Manchester City will seek to avoid an expensive summer transfer battle with a £38m move for Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala before the window closes on Friday night.
City view the prospects of signing the 22-year-old as slim, with so many clubs seeking to secure his services and Manchester United joining Paris Saint-Germain among those who are interested. But both the City manager Manuel Pellegrini and director of football Txiki Begiristain admire Mangala and see him as the partner they need for Vincent Kompany in central defence.
A move for Porto's Brazilian midfielder Fernando is also a possibility, with City having been quoted a fee of €15 million (£12.4m) for a player who has been the subject of offers from Monaco and CSKA Moscow.
Porto's willingness to sell may be a problem as the club are contenders for their domestic title, but a deal could be possible if City are prepared to allow Javi Garcia to move to Porto as part of any agreement for Fernando. It helps City's cause that the midfielder will be out of contract this summer.
Meanwhile, the prospect of Manchester United securing German midfielder Toni Kroos from Bayern Munich is not entirely dead, though it does seem unlikely, with United's manager David Moyes not confident that he will be able to reinforce further in this window.
* Crystal Palace are close to bringing in Blackpool winger Tom Ince on loan until the end of the season. The south London club have held talks with the 22-year-old and after holding a medical expect to finalise the deal today.
Ince has been linked with a number of clubs this month, including Swansea City, Hull City, Sunderland and Monaco, but his long-anticipated switch to the top flight looks to be imminent with Palace.