Belfast Telegraph

What the Premier League top six might be seeking when the transfer window opens

The winter transfer window is a little over a week from opening as clubs up and down the country look to add fresh talent to their squads.

Most of the money will be spent in the Premier League, with the biggest sides attempting to give themselves an advantage over their rivals.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at what the top six need to do in the window, and if they can get their business done in January.

CHELSEA

How do you improve a side which has won 11 games in a row and sits six points clear at the Premier League summit heading into Christmas?

Well, Antonio Conte appears keen to add defensive reinforcements, although long-term target Leonardo Bonucci has just signed a new deal at Juventus so other options will need to be looked at, while cover for the likes of Diego Costa and N'Golo Kante in case of injury or suspension may be a good idea for the Chelsea boss.

LIVERPOOL

Jurgen Klopp will not have a new goalkeeper on his radar despite the question marks over both Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius, but the Liverpool boss could be tempted to add another centre-back, even though he is keen to utilise Joe Gomez when the England Under-21 international is match-fit.

Getting in cover for his attacking positions is likely to be the key area for Klopp due to a combination of Sadio Mane heading off to the African Cup of Nations, Daniel Sturridge's recent injury record and the fact Danny Ings has already been ruled out for the rest of the season after knee surgery - Inter Milan striker Gabriel Barbosa is one name that has been linked with Anfield.

MAN CITY

Although Pep Guardiola can call upon the likes of John Stones, Eliaquim Mangala, Nicolas Otamendi and Vincent Kompany at the centre of his defence, this is the area the City boss may look to strengthen in January.

Stones is error-prone and Mangala and Otamendi have not convinced, so, despite spending more than £120million on the trio, and with Kompany's long-term fitness still in question, Guardiola could go shopping for a centre-back, and Southampton's Virgil van Dijk will have surely caught the eye.

ARSENAL

Arsenal's business is likely to be heavily impacted by whether the club believe they can tie Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez down to new, long-term deals.

The pair are seeking parity with the Premier League's top earners but Arsene Wenger has been linked with other top talent such as Marco Reus of Borussia Dortmund, should he feel the need to splash the January cash.

It is more likely Wenger will stick with what he has having added Granit Xhaka, Shkodran Mustafi and Lucas Perez in the summer, although with Mathieu Debuchy injured and Carl Jenkinson unfancied, right-back competition for Hector Bellerin could be an area the Gunners look at.

TOTTENHAM

Spurs are very unwilling participants in the January window, especially this season given the tightening of the purse-strings while their new stadium is being built.

If Mauricio Pochettino is to dip his toes in the market, he may look for an incisive attacking midfielder, with the likes of Wilfried Zaha, Ross Barkley and Isco all recently linked with moves to White Hart Lane.

MAN UNITED

Jose Mourinho appears to have stumbled upon a defensive set-up which is currently doing a job for the Red Devils but, with Eric Bailly out with another knee problem before heading off to the African Cup of Nations in the new year, a centre-back may also be the priority for the red half of Manchester.

Benfica's Victor Lindelof has been linked with a big-money move to Old Trafford while Mourinho may also look for a long-term option at right-back with converted winger Antonio Valencia now 31 and Matteo Darmian struggling for consistency.

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