With the transfer window set to open again on January 1, plenty of business is expected to be done by Premier League clubs.
The hunt is on for the right player at the right price to come in and help the battle for points at both ends of the table.
Here, the PA news agency takes a look at which clubs might be set to splash the cash and which will decide to keep the warchest lid firmly closed until it gets a bit warmer.
On the lookout
While January has often proved to be a testing market, Chelsea are expected to tackle it head on after the club’s two-window FIFA transfer ban was halved by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on appeal.
Frank Lampard is determined to have a big say in how his young squad is strengthened, with reports suggesting a bumper budget of £150million.
The Blues have already been linked with the likes of Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha and Leicester defender Ben Chilwell.
European talent such as RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner, Lyon forward Moussa Dembele and Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare are also said to be on the shopping list.
New Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta appears to have a rebuilding job on his hands after taking over at the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners splashed out over the summer, including on record signing Nicolas Pepe.
Arteta, though, is likely to focus on some more defensively minded acquisitions, with Leicester midfielder Wilfred Ndidi a reported target, while Atletico Madrid winger Thomas Lemar is an attacking option.
Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira, meanwhile, have been linked with exits.
New Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti could be ready to go back to Italy to bolster his squad – defender Kalidou Koulibaly and Lorenzo Insigne are both reported targets.
At West Ham, a loan move for Real Madrid striker Luka Jovic was said to have been in the pipeline before Manuel Pellegrini was dismissed on Saturday, but new boss David Moyes could revive the club’s interest.
Southampton are expected to renew their interest in Genk right-back Joakim Maehle as manager Ralph Hasenhuttl looks to maintain his side’s upward trajectory.
— Watford Football Club (@WatfordFC) December 28, 2019
New Watford manager Nigel Pearson has galvanised the squad as the Hornets aim to haul themselves out of the relegation zone. Udinese winger Ignacio Pussetto is one potential reinforcement for them.
Having spent big during the summer transfer window, Aston Villa’s cash reserves might not stretch to a January spending spree. Werder Bremen winger Milot Rashica is a reported target and can they keep hold of playmaker Jack Grealish?
Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson, meanwhile, feels “reinforcements are necessary” to keep the Eagles clear of trouble. AC Milan forward Fabio Borini is said to be in their sights, while Zaha’s future will also come up again.
One or two new faces
Quality not quantity is likely to be the mantra for several clubs in January.
However, getting that one key deal over the line can often be a struggle.
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had been hoping to land Norway striker Erling Haaland, only for the 19-year-old to instead switch from Red Bull Salzburg to Borussia Dortmund.
Along with Grealish, Leicester full-back Ricardo Pereira and midfielder James Maddison are said to also be on the Red Devils’ wanted list – or could Jadon Sancho be tempted to move the other way in a blockbuster January deal?
Hello, Liverpool fans! I am very happy to be part of Liverpool Family. Always try to do my best for Liverpool FC!!! tm18 pic.twitter.com/mLedDx1OAT
— TakumiMinamino 南野拓実 (@takumina0116) December 19, 2019
Haaland’s fellow Red Bull Salzburg forward Takumi Minamino is another definitely on his way to Liverpool. A £7.25million deal for the Japan international could prove shrewd business for the Premier League pacesetters.
Manchester City may be playing catch-up on Jurgen Klopp’s side in the title race, but do not expect massive January spending. Germany winger Leroy Sane has been linked with a switch back to the Bundesliga.
Guardiola has insisted that City will not be drawn into the January market, but could he be tempted in a bid to close the gap on leaders Liverpool if the right deal presents itself?
Don’t rock the boat
Leicester City is delighted to confirm that manager Brendan Rodgers has signed a new contract! 📝
— Leicester City (@LCFC) December 6, 2019
With the Foxes flying, manager Brendan Rodgers maintains nobody will be leaving in January despite plenty of interest in his talented squad.
The Leicester boss is also still on the lookout to add some talent if available – Juventus’ Turkish defender Merih Demiral and AC Milan’s Hakan Calhanoglu are potential targets – but with a settled squad he may be tempted to stick rather than twist this January.
Sheffield United have punched above their weight back in the top flight. A determined team ethic has proved key for Chris Wilder – one which the Blades boss will not want to unbalance with a stream of new faces.
Jose Mourinho has never been one to turn down the chance to bring in a new face or two.
However, with defender Toby Alderweireld having committed his future to the club, getting the best out of the talent already within the squad might well be the Portuguese coach’s prime directive.
Meanwhile, a decision over trying to retain Christian Eriksen or cashing in on the Dane needs to be made by chairman Daniel Levy.
With Wolves aiming to last the distance in another impressive campaign, Red Bull Salzburg striker Hwang Hee-chan has been linked with a £19million Molineux switch.
Brighton boss Graham Potter is said to have an eye on Tottenham right-back Kyle Walker-Peters and CSKA Moscow striker Fedor Chalov, while Bournemouth are reportedly keen on Bristol City’s Josh Brownhill.
Chelsea’s 19-year-old midfielder Conor Gallagher has impressed on loan at Charlton, which has apparently seen him attract interest from Burnley.
Newcastle boss Steve Bruce says he has a “few plates spinning” as the window opens – with Juventus winger Marko Pjaca a potential target.
Norwich head coach Daniel Farke, though, appears resigned to fight on at the bottom of the league without any major investment, while trying to keep hold of young talents like full-back Max Aarons.