The start of the Premier League season is fast approaching with clubs across the country beginning to wind up their pre-season tours and start the serious business of getting ready for those first league games a week on Saturday.
It's already been a busy summer, with transfer records falling as a result of the vast income available to clubs from the new TV deals that come into effect for the coming season.
But which clubs have been working hard and who have been slacking off? Here we look at each team's business so far, and give them a grade from A-E.
In: Yaya Sanogo (Auxerre, free)
Out: Andrey Arshavin (Zenit St Petersburg, free); Denilson (released); Sebastien Squillaci (released); Craig Eastmond (Colchester, free); Sanchez Watt (Colchester, free); Vito Mannone (Sunderland, undisclosed); Francis Coquelin (Freiburg, loan); Johan Djourou (Hamburg, loan); Jernade Meade (free transfer)
Arsene Wenger desperately needs to invest ahead of the new campaign. The Gunners lacked a creative spark against Galatasaray in their recent Emirates Cup defeat and need an alternative to Olivier Giroud up front with Sanogo unlikely to feature much this season. Liverpool are unlikely to budge on Luis Suarez’s asking price and although there is no rush to sign the striker after his infamous bite landed him a lengthy ban, Arsenal fans would desperately welcome his signature before the season starts.
In: Jores Okore (Nordsjaelland, undisclosed); Aleksandar Tonev (Lech Poznan, undisclosed); Nicklas Helenius (Aalborg, undisclosed); Leandro Bacuna (Groningen, undisclosed); Antonio Luna (Sevilla, undisclosed); Jed Steer (Norwich, free)
Out: Richard Dunne (QPR, free); Brett Holman (released); Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest, free); Andy Marshall (released); Jean Makoun (Rennes); Stiliyan Petrov (retired); Derrick Williams (Bristol City, free)
Paul Lambert pulled off a masterstroke to keep Christian Benteke and his goals should keep them clear of trouble in this campaign. Jores Okore will help install some resilience which should mean the Villans avoid embarrassing cup defeats to lower league opposition while the club have also recruited a number of promising young talents. Most of Lambert’s signings will take time to adjust to the English style but his young squad have a year’s Premier League experience behind them which will be crucial in their bid for a smoother campaign.
In: Andreas Cornelius (FC Copenhagen, £7.5m); Steven Caulker (Tottenham, £8m)
Out: Heidar Helguson (released); Nat Jarvis (Kidderminster, free); Stephen McPhail (released)
Cardiff City are slowly building a side capable of staying in the Premier League after securing promising Danish striker Andreas Cornelius and England international defender Stephen Caulker. Don’t expect their transfer activity to peter out though as their Malaysian owners look keen to invest and they could yet do with another midfielder.
In: Andre Schurrle (Bayer Leverkusen, £18m); Marco van Ginkel (Vitesse Arnhem, £8m); Mark Schwarzer (Fulham, free); Hilario (unattached, free)
Out: Thibaut Courtois (Atletico Madrid, loan); Marko Marin (Sevilla, loan); Oriol Romeu (Valencia, loan); Patrick van Aanholt (Vitesse, loan); Yossi Benayoun (released); Paulo Ferreira (released); Florent Malouda (released); Hilario (released); Ross Turnbull (released); Billy Clifford (Yeovil, loan); Patrick Bamford (MK Dons, loan); Todd Kane (Blackburn , loan); George Saville (Brentford, loan)
Chelsea continue their public pursuit of Wayne Rooney but, as it stands, Manchester United aren’t budging. With Fernando Torres and Demba Ba misfiring last season a new striker would be welcome at Stamford Bridge although the Blues do welcome back Romelu Lukaku after his impressive loan spell at West Brom. If the Blues can secure Rooney they have every chance of wrestling the title out of Manchester, while the additions of Schurrle (above) and Van Ginkel look astute.
