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Premier League clubs keen to strike deals for goalscorers before window closes

Strikers are the in-demand commodity as the January transfer market moves into its final hours.

Several Premier League clubs have outstanding business to take care of, and for most a goalscorer would be top of the list.

Manchester United have secured their primary target by striking a deal for Sporting Lisbon midfielder Bruno Fernandes, who will cost an initial £46.4million.

But the Old Trafford giants would still like cover for the injured Marcus Rashford, and have looked at possible short-term deals.

Tottenham, having brought in Steven Bergwijn from PSV Eindhoven and Gedson Fernandes on loan from Benfica while Cristian Eriksen departed, are also in the market for a frontman to cover Harry Kane’s absence.

Jose Mourinho’s side have been linked with AC Milan’s Krzystof Piatek and Real Sociedad’s Willian Jose but, like United, are thought to prefer a short-term deal.

Surprisingly Chelsea are yet to make a signing this winter, despite seeing their transfer ban lifted, with Frank Lampard having made his frustration clear regarding the lack of reinforcements.

Napoli forward Dries Mertens could arrive in the final hours of the window, but departures appear more likely with Willian attracting interest from Barcelona while Pedro and Olivier Giroud edge towards the door.

Arsenal v Napoli – UEFA Europa League – Quarter Final – First Leg – Emirates Stadium

Dries Mertens has been linked with Chelsea (Adam Davy/PA)

Barca’s links with Willian could be welcome news for Everton, who are trying to fend off interest in their own Brazilian Richarlison.

The Toffees need to reduce their wage bill in order to make signings of their own, but have no interest in selling a player who signed a new five-year deal last month.

After completing a deal for Olympiacos winger Daniel Podence, Wolves are also in the market for a frontman and have been linked with AEK Athens’ Nelson Oliveira.

And goalscorers are on the wishlists of several clubs further down the standings, too.

Brighton and West Ham are still scouring the market for attacking reinforcements, while Aston Villa have been linked with Leicester’s Islam Slimani if he ends his loan at Monaco early.

Islam Slimani File Photo

Islam Slimani could end his loan with Monaco early to return to the Premier League (Mike Egerton/PA)

Crystal Palace have already addressed the position with the signing of Cenk Tosun from Everton, and Roy Hodgson has now turned his attention to West Brom right-back Nathan Robinson.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has made his first signing by bringing in Pablo Mari from Flamengo, but wants another defender and is thought to be close to signing Southampton full-back Cedric Soares.

The deal has effectively been enabled by rivals Tottenham, who have loaned fellow right-back Kyle Walker-Peters to the Saints.

League leaders Liverpool are content with their squad, as are second-placed Manchester City, with no significant business expected at either club.

Leicester remain interested in defensive reinforcements, but are thought to be happy to wait until the summer for the right deal.

After an impressive first half of the season put them in the conversation about European qualification, Sheffield United are in talks for Genk midfielder Sander Berge, but could need to break their transfer record to sign the 21-year-old Norwegian.

At the foot of the table, rock-bottom Norwich have already strengthened with the signings of Ondrej Duda, Lukas Rupp and Melvin Sitti, and are unlikely to make any further moves.

Watford had been linked with defenders earlier in the window but, given the upturn in form under Nigel Pearson, are happy with their squad.

Bournemouth may look to the loan market to ease their injury worries, but seem to have missed out on Tottenham’s Danny Rose who should instead head to Newcastle.

Burnley are thought to be close to a deal for Bristol City’s Josh Brownhill, with striker Nahki Wells due to go the other way.