge returned from a five-month injury hiatus to score in the win over West Ham on Saturday, with the Hammers' own attempts to sign Darren Fletcher from Manchester United apparently futile.

Mark Hughes could dip his toes into the transfer market after Stoke were rocked by a serious injury to Bojan Krkic, who will now be missing for the remainder of the campaign. Swansea's primary task seems to be keeping hold of French striker Bafetimbi Gomis, having already lost Bony.

Newcastle have placed John Carver in charge until the end of the season but no new faces on the playing staff are expected, while former Magpies manager Alan Pardew has already welcomed four signings since taking over at Crystal Palace.

Yaya Sanogo, Shola Ameobi, Pape Suoare and Mutch have all been added to the ranks at Selhurst Park so Monday may be just another day for chairman Steve Parish.

Everton have struggled this season and have sold Samuel Eto'o, with manager Roberto Martinez more likely to rely on Romelu Lukaku - who scored the winner at Palace over the weekend - rather than enter the market.

Meanwhile former Palace boss Tony Pulis, now at the helm at West Brom, could make a push for Fletcher following the breakdown of his talks with West Ham as he looks to add to last week's signing of winger Callum McManaman from Wigan.

Press Association

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