In: Jerome Thomas (West Brom, free); Dwight Gayle (Peterborough, undisclosed); Stephen Dobbie (Brighton, undisclosed)
Out: Jermaine Easter (Millwall, loan); Alex Marrow (Blackburn, undisclosed); Jason Banton (MK Dons, loan)
Ian Holloway’s Blackpool set the Premier League alight during their brief stint competing against England’s elite and a similar attacking philosophy can be anticipated this time around. Dwight Gayle’s goals almost kept Peterborough United in the Championship last season and the striker looks an exciting prospect ahead of the new campaign. Spanish midfielder Jose Campana is another to watch but you just sense Palace are doomed unless they shore up their backline before the end of August.
In: Arouna Kone (Wigan, £6m); Antolin Alcaraz (Wigan, free); Joel Robles (Atletico Madrid, undisclosed); Gerard Deulofeu (Barcelona, loan)
Out: Jan Mucha (released); Thomas Hitzlsperger (released); Phil Neville (retired); Jake Bidwell (Brentford, undisclosed)
Roberto Martinez’s Everton are a bit of unknown ahead of the new season. The Spaniard has shipped in three players from old club Wigan but Everton fans will be acutely aware that these players were embroiled in an unsuccessful relegation battle last season. Kone is a decent addition after impressing with the Latics whilst on-loan wide man Gerard Deulofeu can cause havoc in opposition defences.
In: Maarten Stekelenburg (Roma, undisclosed); Sascha Riether (Cologne, undisclosed); Fernando Amorebieta (Athletic Bilbao, free); Derek Boateng (Dnipro, free); Ange-Freddy Plumain (Lens, free); Adel Taarabt (QPR, loan)
Out: Mark Schwarzer (Chelsea, free); Chris Baird (released); Simon Davies (released); Mladen Petric (released); Mahamadou Diarra (released); Georgios Karagounis (released); Dan Burn (Birmingham, loan); Csaba Somogyi (released)
Fulham’s attack looks a little light ahead of the new season although Martin Jol identified Adel Taarabt as the man to play off Dimitar Berbatov next season. Maarten Stekelenburg (above) will provide stability after Mark Schwarzer departed for Chelsea and experienced Venezuelan centre-back Fernando Amorebieta will create competition in the West London club’s backline.
In: Steve Harper (Newcastle, free); Ahmed Elmohamady (Sunderland, £2m); Maynor Figueroa (Wigan, free); Curtis Davies (Birmingham, undisclosed); Allan McGregor (Besiktas, undisclosed fee); Yannick Sagbo (Evian, undisclosed fee)
Out: Andy Dawson (Scunthorpe United, free); Jay Simpson (released); Paul McKenna (released); Seyi Olofinjana (released); Mark Oxley (Oldham, loan)
Danny Graham’s goals can propel Hull to Premier League survival. He has a point to prove after struggling at Sunderland but has demonstrated his knack of finding the net with Swansea. George Boyd deserves his chance in the top flight after consistent performances in the Championship whilst Curtis Davies returns intent on reigniting his career after failing to live up to expectations from his youth days. Maynor Figueroa is another useful acquisition but it still looks to be a tough ask for the Tigers to beat the drop.
In: Simon Mignolet (Sunderland, £9m); Iago Aspas (Celta Vigo, £7m); Luis Alberto (Sevilla, £6.8m); Kolo Toure (Liverpool, free)
Out: Andy Carroll (West Ham, £15m); Jonjo Shelvey (Swansea, £5m); Jamie Carragher (retired); Peter Gulasci (Red Bull Salzburg, free); Danny Wilson (Hearts, free); Suso (Almeria, loan); Michael Ngoo (Yeovil, loan)
Can Liverpool keep Luis Suarez? If they can, Brendan Rodgers’ troops have a great shot of competing for a Champions League place. If they can’t, the Reds can look forward to another season battling over the Europa League spots. Mignolet and Toure are superb additions at the back but it was their reliance on Suarez last season that cost them a higher league position. Aspas (above) comes in to help lift the weight of responsibility on the Uruguayan’s shoulders but it remains to be seen whether the pair will get to line up in the same team next season.
In: Fernandinho (Shakhtar Donetsk, £30m); Jesus Navas (Sevilla, £15m); Alvaro Negredo (Sevilla, £24m); Stevan Jovetic (Fiorentina, £22m)
Out: Carlos Tevez (Juventus, undisclosed); Wayne Bridge (Reading, free); Roque Santa Cruz (released); Filippo Mancini (released); Kolo Toure (Liverpool, free); Ryan McGivern (released); Karim Rekik (PSV, loan)
Unsurprisingly Manchester City have dipped into the transfer market once more, bringing in four high-profile signings. Whilst Jesus Navas might not start regular matches he offers something completely different to City’s usual suspects in midfield and can change a match from the bench if Manuel Pellegrini decides he doesn’t merit a starting spot. Stevan Jovetic and Alvaro Negredo are class forwards although where they’ll fit in is unclear with Sergio Aguero and Eden Dzeko for company.
In: Guillermo Varela (Penarol, undisclosed)
Out: Paul Scholes (retired); Reece Brown (released); John Cofie (released)
If Manchester United want to retain their title they need to dip into the transfer market. Wayne Rooney’s future is far from certain and United’s midfield is still crying out for creativity. Pursuing Cesc Fabregas was the right move but if he’s unavailable they must turn their attention to another target quickly. United’s first three games sees them visit Swansea, host Chelsea and then head to Anfield. It’s a horrible start and if they don’t act quickly in the transfer market they risk playing catch up on their Premier League rivals.
In: Loic Remy (QPR, loan)
Out: Steve Harper (Hull City, free); Danny Simpson (QPR, free); James Perch (Wigan Athletic, undisclosed fee); James Tavernier (Shrewsbury, loan)
Alan Pardew continued to pursue the dream of having a French XI with the signing of Loic Remy who should add much needed goals to the Newcastle tally following Papiss Cisse’s loss of form and the sale of Demba Ba in January. Speculation surrounding Cisse’s refusal to wear the club’s shirt and Joe Kinnear’s Yohan Kebab mishap have hardly helped their preparations but if they can keep their key players fit they should avoid any relegation fights this time around.
In: Nathan Redmond (Birmingham, undisclosed); Javier Garrido (Lazio, undisclosed); Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Sporting, £8.5m); Martin Olsson (Blackburn Rovers, undisclosed); Carlo Nash (Stoke, free); Leroy Fer (FC Twente, undisclosed); Gary Hooper (Celtic, £5m)
Out: Grant Holt (Wigan, £2m); Danny Butterfield (released); Tom Adeyemi (Birmingham, free); Lee Camp (released); George Francomb (Wimbledon, free); Simeon Jackson (released); Chris Martin (Derby, free); Korey Smith (released); Marc Tierney (Bolton, free); Elliot Ward (Bournemouth, free); Jed Steer (Aston Villa, free); Declan Rudd (Preston, loan); James Vaughan (Huddersfield, undisclosed)
After narrowly avoiding relegation last season, the Canaries have invested superbly in the summer and can now set their sights on breaking into the top half. Their attack looked blunt for much of 2012/13 but Van Wolfswinkel (above), Hooper and Redmond should alleviate those problems this time around. Fer is perhaps Chris Hughton’s best signing as he will add a physical presence to the Norwich midfield.
In: Victor Wanyama (Celtic, £12.5m); Dejan Lovren (Lyon, undisclosed)
Out: Vegard Forren (Molde, undisclosed); Frazer Richardson (released); Ryan Dickson (released); Daniel Seabourne (released); Danny Butterfield (released); Richard Chaplow (released)
Despite being linked with a host of big names from around the world, Southampton have surprisingly only made two signings. Dejan Lovren and Victor Wanyama will add solidity to their defence and midfield respectively and are both bound to excite Southampton fans. The Saints have been handed kind opening fixtures so if they can get off to a good start a place in the top half looks possible under Mauricio Pochettino.
In: Jermaine Pennant (re-signed, free); Erik Pieters (PSV Eindhoven, £3m); Marc Muniesa (Barcelona, free)
Out: Michael Owen (retired); Carlo Nash (Norwich, free); Rory Delap (released); Mamady Sidibe (released); Matthew Upson (released); Dean Whitehead (released); Matthew Lund (released)
Will Stoke City change their style under Mark Hughes? It looks likely, given his two new signings Erik Pieters and Marc Muniesa are hardly the aggressive sort, but it remains to be seen whether their current squad is strong enough to survive another season in the top flight. Muniesa in particular looks an exciting prospect — he made the bench for the 2009 Champions League final — but he’ll have to adapt to the rigours of the English game. Not that’ll he’ll have too much of a problem; he was sent off within minutes of his debut for the Spanish giants.
In: Emanuele Giaccherini (Juventus, £6.5m); Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar, undisclosed); El-Hadji Ba (Le Havre, undisclosed); Vito Mannone (Arsenal, undisclosed); Valentin Roberge (Maritimo, free); Cabral (Basel, free); Modibo Diakite (Lazio, free); Duncan Whatmore (Altrincham, undisclosed); David Karlsson (Gothenburg, £1.5m)
Out: Simon Mignolet (Liverpool, £9m); Titus Bramble (released); Matt Kilgallon (Blackburn, free); Ahmed Elmohamady (Hull, £2m); Alfred N'Diaye (Eskisehirspor, loan)
Paulo Di Canio has lived up to his unpredictability with a host of unfamiliar signings from across Europe. Sunderland’s fortunes will depend on how quickly they settle in after enduring a difficult 2012/13 season but with a charismatic leader, and Stephane Sessegnon looking lively in preseason, it’s not inconceivable that they could push for a top 10 finish. The signing of Juventus midfielder Emanuele Giaccherini looks very impressive.
In: Wilfried Bony (Vitesse Arnhem, £12m); Jonjo Shelvey (Liverpool, £5m); Jose Canas (Real Betis, free); Jordi Amat (Espanyol, £2.5m); Jonathan de Guzman (Villarreal, loan); Alejandro Pozuelo (Real Betis, undisclosed); Jernade Meade (free agent)
Out: Mark Gower (Charlton, free); Kyle Bartley (Birmingham, loan); David Cornell (St Mirren, loan)
Michael Laudrup is destined for the dugout of a world-class side. The Danish manager has worked his magic in the transfer market for a second summer running with Wilfred Bony already looking sharp in pre-season ahead of the Swans’ debut campaign in Europe. Jonjo Shelvey will be keen to make a name for himself after struggling to get game time at Liverpool and Jordi Amat will help shore things up at the back.
In: Roberto Soldado (Valencia, £26m); Paulinho (Corinthians, £17m); Nacer Chadli (FC Twente, £7m)
Out: Steven Caulker (Cardiff, £8m); David Bentley (released); John Bostock (released); William Gallas (released); Nathan Byrne (Swindon, free); Jack Barthram (Swindon, free); Grant Hall (Swindon, loan); Massimo Luongo (Swindon, loan); Jack Munns (released); Jake Nicholson (released)
The likely exit of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid casts a shadow over all Tottenham's preparations for the new season but Andre Villas-Boas and Daniel Levy have been hard at work, breaking the club's transfer record twice to sign Paulinho and then Soldado. Further names can be expected should Bale complete his move to the Bernabeu...
In: Nicolas Anelka (Juventus, free); Goran Popov (Dynamo Kiev, loan)
Out: Marc-Antoine Fortune (Wigan, free); Zoltan Gera (released); Gonzalo Jara (Nottingham Forest, free); Jerome Thomas (Crystal Palace, free)
Anelka is an intriguing signing: he has 123 Premier League goals to his name but returns to England at 34 following a spell in China. West Brom had a fine season under Steve Clarke last season but Anelka aside they haven't done much to augment the squad and further signings are required at this stage.
In: Andy Carroll (Liverpool, £15m); Adrian (Real Betis, free); Razvan Rat (Shakhtar Donetsk, free); Danny Whitehead (Stockport, undisclosed)
Out: Carlton Cole (released); Gary O'Neil (released); Rob Hall (Bolton, tribunal)
Capturing Andy Carroll for £15m looks an astute piece of business from Sam Allardyce given it is rare for West Ham to sign active England internationals. If he stays injury-free then he should score plenty of goals for the London side. Razvan Rat has plenty of experience but the Hammers will be hoping to do some more business before the summer is out.