thumbnail Hello,

The Reds are prepared to sell their No.9 to pave the way for further arrivals whilst the two title favourites are expected to make several tweaks to cement their dominance

ANALYSIS
By David Lynch

With the first of the pre-season fixtures starting to get underway, fans are beginning to get their first look at what they will be watching on a weekly basis during the next campaign.

Yet, with the transfer window still open until September 1, there is much work to be done in terms of squad reshaping before the Premier League begins in earnest.

Here, in the second instalment of a four-part series, Goal.com examines the moves Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle and Norwich could be looking to make over the course of the next month.

LIVERPOOL


Regardless of summer transfer activity, Liverpool supporters are sure to see a new-look Reds next term following the appointment of Brendan Rodgers.

IF THE WINDOW SHUT TOMORROW

(4-3-3)
Reina
Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Enrique
Gerrard, Lucas, Aquilani
Suarez, Borini, Cole

The Northern Irishman is set to impose his tiki-taka philosophy on a club which seemed directionless for much of last season and, given the inevitable uncertainty over recruits, this truly does feel like an important juncture for the Merseyside club.

Rodgers made his first signing in the form of Italian striker Fabio Borini last week, and the consequences of the 21-year-old's arrival have already been strongly felt by the current squad.

Andy Carroll in particular has seen his future come under scrutiny and, though Rodgers has ruled out a loan move, his sale has become a real possibility should his value be met with Newcastle most likely to bid.

Alberto Aquilani's seemingly annual late loan move may not become a reality this time round, however, with Rodgers seemingly willing to do all he can to keep the talented former Roma man. Another player who spent last season away on a temporary deal, Joe Cole, also appears set to boost the Reds' attacking options by sticking around.

However, with Rodgers' style calling for three central midfielders and three attackers, the possibility of Joe Allen and Clint Dempsey's arrivals is yet to be ruled out. Meanwhile, tentative links with Arsenal winger Theo Walcott and Bologna midfielder Gaston Ramirez have still yet to be dismissed.

POTENTIAL INS: Clint Dempsey, Joe Allen, Theo Walcott, Gaston Ramirez
POTENTIAL OUTS: Alberto Aquilani, Andy Carroll.

MANCHESTER CITY


Following City's historic, last-gasp Premier League title victory, this is expected to be a far less busy summer for the mega-rich Manchester club.

IF THE WINDOW SHUT TOMORROW

(4-4-2)
Hart
Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy
Nasri, De Jong, Yaya Toure, Silva
Aguero, Balotelli

The recent sale of Roque Santa Cruz to Real Betis and Emmanuel Adebayor's impending permanent move to Tottenham appear to indicate that this is a window in which the champions will focus on slimming a bloated wage bill.

The only player strongly linked with Roberto Mancini's side thus far has been Arsenal striker Robin van Persie - who has refused a contract from the Gunners with just one year remaining on his current deal.

However, other than his potential arrival, it seems that several high-profile exits appear more likely this summer. Should Van Persie come in, the future of misfiring striker Edin Dzeko looks to be under threat, with AC Milan potentially interested after they lost Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Paris Saint-Germain.

Yet, somewhat unbelievably, Carlos Tevez could stay after declaring himself settled at the club, though there is of course potential for Mancini to decide he has had enough. Meanwhile, squad outcasts Adam Johnson and Aleksandar Kolarov could be moved on as they search for regular first-team football.

POTENTIAL INS: Robin van Persie.
POTENTIAL OUTS: Carlos Tevez, Edin Dzeko, Emmanuel Adebayor, Nigel de Jong, Adam Johnson, Aleksandar Kolarov.

MANCHESTER UNITED


This is without doubt a huge summer for Manchester United following their heartbreaking defeat in the title race at the hands of their fiercest rivals.

IF THE WINDOW SHUT TOMORROW

(4-4-1-1)
De Gea
Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra
Valencia, Carrick, Scholes, Nani
Kagawa

Rooney

Sir Alex Ferguson will be understandably keen to retain the bulk of his squad in order to build a team which can challenge City's supremacy, but there are some likely exits.

