Transfer Deadline Day: The clock is ticking for title challengers

Once the clock strikes midnight and the weekend starts, Premier League clubs, with the exception of free agents, won’t be able to make any new signings, be they permanent or on loan until the start of July. Those near the top of the table looking for any reinforcements will have to act fast with just a few days to go, but who, if anyone, are they likely to chase?

League leaders Arsenal have been linked with a £30m bid for Schalke and Germany midfield starlet Julian Draxler. Possibly filling a hole in front of the back four, Draxler would bring a little added steel to the Gunners, but it seems that he will be happy to stay with the Bundesliga club until the summer. Besides, Arsenal need a right-back and striker more than anything else.

Reinforcing the City walls

If Manchester City have a weakness, it’s in central defence, where injuries to Matija Nastasic and Vincent Kompany have left them exposed. One possible target was Porto’s promising French ace Eliaquim Mangala. However, he also looks set to stay put, possibly with one eye on making the World Cup squad this summer.

Currently in third place, Chelsea have already done some business this month, bringing in both Nemanja Matic from Benfica and FC Basel’s Egyptian winger Mohammed Salah, beating Liverpool in the race for the latter. However, the Blues may need a striker, although it looks like they’re sticking with what they’ve got, even after the sale of Juan Mata to Manchester United for £37.1m.

Keeping up with the Wengers

Some of the outsiders in the title race have yet to do business in terms of brining players in. Of those clubs, Tottenham look likely to stick with what they’ve got, although Liverpool may make the odd move. They need to bulk up a squad which is short on quality in some areas and short of personnel elsewhere, although they may make a move for Atletico Madrid’s Saul Niguez for £20m.

Somewhere in the European shake-up are surprise package Newcastle United. Their main priority was to hold on to star midfielder Yohan Cabaye, whom Ladbrokes had at 2/5 to stay at St James’s Park, although Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain since completed a deal for the Frenchman. Though they may yet add to their French contingent by bringing in Montpellier’s Remy Cabella or Lyon’s Clement Grenier.