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Premier League transfers so far: What Man

Utd, Man City, Chelsea still need


ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti gives the latest on Manchester City target Leroy Sane.
Over the past two weeks, all of the high-profile new Premier League managers have
introduced themselves in news conferences and spoken with necessary caution about their
transfer plans. The reality is that most had decided what they needed months ago, even before
they got the jobs. After all, squad assessments were part of their pitches.
As far back as March, Pep Guardiola had let it be known to Manchester City he wanted eight
players, and Jose Mourinho felt he would need five at Man United. Antonio Conte has been a
little more open as he waits to see what he can do with the squad he has been left, but the
thought is it will be much the same as the other two: bringing in at least half a first XI.
Those plans don't just show how proactive the new managers will be. They also reflect how
much work must be done on the teams they are taking over, which also explains why
Leicester City won the title last season and Tottenham Hotspur put up the most respectable
challenge.
Of course, the challenge for those clubs now (as well as Arsenal and Liverpool) is to respond
to what the big new projects do. It sets an already fast pace to what is likely to be a hectic
window.
So, taking into consideration, who actually still has the most to do?
Manchester City: Three signings needed up the middle
The biggest appointment of all, both in terms of the pursuit and the scale of the club's
statement, is also making the biggest overhaul. It's easier to count the players that Guardiola
wants to keep than those he doesn't, since they amount only to Kevin De Bruyne, Sergio
Aguero and Raheem Sterling. Thereafter, though, the Catalan does feel that signings in some
positions are more important than others and doesn't expect to get all eight players he "needs"
during this window.
Sources say he is willing to use the current full-backs (Aleksandar Kolarov and Gael Clichy
on the left, Bacary Sagna and Pablo Zabaleta on the right) for another season, for example,
but does not feel the same about the central midfield or centre-backs. He wants change there
now. A back-up forward is also essential, with Wilfried Bony on his way.

Pep Guardiola won't get eight new players this summer but a new centre-back is a top
priority.
City have already at least brought in Ilkay Gundogan and Nolito to help foster the fluidity in
attack that Guardiola so desires but to really play the football he wants in 2016-17, he needs
at least one centre-half -- expect the pursuit of John Stones to gather pace after the
disappointment of Aymeric Laporte committing himself to Athletic Bilbao -- another
midfielder and a back-up striker for emergencies.
Manchester United: Chasing a couple of big-name midfielders
The big one is still to come (or just be decided) but they've already done more extensive work
than usual. Mourinho's arrival has ensured that United have been much stealthier in the
market than in all other summers since executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward's arrival;
they've completed at least 60 percent of their business in bringing in Eric Bailly at centrehalf, Henrikh Mkhitaryan in attack and Zlatan Ibrahimovic up front. It is just that the
remaining 40 percent is going to take the most work as they continue to pursue Juventus' Paul
Pogba.
The issue is not the high wages or high fees -- United have already reportedly agreed those
through intermediaries -- but rather convincing the 23-year-old to come to Old Trafford. That
could yet prove difficult. If not, Mourinho will have to make a decision of his own for the
area he sees as the most important of all.
Blaise Matuidi could yet be signed whether they sign Pogba or not, but Mourinho does want
to add considerable power and authority to midfield.

Chelsea: Seeking help up front


After what had been a slow summer, Chelsea look set to blow it all open by depriving the
champions of their most important player. The imminent signing of N'Golo Kante from
Leicester City will not just alter the perception of their window but also alter their team,
given the abundant energy that the French star offers.
Of course, Conte offers an intense energy all of his own and could yet completely transform
Chelsea in the way he did a limited Italian squad in Euro 2016, making it more difficult to
judge than anyone else. The Italian's style, for example, isn't quite as defined as Guardiola's
to ensure he needs specific types. He still wants another aerial striker alongside the more
mobile Michy Batshuayi, a solid summer purchase, as well as a centre-half although primary
targets Alvaro Morata and Leo Bonucci look unattainable.
Arsenal: Still searching for a striker
As ever with Arsenal, it's easy to see where they most need to reinforce but difficult to say
whether that will actually bring them any closer to the title. The context has already greatly
changed from last season, when a better striker might well have won them the league. Now,
they still need that, but probably a bit more too.
Arsene Wenger has at least brought in the exceptional Granit Xhaka to enhance their midfield
but an upgrade on Olivier Giroud still seems difficult. Gonzalo Higuain seems far likelier to
move to Juventus than Arsenal and Wenger may have to make do with what he has again, or
improvise, while also seeking to bolster elsewhere.

Nampalys Mendy should replace the outgoing Kante but could use more help from free-kicks
and corners.
Leicester City: Another set-piece threat needed
If it's somewhat depressing that winning the Premier League couldn't even keep Leicester
City's tight team together, the encouraging aspect is that the forward-thinking that secured the
title has meant they were realistic enough to already bring in replacements.
The 24-year-old Nampalys Mendy, recently signed from Nice, is set to slot into Chelseabound Kante's position and comes in alongside Luis Hernandez, Raul Uche Rubio, Ahmed
Musa and Ron-Robert Zieler. Those buys show Leicester are already well on the way to
meeting the necessary summer requirement of adding to the squad but also providing
alternatives in order to both weather the extra fixtures of Champions League football but also
offer something different so opposition don't prepare against them so easily.
They aren't quite done yet, though, with Norwich City's Robbie Brady set to offer more
danger from set-pieces.
Tottenham Hotspur: more versatility off the bench would help
Spurs were so close to the league last season and so close to a complete young team. A little
like title rivals Leicester and local rivals Arsenal, though, it does seem like Spurs need to add
a few touches to their squad and specific qualities (namely, experience) rather than fill
specific key positions.

ESPN FC's Stevie Nicol analyzes the moves made in and out of Anfield during this summer's
transfer window.
They have brought in Vincent Janssen, the extra striker they needed to both complement and
stand in for Harry Kane while adding more force to their midfield with Southampton's Victor
Wanyama. That will alleviate the burden on Mousa Dembele. A bit more versatility to
accommodate their Champions League challenge would also do.
Liverpool: Midfield, central defence need work
After good work before the summer thanks to the astute and exciting purchase of Joel Matip,
things have slowed a little for Liverpool. Jurgen Klopp still wants to bring in top targets Piotr
Zielinski and Ben Chilwell, but may look to sign another centre-half after the injury to the
hugely promising Joe Gomez.
Most of Liverpool's business, however, is likely to involve sales as Klopp is undertaking
some medium-term restructuring. Sources say the only players he would keep in an ideal
world are Emre Can, Roberto Firmino, Adam Lallana and Divock Origi, although the Daniel
Sturridge case still provokes such debate.
Miguel Delaney is a London-based correspondent for ESPN FC and also writes for the Irish
Examiner and others. Follow him on Twitter @MiguelDelaney.

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