As the summer transfer window winds down to the final few days, Premier League teams are desperately trying to wrap up some last-minute deals.
It is estimated English clubs have already surpassed the £1billion spending milestone again this summer despite concerns over how clubs have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Arsenal have surprisingly been the biggest spenders so far with £140m splashed out on the likes of Ben White, Aaron Ramsdale and Martin Odegaard.
Manchester City smashed their transfer record to pieces and set the new British record too with the £100m signing of Jack Grealish from Aston Villa.
Chelsea forked out £97.5m to sign Romelu Lukaku and Manchester United are serious contenders for the title after capturing Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane from Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid respectively.
Despite several big-name arrivals already being announced this summer, there could be more on the way in the run-up to the 11pm deadline on August 31.
But where do the ‘Big Six’ need to strengthen before the window slams shut? Mirror Football takes a look one ideal purchase for each side…
Arsenal: Kieran Trippier
Conceding four goals in their opening two matches points to a leaky defence and it is something Mikel Arteta needs to address with another signing.
The Spaniard has already spent £140million on five new players, including Ben White and Martin Odegaard. But the average age of his purchases this summer is just 23 and what was evident in their latest defeat against Chelsea was the lack of experience in his young side.
Arteta will need to sign a full-back with Hector Bellerin set to depart this summer and question marks over whether Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Calum Chambers are good enough to play regularly.
The Atletico Madrid right-back has been harbouring for a move back to England for several months, according to reports, but a proposed move to Manchester United never materialised.
With the 29-year-old unlikely to sign a new deal, Arteta would be wise to consider spending whatever is left of his budget on a seasoned defender who can help him now, rather than a player for the future.
Chelsea: Saul Niguez
Rewind two years ago and any top European club would have jumped at the chance to sign Saul from Atletico Madrid. Likewise, the LaLiga giants would have flatly refused to any discuss a deal.
The midfielder signed a nine-year deal in 2017 to commit his future to his boyhood club and it looked a smart move. At the time, he was indispensable.
But Diego Simeone has been experimenting with his side over the past two years to make them more attacking — and it seems the Spain international has been the unlucky party in such changes.
He made only 22 starts in LaLiga last season, scoring twice. Simeone has handed the midfielder a chance to prove himself with starts in their opening matches of the new season.
Recent reports suggest Chelsea have entered discussions about a loan deal with the Spanish champions which could include an option to make the deal permanent for £34m.
It would unquestionably strengthen the Blues midfield, with N’Golo Kante, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic rotated in Thomas Tuchel’s plans.
But Saul’s range of passing and ball-carrying abilities would be an added bonus for the German head coach as he mounts a potential title challenge.
Liverpool: Mikkel Damsgaard
One of the stars of Euro 2020, it is curious that no top club has opted to swoop for Mikkel Damsgaard this summer, despite interest from a host of teams.
The youngster was spotted in the Superliga playing for FC Nordsjaelland before Sampdoria swooped to sign him in a £6m deal last summer.
While he hasn’t been a regular under Samp boss Claudio Ranieri, the 20-year-old has made 37 appearances in all competitions for the Italian outfit this season, scoring two goals and registering four assists.
But Damsgaard made his name at Euro 2020 after scoring two outstanding goals, the first a 25-yard strike against Russia and the second an unstoppable free-kick against England in the semi-finals.
The 21-year-old has been on the radar for Tottenham and Aston Villa this summer but no club is yet to pay his £26m asking price.
However, such a fee would put him in Liverpool’s bracket of affordability — and Jurgen Klopp needs an advanced playmaker in his squad after losing Georginio Wijnaldum to PSG.
Manchester City: Aurelien Tchouameni
The odds of it happening before the transfer deadline on August 31 are perhaps nearing the same territory of Leicester City winning the title in 2015-16. But it is not impossible.
For all of the noise claiming Manchester City need a striker, they do have the very able Brazil international Gabriel Jesus for that.
But what they don’t have is a direct replacement for Fernandinho. At 36, the veteran anchorman is not getting any younger and earned a one-year deal this season, suggesting he could well retire in 2022.
Man City need to plan ahead otherwise they will be left wanting and not having. They need their own N’Golo Kante and AS Monaco’s Aurelien Tchouameni is one of the players tipped to become his replacement in the France setup.
The 22-year-old has proved to be a fine signing for the Ligue 1 outfit after joining from Bordeaux in 2019. But with Monaco no longer a European force, it is understood that Tchouameni wants to move to a bigger club.
Chelsea and Manchester United have been linked with the Frenchman, but the pull of working under Pep Guardiola could prove the difference if they are willing to fork out around £35m.
Manchester United: Declan Rice
In an ideal world, Declan Rice would have got his high-profile move that few could argue he doesn’t deserve.
West Ham would have got a truckload of money and perhaps Jesse Lingard in exchange, while Manchester United could look forward to having a solid English spine in their team for the next five years.
Instead, the 22-year-old is stuck at the London Stadium and unhappy with being blocked from leaving, after the Hammers placed a £100m price tag above his head.
The Enlgand international proved at Euro 2020 and consistently throughout the 2020-21 Premier League campaign that he is a classy operator on the ball and a natural leader.
He may not be a destroyer like Nemanja Matic but he blends several areas of his game into one all-action midfielder who doesn’t bare any real weaknesses.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been a lacking someone of that build, with Scott McTominay the only natural box-to-box player. Fred’s form has been shaky, while Matic is 33.
Should United lay down an £80m bid for Rice before the deadline, West Ham would be inclined to listen — although at this stage it appears unlikely.
Tottenham: Houssem Aouar
Under new sporting director Fabio Paratici and boss Nuno Espirito Santo, Spurs have done the majority of their business in the Serie A market.
The north London club signed Pierluigi Gollini and Cristian Romero from Atalanta and tried to sign Lautaro Martinez from Inter Milan.
Elsewhere, they nabbed Bryan Gil from Sevilla for £21m plus Erik Lamela, a deal that looked superb on paper before Lamela scored three times in two matches for the Spanish side.
But the club have lacked a genuine No.10 since Christian Eriksen left in January 2020, with Giovani Lo Celso struggling to pick up the Dane’s creative responsibilities.
And that’s where Aouar comes in. A 23-year-old playmaker with proven Champions League experience and a keen eye for a pass, the France international scored six goals last season, assisting another six for his team-mates.
He is reportedly available for £25m this summer due to Lyon’s financial issues but, with Tanguy Ndombele reportedly wanting out and Aouar looking for a new challenge, perhaps a swap deal would benefit all parties.