Buy, buy or bye bye
TRANSFER DEADLINE DAY
With the transfer window about to close, the big boys have less than 24 hours to conclude their business.
The stakes have never been higher. Three games, three wins, Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United are making this season's title race impossible to predict.
Even if they do not go shopping, their rivals must to stay alive in the fight.
Our writer looks at what could happen among the leading contenders on Deadline Day.
What a difference a week makes. Before the weekend, Gunners fans were calling for both a spending spree and Arsene Wenger's head.
The win at Watford bought time but today should also confirm the signings of Deportivo striker Lucas Perez and centre back Shkodran Mustafi from Valencia.
The moves should calm those baying for blood, but may not fully settle nerves.
One of the strangest deals of the day could still involve the Gunners.
Jack Wilshere's stalled career has undoubtedly suffered from too many injuries, but when he's fully fit and available - a rarity, admittedly - he joins a small category of highly influential English midfielders.
And yet, he is set to head out on loan today.
Granit Xhaka was signed earlier in the summer, but if Wilshere joins Mikel Arteta, Tomas Rosicky and Mathieu Flamini in leaving the club, then Arsenal are suddenly light in the one area where they previously enjoyed an array of midfield choices.
If Calum Chambers joins Middlesbrough on loan, as expected, then questions will again be asked of Wenger. The promising centre back joined from Southampton only two years ago and, in that time, Arsenal failed to harness his potential.
Moreover, Perez's tendency to drift left could force an over-reliance on Olivier Giroud, unless Wenger makes a late grab for a second striker.
Lyon's Alexandre Lacazette has popped up on the radar, but the French forward has also been linked with West Ham for a huge fee.
Antonio Conte knows he's rather fortunate to still be on a winning streak.
Chelsea's first two games required late winners and Diego Costa was lucky to stay on the pitch.
Eden Hazard's dramatic redemption has obscured the Blues' reliance on both the Belgian and Costa for goals.
Michy Batshuayi is already on board, but the 22-year-old is still settling.
Conte favours a front two and may be tempted to have a dramatic crack at Juventus' Mario Mandzukic, the kind of conventional, reliable hitman that the Italian covets.
But the Blues' overriding deficiencies are defensive.
Italy's unlikely run at Euro 2016 was built on a meticulously drilled defence, which Chelsea clearly lack.
Age goes against John Terry. Consistency occasionally goes against Gary Cahill.
Conte loves Italian defenders and speculation surrounds AC Milan's Alessio Romagnoli, but the 21-year-old comes with a colossal price tag.
As a guaranteed quick-fix, Juventus' Giorgio Chiellini (above), the Mafioso of man-marking, would fit hand in glove with his former club and country mentor.
The Foxes, waving their golden ticket in the air like a giddy, young Charlie on his way to the chocolate factory, can do no wrong.
Just yesterday, fans were heard on British radio station TalkSport saying they'd be content with a top-10 finish.
The ins and outs of the transfer window do not appear to faze them either way, which is such a shame as Claudio Ranieri has conducted decent business.
Five signings bolstered the ranks, but Nampalys Mendy and Ahmed Musa in particular look astute additions.
Keeping everyone in the camp - bar the departed N'Golo Kante of course - will be Ranieri's greatest achievement today.
And yet, the Italian is still hoping to throw down his final hand and reveal a pair from Sporting Lisbon.
Adrien Silva, a peripheral member of Portugal's Euro 2016-winning squad, could strengthen central midfield after Kante's departure.
Islam Slimani (above), an experienced Algerian striker, should join Musa in alleviating Jamie Vardy's burden.
Last season, Vardy had noble attacking support, but it was very much Cliff Richard and the Shadows rather than The Beatles.
If Slimani jumps on the title-winning bandwagon, Leonardo Ulloa might be shuffled along to make room.
For half an hour against Arsenal, Juergen Klopp was no longer a manager, but a tactical god, the man with the plan, the coach who could do no wrong.
Two weeks and two worrying performances against Burnley and Tottenham later and Liverpool supporters are close to pulling back the curtain and discovering not a wizard, but a man frantically trying to pull Daniel Sturridge's levers.
Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum are early pluses and Joel Matip is settling alongside Dejan Lovren, but Liverpool still conceded six goals in three games.
Klopp inherited Brendan Rodgers' brittle back four and must be tempted to buy a Band-Aid before the transfer window closes.
James Milner is going way beyond the call of duty as an emergency left back and deserves a reprieve.
PSV Eindhoven's Jetro Willems (above), a promising 22-year-old who made his international debut with Holland at 18, could do the job.
To all intents and purposes, Jose Mourinho's work is done. He likes to conclude his shopping stints early.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Eric Bailly, Henrik Mkhitaryan and Paul Pogba represent four outstanding, clinical signings, square pegs for square holes, the Mourinho way.
Chris Smalling's gradual return from injury brings stability, which may dissuade Mourinho from going poaching for Southampton's Jose Fonte (above).
But if the United manager considers Daley Blind an unreliable back-up option, particularly when he knows his owners are currently spending cash faster the Kardashians, then there may be a temptation to grab Fonte.
Ironically, the biggest deal of the day could have conceivably the least impact on the English Premier League.
Torino's bizarre attempt to sign Joe Hart on loan seems ridiculous as the Italians could barely cover a third of the goalkeeper's wages.
But Hart (above) faces an immediate dilemma - insane salary or regular selection?
He can't have both.
Pep Guardiola considers the Englishman his third-choice goalkeeper and Three Lions manager Sam Allardyce insists that his players must be performing regularly for their clubs.
So far, only Torino and Sunderland have declared an interest in Hart's services.
Clubs are hardly clamouring for his signature. By the end of today, England's No. 1 goalkeeper really could end up at a Serie A club that finished 12th last season.
With the usual, repetitive hullabaloo at Arsenal, their North London neighbours went about their shopping quietly and sensibly.
Victor Wanyama's (above) dependable, physical presence alongside Eric Dier already makes him a reliable midfield asset, while Vincent Janssen offers timely support as Harry Kane's post-Euro 2016 hangover continues.
A lack of width in their first three games, however, makes Georges-Kevin Nkoudou an obvious target.
The French winger is expected to sign on the dotted line today.
Unlike their rivals, Spurs have no obvious weaknesses, but the squad have a "jack of all trades" feel and not enough masters.
A lacklustre start to the season may tempt Mauricio Pochettino back into the market, but masters are hard to come by on deadline day.PHOTOS: AFP, REUTERS