Patrice Evra's position has come under scrutiny for some time now, after making some uncharacteristic mistakes which cost United during the last campaign. Elsewhere, Ferguson is not expected to stand in the way of Dimitar Berbatov's desire to leave in search of a starting berth.

The Red Devils' principal weakness last term was said to be in midfield, therefore it is no surprise that the club have been linked with many players who occupy that position. Creative midfielders Christian Eriksen and Lucas Moura are potential acquisitions, while Real Madrid's Nuri Sahin has also been targeted, as revealed exclusively by Goal.com, and may be a more attractive and cheaper option. Indeed the quiet influence of the Glazer family ownership may block any overly expensive recruits in a position already partially strengthened by Shinji Kagawa's arrival.

Regardless of Evra's future, Everton's Leighton Baines is expected to come in to take the left-back slot but the man who occupies that side of the pitch, Nani, has been linked with a move after failing to consistently find the blistering form which he has occasionally shown himself to be capable of.

POTENTIAL INS: Leighton Baines, Lucas Moura, Christian Eriksen, Nuri Sahin
POTENTIAL OUTS: Patrice Evra, Dimitar Berbatov, Nani, Ezekiel Fryers

NEWCASTLE


Newcastle face a tough ask next season in not disappointing supporters who are still on a high from their shock fifth-placed finish last term.

IF THE WINDOW SHUT TOMORROW

(4-4-2)
Krul
Simpson, Coloccini, Taylor, Santon
Ben Arfa, Cabaye, Tiote, Gutierrez
Ba, Cisse

The Magpies were the surprise package of the 2011-12 Premier League season, putting up a gallant battle for fourth before eventually narrowly missing out.

At the forefront of that assault on the Champions League spots were Senegalese strike duo Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba. And, though the former joined in January and is going nowhere, his partner's future is less clear.

A widely-known clause in Ba's contract would allow him to leave the club for as little as £7m this summer and, given his 16 goals in 34 appearances and unhappiness over the role he was given following Cisse's arrival, a departure is still a possibility.

The Magpies have been the club most strongly linked with taking Andy Carroll off Liverpool's hands, with a loan move or a permanent deal worth half of what the Tyneside club originally paid being touted. Interest in France full-back Mathieu Debuchy and Ajax defender Vurnon Anita also appears to be concrete, as head scout Graham Carr looks to cement his reputation as one of the shrewdest operators in the league.

POTENTIAL INS: Mathieu Debuchy, Andy Carroll, Vurnon Anita,
POTENTIAL OUTS: Demba Ba.

NORWICH


Norwich are yet another club who find themselves stepping into the unknown following a managerial change, with Chris Hughton replacing Paul Lambert at the helm.

IF THE WINDOW SHUT TOMORROW

(4-4-1-1)
Ruddy
Whittaker, Bennett, Ward, Tierney
Bennett, Howson, Johnson, Pilkington
Hoolahan
Holt

The new man in charge has already overcome the first potential stumbling block of his reign by convincing striker Grant Holt to sign a new three-year deal at the club.

However, he has set his sights on further strengthening the Canaries by bringing Birmingham City captain Curtis Davies to Carrow Road with him.

The East Anglian outfit have already added to their defence by securing the services of former Rangers right-back Steven Whittaker, who is likely to slot straight in.

The Canaries have also recently had a bid rejected for Leeds attacker Robert Snodgrass, meaning they are likely to ditch the diamond formation used by Lambert in favour of a more traditional 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1 next season.

That no departures have yet been strongly rumoured is perhaps the best indication that Hughton has the full backing of the board as Norwich attempt to avoid 'second season syndrome'.

POTENTIAL INS:  Curtis Davies, Robert Snodgrass,
POTENTIAL OUTS:

Follow David Lynch on

Related

From the web