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Friday 15 December 2017

January's window an anti-climax

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 today 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.

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.

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.

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