Alexis Sanchez's future, Riyad Mahrez: Burning transfer window questions
There are just 14 days to go before the January transfer window closes, and there have already been a number of box office deals, from Philippe Coutinho's £142 million move to Barcelona to Virgil van Dijk's £75 million transfer to Liverpool.
The Alexis Sanchez saga has also dominated the window, but with two weeks to run, what other issues are still to be resolved before 11 p.m. Jan. 31?
Has the biggest deal happened yet?
Coutinho's switch from Liverpool to Barcelona will take some topping, and domestically, within the Premier League, it's difficult to see a deal bigger than Van Dijk's move from Southampton. Unless Cristiano Ronaldo really does want to leave Real Madrid, the biggest deals might have been done this month.
What is happening with Ronaldo anyway?
It's a transfer window, and every transfer window has to have a "Ronaldo for sale" rumour. The Real Madrid star is 33 next month, clearly approaching the autumn of his career. His goals have dried up at the Bernabeu, and it really isn't outrageous to think that this season might be his last at Real. But don't expect him to move before the summer ... if at all.
Will anyone stay at Arsenal?
Theo Walcott is close to sealing a £20 million move to Everton, and Alexis Sanchez is seemingly on his way to Manchester United in one of the biggest shocks of the window. That leaves Mesut Ozil, who also wants out. Even if he stays and leaves in the summer, Arsenal will have some big players to replace.
Which signing will save a club from relegation?
The battle to avoid the drop is heating up, but the teams at the bottom are all looking for the same thing: a goal scorer. Wilfried Bony and Tammy Abraham have failed to deliver at Swansea, and Jese's early promise has faded at Stoke, while Newcastle, Southampton, Huddersfield and Brighton all need somebody to put the ball into the net. Everyone is looking for a Jermain Defoe figure, but so far, they haven't found him.
Is Andy Carroll the answer for Chelsea?
Andy Carroll has form in the January transfer window, having completed his £35 million switch from Newcastle to Liverpool in January 2011. The West Ham forward has been dogged by injury ever since, but his unique qualities make him a desirable signing for a club in need of goals, and Chelsea are ready to strike a deal for the 29-year-old. West Ham are in no rush to sell unless they get a big offer, though.
Who is the best realistic signing out there?
Javier Hernandez has fallen out of favour under David Moyes at West Ham and with a World Cup on the horizon with Mexico, the former Manchester United and Real Madrid forward needs regular football. A move would suit both player and club, but with Hernandez's goal record, the 29-year-old could be the kind of signing who could make a crucial difference at either end of the Premier League table.
Will Riyad Mahrez get his big move?
Since helping his club win the Premier League title two years ago, the Leicester City winger has attracted attention from Barcelona, Roma, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool, but he's still at the King Power Stadium, having failed to get his big move. Mahrez has enjoyed a good season with Leicester, but the Foxes are well-backed by their owners and have no need to sell. It's highly likely that the Algeria international remains there until the summer at least.
Who could solve Liverpool's goalkeeper problem?
Neither Simon Mignolet nor Loris Karius has done enough to suggest he can be the long-term answer in goal for Liverpool, but with the £142 million fee for Coutinho in the bank, Jurgen Klopp has the funds to recruit a world-class No. 1. Jan Oblak, with a €100 million buy-out clause at Atletico Madrid, would be the best option, but both Kasper Schmeichel and Jack Butland could be signed if Liverpool are prepared to make a substantial offer to Leicester or Stoke, respectively.
Jonny Evans: Stay or go?
Manchester City and Arsenal are both in the hunt to sign the West Bromwich Albion captain, and Evans is keen to go, with City his favoured destination. Pep Guardiola is determined to add to his defensive options, and it would be a surprise if the former Manchester United defender does not leave The Hawthorns for a fee in the region of £20 million before Jan. 31.
Daniel Sturridge, anyone? Anyone?
The Liverpool forward has started just five Premier League games this season, but even with Coutinho's sale, Sturridge has little or no future at Anfield. At 28, he should be in his prime but is instead available with few takers. With a World Cup this summer, Sturridge needs a move to revive his England prospects.
Mark Ogden is a senior football writer for ESPN FC. Follow him @MarkOgden_