By Oliver Platt
Little over a month of the transfer window remains and with the Premier League season set to start on August 18, top flight clubs will be looking to wrap up the rest of their business in the market before the big kick-off.
Significant moves have already been made since the end of the 2011-12 campaign but as the summer draws to a close, further major deals often fall into place. As the clock ticks down to the season opener, transfer budgets are stretched and contracts pushed through in order for clubs to secure their top targets.
Here, in the first of a four-part series, Goal.com examines the moves Arsenal, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Everton and Fulham could be looking to make over the course of the next month.
Arsenal insist that they intend to keep hold of wantaway captain Robin van Persie but they will surely be tested by further bids between now and the end of the transfer window given his contract situation and desire to leave.
If Van Persie leaves, another forward will probably be required and Arsene Wenger may also be tempted to push on in his attempts to lure Corinthians into selling attacking midfielder Paulinho.
Reports have claimed that a £9 million offer for the 23-year-old has already been turned down. Ibrahim Afellay, who looks set to leave Barcelona, has also been mentioned as a possible midfield recruit.
A potential deal for Rennes star Yann M'Vila appears to be dead in the water despite looking very probable before Euro 2012, but there could be one more arrival from France if Caen can be persuaded to sell 17-year-old striker M'Baye Niang.
Lyon goalkeeper Hugo Lloris could be on the move but it is not a position of priority for Arsenal given the emergence of Wojciech Szczesny. The defence looks similarly settled.
POTENTIAL INS: Paulinho, Ibrahim Afellay, M'Baye Niang, Yann M'Vila
POTENTIAL OUTS: Robin van Persie, Theo Walcott, Sebastien Squillaci, Lukasz Fabianski, Nicklas Bendtner, Marouane Chamakh, Park Chu-Young
It is difficult to predict where Paul Lambert will strengthen next given the question marks over how Aston Villa will line-up next season. Lambert used a diamond system at Norwich City but does not seem to have the personnel for a similar formation at Villa Park.
A right winger would be welcome, especially when the injury that will force Mark Albrighton to miss the beginning of the season is considered, as would a right-back given that Alan Hutton looks set to leave the club. The Scottish defender was left behind when the squad departed for their tour of the United States.
Lambert has met with Feyenoord centre-back Ron Vlaar, who would provide defensive depth after the exit of Carlos Cuellar. Reports have also linked James Collins with a move away from the Midlands club.
The new coach also seems intent on adding size to his strike force, having looked at both Grant Holt and Andy Carroll following the release of Emile Heskey, but the former has signed a new contract and the latter looks out of the club's price range.
POTENTIAL INS: Ron Vlaar, Robert Snodgrass
POTENTIAL OUTS: James Collins, Alan Hutton, Jean Makoun
Chelsea have already splashed the cash this summer, bolstering their attacking options by spending nearly £40m on Eden Hazard and Marko Marin, but do not look to be finished yet.
A right-back should also be a priority with Jose Bosingwa having left the club, as Branislav Ivanovic prefers to play in the centre of defence. Gregory van der Wiel was linked early in the summer but Cesar Azpilicueta of Marseille now looks to be the front-runner.
Hazard's brother, Thorgan, a 19-year-old winger, could sign from Lens, while Victor Moses has been touted for a move to Stamford Bridge from Wigan Athletic.
POTENTIAL INS: Oscar, Willian, Cesar Azpilicueta, Thorgan Hazard, Victor Moses
POTENTIAL OUTS: Romelu Lukaku, Paulo Ferreira, Yossi Benayoun, Florent Malouda, Daniel Sturridge
Everton are unlikely to undergo major changes before the close of the transfer window but will hope to secure the return of midfielder Steven Pienaar.
Everton have good depth elsewhere in midfield and defence as long as they are able to resist a potential approach from Manchester United for left-back Leighton Baines.
More competition for Nikica Jelavic in attack would be ideal, but David Moyes is unlikely to have the funds to secure an option of real quality and has numerous other options available in the form of Apostolos Vellios, Victor Anichebe and Magaye Gueye.
Former player Graeme Sharp tipped Michael Owen for a move to Goodison Park, but the ex-Liverpool striker does not seem to fit the physical mould Moyes tends to prefer in his forwards.
POTENTIAL INS: Steven Pienaar
POTENTIAL OUTS: Leighton Baines
The future of Clint Dempsey has been the main talking point at Fulham in recent weeks but Martin Jol will be concerned that he has yet to fill the gaping hole left in central midfield following the departure of Danny Murphy.
Despite adding Hugo Rodallega and Mladen Petric already, Jol seems intent on acquiring another striker. Goal.com revealed that Romelu Lukaku could sign on loan from Chelsea while Vincenzo Iaquinta and Jordan Rhodes have also been linked.
If Dempsey does leave, Fulham will require more next season from £10m man Bryan Ruiz, who missed the end of a mixed debut campaign in English football with a broken foot.
Much is also expected of Turkish attacking midfielder Kerim Frei, and the 18-year-old could feature more prominently next term having appeared 16 times in the top flight in 2011-12.
POTENTIAL INS: Peter Whittingham, Romelu Lukaku, Vincenzo Iaquinta, Jordan Rhodes
POTENTIAL OUTS: Clint Dempsey, Rafik Halliche
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