With Christmas approaching the excitement does not stop there as the January transfer window is just around the corner.
An embarrassment of big names are out of contract in January so there will be plenty of clubs trying to snatch cut-price deals while the usual suspects will be targeted by the biggest clubs in Europe.
Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal will all be hoping to add to their squads ahead of a tough second half to the season, so stick with us throughout the day for all the latest news and gossip doing the rounds today.
Follow all the live transfer action below…
Please allow a moment for the blog to load…
Good morning and welcome to The Independent's live transfer blog for Friday 22 December!
Stay with us throughout the day to keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news, gossip, rumours and updates as things start heating up before the January transfer window!
Manchester United are keen on USA winger Christian Pulisic, the Daily Mail reports. The 19-year-old Borussia Dortmund player has caught the eye of Jose Mourinho in recent months with the manager keen on bringing in a winger and playmaker.
Newly-appointed Everton boss Sam Allardyce is looking at making James Tomkins his first signing, according to the Sun. The 28-year-old centre-back was sold by West Ham to Crystal Palace last July, but Allardyce is looking to spend up to £20m to bring him to Goodison Park the paper reports.
Takeover talks at Newcastle may scupper any deal to bring Leicester's Islam Slimani to St James' Park, the Leicester Mercury says. Rafael Benitez wants to bring in the striker, but could face competition from Watford, West Brom and Stoke the paper reports.
We reported yesterday that Basel defender Manuel Akanji is subject to interest from both Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund. The German side are pushing hard for a deal to be done in January, but the Swiss club want to keep the 22-year-old for the rest of the campaign, the paper said.
Manchester City’s main transfer target this January will be a centre-half, with Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk currently the top option, although the club also want to sign a number-six and a forward - still likely Alexis Sanchez - over the next six months.
Both Pep Guardiola and director of football Txiki Begiristain met with chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak when the latter flew in at the weekend, sitting ahead of the 4-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur to talk about the next 18 months of planning.
While their ongoing interest in Sanchez was discussed, it is understood that Guardiola is now no longer so intent on signing the Chilean this season, as he is content with the chemistry and integration of his attack.
Antonio Conte says he anticipates Chelsea doing business in January, with The Independent understanding that his main target is the type of forward player who can operate in a few positions across the front line.
The Italian is more content with his squad than in September - and again mentioned the progress of 17-year-old Ethan Ampadu - but says they will buy if the right deal becomes available. He also stated he still wants to improve the depth of his squad.
“A difficult period is starting, especially for every club, for every coach. In this period there are a lot of rumours. Some rumours are true. Some rumours are wrong. We must be ready to face this situation. I think the best way for me is not to read [anything] and only talk with the club, and then to try to improve our squad if this is possible. If, I repeat, this is possible.
“But there will be a lot of rumours now. We must be ready to face them while, at the same time, be ready to be focused and go game by game. We play every three days, so it's not right that these rumours disturb us.”
Liverpool will go in for Monaco's £90m-rated Thomas Lemar in January, as they attempt to bolster their chances of securing a top-four spot, and beat Arsenal to the French international's signature Jürgen Klopp has a longstanding interest in the 22-year-old forward, and the belief at Anfield is that his first choice is Liverpool, even though Arsenal came close to signing him in August.
Reports in Italy suggest Inter Milan are willing to take Manchester United midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan on loan in January.
Gazzetta dello Sport claim the Serie A side cannot commit to buying the 28-year-old however, and Borussia Dortmund are also reportedly interested in their former playmaker.
Roy Hodgson has admitted he cannot be certain the Wilfried Zaha will not leave Crystal Palace in the January transfer window, amid interest from Tottenham and Chelsea.
“I don’t think as a manager you can ever give guarantees on anything,” Hodgson told reporters.
”It’s a great credit to the club and Zaha that there are rumours circulating about so-called bigger clubs thinking about making a bid.
”If the day comes when one of those rumours are no longer rumours, I’ll come to terms with it and deal with it.
“Of course I do (want him to stay). I‘m very happy with the way he’s playing and I have no doubt that will continue until the day when he can no longer do it for us. Like most Palace fans, I hope that’s a long way off.”
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies