Leicester City's first-half of the 2016-17 season has been... well, rather mixed. A sublime start to their maiden Champions League campaign has been offset by their somewhat miserable Premier League campaign. While no one expected the Foxes to match last season's historic Premier League-winning campaign, hovering precariously above the relegation zone isn't what the club's Thai owners would have envisioned. The January window could help resolve that.
What they need
It's stating the absolute obvious, but Leicester are badly missing the tireless presence of N'Golo Kante. Papy Mendy, the man brought in to fill the void for £13m during the summer transfer window, has barely figured after being forced to undergo ankle surgery and the club need a stronger presence in the middle of the park. With Islam Slimani and Riyhad Mahrez departing for the Africa Cup of Nations with Algeria, Leicester will have to get their recruitment drive underway earlier.
Who could join?
Sporting midfielder Adrien almost joined Slimani at the Foxes last summer, even telling the local press how much he was relishing the challenge of the Premier League. After the £12m move broke down, a fairly ugly dispute between Sporting's president, the player and the player's father was put to bed when Adrien vowed to fully commit to the Portuguese giants once again. Will Leicester want to hassle of opening talks again? Reports suggest it is an option.
Michael Keane was another target during the summer. Burnley resisted those offers, but Leicester are reportedly ready to pay £20m to finally prise the former Manchester United youngster away from Turf Moor.
While no deal has been announced, Leicester reportedly have a deal in place to sign 20-year-old midfielder Wilfred Ndidi from Genk. The defensive midfielder has a five-year deal in place with The Foxes and could finally offer a solution to the Kante-shaped hole in Ranieri's midfield. The Mirror also suggest the club are also weighing up a bid for Ndidi's club teammate Leon Bailey, one of Europe's brightest attacking talents and on the radar of Manchester United.
Who could leave?
Having not started a league game this season, Leonardo Ulloa's patience must be growing thin with reports suggesting the 30-year-old will seek pastures new in the New Year. Jeffrey Schlupp is another to have seen first-team chances dry up.
There was plenty of excitement when Leicester secured a £7.5m deal for 19-year-old Polish prodigy Bartosz Kapustka in July. The champions saw off interest from other clubs around Europe but the versatile attacker is still waiting to make his debut for the club. A loan move could beckon.
After the heavy 5-0 defeat to Porto in their final Champions League campaign, Ranieri made it very clear he now knew which players he could trust, and those he couldn't. It sounded ominous for the fringe players who wilted that night.
What the manager has said
"I don't like to maintain players who are unhappy. But of course, this is my point of view – afterwards, there is the club. If someone goes, we can get rid of him easily but it will cost a lot of money to replace him with someone else who we have to replace them with.
"That is the balance we have to achieve. I want to help those players but at the end of the month, they take the money. They are professionals and it's a business. There are rumours but everyone knows very well who is happy, who wants to stay with us. If anyone wants to stay and fight with us, it's OK. If someone is not happy, they should come to us and we will speak about what is best for the club, and for them."