Tale of the window: Manchester
The two top clubs in the country battling it out for a want-away Arsenal forward. This time he was Chilean rather than Dutch. Same result, though. Still it's impossible to see Manchester City relinquishing its grip on the 2017/18 Premier league title. Sitting 12 points clear and only seven dropped from 24 games, it will take an almighty collapse for the title to slip away. Pep Guardiola is doing everything in his power to prevent it. The Catalan might even whip himself into shape if that was what was necessary..
Devils in the details
All the talk has surrounded Alexis Sanchez and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Yet, there have been a number of other players linked with United despite the fairly large squad number. Mourinho may have a little yard sale come summer.
Alexis Sanchez's reported salary could cause problems. David de Gea will be able to use Real Madrid as leverage to increase his income. Paul Pogba's agent, Mino Raiola, will use any leverage he can.
Taking into account United has dropped points against Burnley, Huddersfield, and Leicester, failing to capitalise is ultimately what has caused its “noisy neighbours” to leave the Old Trafford outfit in their wake.
Did the Citizens really need to buy anyone this month?
Pep Guardiola has been in the spotlight regarding transfers all month, from Alexis Sanchez to Jonny Evans, then finally a landed target, Aymeric Laporte. The Frenchman is arriving to spell Vincent Kompany and John Stones.
The question remains how much this side will miss Leroy Sane. The German is fortunate to have only suffered ligament damage from a shocking tackle over the weekend. Could his absence for the next six weeks have an impact on City's performance?
In all fairness, the Sky Blues have been in imperious form this season, whoever was in the lineup. Pep’s side has scored 70 while boasting the league’s third meanest defence, conceding an average of 0.75 goals per game. Guardiola has five players already in double figures for goals across all competitions.
There are rumours of a last minute bid for Riyad Mahrez. Might they tempt him? The Algerian has been wanting away from Leicester for two years, but the Foxes are coming on under Claude Puel. He might want to stay where he knows he'll play, and just might nick some more silverware.
The run in
For City, February is a busy month, but it won’t be as pivotal as March and April. The side will be under pressure to make deep runs in the FA Cup and Champions League, whether or not it claims the League Cup. Additionally, they play Chelsea, Arsenal, then Spurs and United in the opening games of each month. City will have to earn an unprecedented quadruple.
Meanwhile, United might actually see a first-team defender return. Not that it's been the reason the team has faltered. Without Eric Bailly the Red Devils are still joint-best at the back. Still, Mourinho’s side could pick up momentum in the latter stages with fresh bodies.
Mou's best chance at a trophy really looks like the FA Cup. The Premier League is a stretch at best. The Champions League field is deep and he is not. On the other hand, Alexis Sanchez's arrival proves that, under the Portuguese, anything is possible..