Spare a thought today for Liverpool's herd of centre-backs. OK, herd may not be the correct collective noun, but in any case there are a lot of them at the club right now following Brendan Rodgers's decision to sign three during the recent transfer window and get rid of none. In fact, Rodgers is in possession of so many that some supporters are wondering if Liverpool will start their next match with two banks of four defenders positioned behind Steven Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge. Get past that, Swansea.
Something will eventually have to give and by something the Mill means Martin Skrtel, who is once again linked with a move to Napoli in January. The shaven-headed Slovakian was widely expected to leave Anfield during the summer having fallen out of favour with Rodgers during the second half of last season but stayed put and in Liverpool's last match, the 1-0 victory over Manchester United, was outstanding. He remains the most likely of the club's stable of stoppers to depart, however, and a move to Napoli makes sense given their manager, Rafael Benítez, is the man who brought Skrtel to Liverpool in the first place. Benítez is also keen on signing Lucas Leiva, another of his Liverpool signings, and Mikel John Obi, who the Spaniard worked with during his brief/brutal/beautiful spell in charge of Chelsea.
Maybe Manchester United will make a bid for Skrtel themselves. Or maybe they won't. Maybe they'll get three lawyers to try and kidnap him in the middle of the night, or maybe they won't have heard of the lawyers. Who knows with United anymore, a club once renowned for their expert handling of everything, but who post-Fergie are as organised as a drunk monkey on roller skates? Little wonder, then, that David Moyes is "ready to make a massive shake-up of his scouting system" in a bid to sign some players who, you know, he didn't also manage at Everton. Saying that, his "massive shake-up" revolves around bringing in scouts who worked with him at Everton, so expect another bid for Leighton Baines in January with a couple for Leon Osman and Tony Hibbert chucked in for good measure.
Like Moyes, Alan Pardew also experienced a frustrating summer transfer window mainly due to the incompetence of the man above him (Ed Woodward meet Joe Kinnear) but he, too, is ready to have another go in January, with Newcastle linked with a £5m move for the Heerenveen striker Alfred Finnbogason. The 24-year-old Iceland international has scored 30 goals in 37 matches for the Dutch club and was supposedly offered to Newcastle during the summer only for Kinnear to say no/forget to answer his phone. But with Finnbogason having started the new Eredivisie season in fine style, most notably with two goals in a 3-3 draw with Ajax, a deal could finally be done.
Now on to Jack Butland, of whom great things are expected once he finally stops being Stoke's No3 goalkeeper. The England Under-21 international moved to the Britannia Stadium in May and was widely expected to become the main man there with Asmir Begovic leaving for bigger and better things. But Begovic has stayed put, as has Thomas Sorensen, meaning Butland has not even made the bench for Stoke's three league matches this season. Little wonder, then, that the 20-year-old is being linked with a move away, with Sheffield Wednesday keen to take him on loan for the remainder of the current campaign.
Staying in the Championship and Stephen Hunt is close to joining Blackpool having been released by Wolves during the summer. The Republic of Ireland winger has been training with Paul Ince's side in recent days and should complete a long-term move there shortly.
At international level Hunt could soon be managed by Martin O'Neill, with the 61-year-old favourite to replace Giovanni Trapattoni should Ireland, as expected, fail to qualify for the 2014 World Cup. O'Neill has been out of work since being sacked by Sunderland last season and would give international football a level of touchline-bouncing which Trapattoni neither has the energy or enthusiasm for.
And finally, Real Madrid are expected to make a bid for Luis Suárez in January. Yes, that one again.