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Champions League hopefuls: what transfers will they make?

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As this season nears its end, it appears that Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United, and Manchester City will be enjoying the glories of Champions League football in the year to come, much to the dismay of hopefuls such as Liverpool and Tottenham.

All of these six sides will be desperate to reach the top level of European competition given the reward it brings, and one eye will already be on strengthening ahead of 2015/16.

As the summer transfer window approaches, we take a look at the needs and targets these top teams should make in order to impact the competition next year.

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CHELSEA

Jose Mourinho's men arguably have the strongest top-to-bottom squad in the Premier League, evident in their success in this campaign. It is incredibly difficult to find a weakness to their starting XI, as each position is filled with a top-quality player.

The only downfall of the Blues could be their age: at an average nearing 28 years old, Chelsea could do with an injection of youth to stimulate the fatigue that accompanies a long season filled with multiple competitions. John Terry's successor becomes a priority, although the emergence of Kurt Zouma has placed immediate purchases on the backburner.

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MANCHESTER UNITED

What a difference a season - and £160 million - can make, aptly demonstrated by the win over Manchester City just under a week ago.

But United do have some noticeable needs, and they will become yet more clear if David de Gea ends up at the Santiago Bernabeu - although that would seem unlikely this summer. Robin van Persie is no longer the striker he once was, with injuries and age finally catching up to him, while Radamel Falcao will return to Monaco at the end of the season after a turmoil-filled loan spell.

Striker depth could be a top priority, especially with European football returning to Old Trafford. United have enough young talent to prevent impulse buys this summer, and thus the main objective should be to add one or two established players and develop their youth.

ARSENAL

The most impressive team towards the latter half of the season, Arsenal have, as usual under Arsene Wenger, hit their stride when it matters most. Playing beautiful, eloquent football, Arsenal's transfer policy has produced a unique squad of top class talent that still maintains a fantastic chemistry and understanding of one another.

But the glaring need for the Gunners remains a defensive midfielder of repute who can disrupt play and distribute the ball over the field, despite the emergence of Francis Coquelin. Morgan Schneiderlin of Southampton fits this role perfectly, so don't be surprised if Wenger makes him the top target.

MANCHESTER CITY

For all that City have invested in their squad - over €1 billion since 2007-2008 - they truly have little to show for it this season. This massive investment in the squad has seen them spend with reckless abandon without any true plan for development, and it has shown this season.

Oddly enough, City seem to have more holes now than a few years ago, with age and lack of form plaguing their squad. Manuel Pellegrini needs to address his centre-back and midfield situation, and badly.

Martin Demichellis barely has the ability to keep up with the pace of the Premier League, so look for City to splash on a top level CB. Yaya Toure also seems like he is on the way out, so a midfield anchor could be on the cards.

James Milner is out of contract at the end of the current season, so look for a winger to replace him, and keep an eye on these links to Raheem Sterling. All in all, City will spend heavily this offseason, and it could see a number of flops head towards the exit door.

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

The youngest average starting XI in all six major European leagues, Spurs need time to mature, develop, and build chemistry before really deciding to splash cash.

However, centre-back seems a desperate need, considering only the bottom four Premier League clubs have conceded as many goals as the Lilywhites. Toby Alderweireld, who has spent the season on loan with fellow competitors Southampton, may be on his way to north London if reports are to be believed.

However, manager Mauricio Pochettino likes to utilise youth in his squad, which could also desperately do with some talented wingers, so look for Daniel Levy to attract some young, emerging stars in wide positions. We could see a dramatically different Spurs team next campaign, but not in terms of players, rather mentality.

LIVERPOOL

Brendan Rodgers' has something of a mixed time in the transfer market since his arrival at the club. He has, however, excelled in getting the best from young players who were already on the books at Anfield.

But with Steven Gerrard on the way out and so much speculation about Raheem Sterling, next season could be the greatest test for the manager.

Daniel Sturridge has failed to prove he can stay healthy for an entire season, so look for another striker to make his way to Merseyside this summer, along with potential replacements for the aforementioned players.

They could do with a midfield enforcer as well, with Lucas Leiva not the star player in this position they really need.

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Topics:
Manchester City
Football
Premier League
Arsenal
Manchester United
Liverpool
Tottenham Hotspur
Southampton
Chelsea

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