Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes the January transfer window could be decisive in this season’s intriguing Premier League title race.
The Gunners boss is predicting that most of the top flight will be busy throughout this month, with a number of player transactions going through at both ends of the table.
Wenger, whose side lead the league after 20 matches, acknowledges that any team that deals well in January could well gain the upper hand in a keenly fought battle for the title, with the top four separated by just six points.
“Of course it can make the difference,” he said when asked whether the window could impact on the title race.
“Teams who respond well in January will have success sometimes. I would say that for the media you could have some good news this January window, because I believe many clubs will be active.
“You go from clubs who are down in the table like Aston Villa, who have to do something, and the clubs at the top who will be very active as well.
“My prediction is it will be one of the most active January windows. First of all, down to TV [money], also the anticipation of inflation could exist after this season in England.
“The anticipation to do business now could be important. At the bottom and top everyone thinks there is a responsibility to do something because we have a chance to improve squads.
“At the bottom especially with the new television deal, the teams who fear to go down will be under pressure not to just accept the situation.”
Wenger also remains hopeful that Arsenal’s deal to sign Basel midfielder Mohamed Elneny, 23, will be completed soon.
He said: “I expect movement, yes. This week we are positive it can happen.
“The situation should be sorted this week, [there has been] a lot of work permit problems. There is special paperwork to do, a visa. We hope we can finalise it this week.
“As long as it is not signed you have to be cautious, but I am optimistic.”