It might not have been the perfect start to the defence of their title, but Manchester City are well placed in the slipstream of Chelsea heading into the New Year. Significant signings in January have been limited in seasons past and with a squad bathed in quality and depth, Manuel Pellegrini is likely to resist making marque additions.
What they need
James Milner leading the line for a lengthy period in the absence of Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko is unlikely to help City claim the title in May, and any fears over the pair's fitness will be reflected in Pellegrini's actions in the window. In every other area, it is hard to fault a City squad which could fight on three fronts in the New Year.
Who could join?
A decision over Frank Lampard's loan deal at City will be made in January, with the ex-England international likely to remain in the Premier League. As far as strikers go Bayern Munich's Mario Manzukic is the primary target for the champions but as previously mentioned, Aguero's fitness will be key. Norway youngster Martin Odegaard could make a decision over his future having trained with a number of the Premier League's elite, including City. Ivan Rakitic and Kevin de Bruyne have also been linked with the club.
Who could leave?
No player has been linked with an exit from the Etihad Stadium more than Scott Sinclair, who remains ostracised by Pellegrini. Crystal Palace and Queens Park Rangers are the front-runners but wage demands and the like are expected to be a major stumbling block. Matija Nastasic, another player on the periphery, has been linked with a potential move abroad.
What the manager has said
"I never close any window about anything we can do to give us an advantage," said Pellegrini. "If all the teams can do it, we can do it also. If we are thinking about that – at this moment we're not – we will analyse in the moment what we are going to do.
"You remember, when Álvaro [Negredo] was sold in August, I said there were a lot of reasons why we made that decision. Álvaro couldn't play until the middle of November because he was injured, so it was just one and a half months, and then in January we will see if we need to replace him or not. Now we are in that moment we are going to make the best decision for the club."