January transfer window: Who could go where for Wolves, West Brom, Aston Villa and Walsall?
The January transfer window is upon us. Now is the time for clubs to make moves to try and push on this season - but who could go where regarding the clubs in the Midlands?
Wolves are looking to push on in the Premier League, Aston Villa and West Brom are trying to find their way back, Walsall are keen to find the form that saw them start their season so well. But who could come and go?
Here, we take a look at some of the names that could move to or from our clubs...
Aston Villa to Wolves?
One of the big talking points of the start of the January transfer window, could Tammy Abraham really cut short his loan spell at Villa Park to make the move to Molineux? Let's say it's become quite the saga...
Joint-top of the Championship scoring charts, Abraham has been in fine form for Villa this season - scoring 16 goals in 20 appearances for the club.
That goal scoring form has got Premier League clubs sniffing, and whilst Chelsea don't want to recall him early to bolster their own ranks, there's been plenty of talk regarding a recall before loaning him back out to another Premier League club.
There are stumbling blocks to consider for Wolves (and any other club) if they want the striker - having played for Villa and Chelsea's PL2 side this season, FIFA could stop him from registering for a third club - and are yet to state their position regarding the matter.
The same issue caused headaches involving a move for Hatem Ben Arfa when he joined Nice in 2015. FIFA rules state a player can only play for two clubs in one season. Ben Arfa played for Hull on-loan and made a single appearance for Newcastle's U21 side - leaving the Frenchman in limbo when joining Nice.
The latest reports seem to suggest the striker is likely to stay put, but until his recall option on his loan expires we won't know for sure...
The biggest worry for most Albion fans this January is the future of Harvey Barnes.
The Leicester loanee has been sensational since joining the Baggies - scoring nine times and notching six assists so far this season.
That form has sparked fears of Leicester recalling the youngster and having him feature at the King Power Stadium for the remainder of the Foxes' Premier League campaign.
Unlike Abraham, it's unlikely that Leicester will be looking to sell or loan the playmaker again this month, but should Claude Puel decide he can do a job for them, a recall could be on the cards.
Baggies fans will be hopeful that Leicester's current crop of attacking talents stay fit through January. If an untimely injury crisis strikes, Darren Moore could soon be getting a phone call from the East Midlands.
The good news though, is that this kind of move is now looking increasingly unlikely.
Permanent move to West Brom?
There's no recall option for Dwight Gayle thanks to the circumstances of the loan swap deal involving the striker and Salomon Rondon over the summer. But Albion could look to bring him in permanently this month if they can hash out a deal.
Having scored 13 goals so far this season, Gayle's been an undeniable hit at The Hawthorns since joining from Newcastle.
Equally, Rondon has taken to life at St. James' Park quite well too - so if all parties are satisfied, there's reason to believe a permanent deal could be struck this month, albeit a complicated one.
The big issue surrounding this deal revolves around Newcastle's ownership and Rafa Benitez's future. With ongoing discord behind the scenes in the north-east, there's no guarantee that they'll have the cash available to seal the deal with Albion.
Also, any permanent deal would likely be pushed from Newcastle's end because they are currently paying a portion of the striker's wages, so there is little incentive for Albion to push for one.
With the deal itself being a fairly complicated one to sort - both sides may well decide to re-visit the situation come the end of the season.
Out of favour
It's been a tough season for Wolves forward Leo Bonatini - fuelling suggestions that a Molineux departure could well be on the cards.
Whilst not exactly overstocked in the striker department, Nuno has only used the Brazilian striker fleetingly this campaign, just the nine times in fact.
Following on from his prolific outlay in the early part of last season, Bonatini has struggled to hit the same heights - netting just once in 34 appearances, with that goal coming against Sheffield Wednesday in the Carabao Cup.
Should Wolves find a striker this month, and an offer arrives for the 24-year-old, it wouldn't be the biggest surprise to see him depart.
Recall and return
A committed performer on-loan, Jack Fitzwater has become a favourite at the Banks' Stadium - and will be heading back to Walsall once more if all goes to plan.
He's made 25 appearances for the club so far in his current loan spell, scoring once in the Checkatrade Trophy win over Middlesbrough.
Having been recalled for West Brom's FA Cup third round clash with Wigan, he didn't play a minute for Albion - so he should be re-joining Dean Keates' side without issue.
Tammy Abraham replacement?
Should Villa lose their loanee star in Tammy Abraham, a move to bring in another striker to replace him could be on the cards at Villa Park.
One man who has already been tipped by the bookies to step in is Bretford striker Neal Maupay, thanks in part to his strong record under Dean Smith and his comments regarding the Villa head coach in the national press.
"I have a really, really good relationship with Dean. So obviously if one day he calls me and says ‘Neal, I need you in my team’ I would consider it." he told the Independent.
Having nabbed 15 goals so far this season for the Bees, should Villa come calling - they could do worse than the Frenchman. Although, they would need to negotiate a fee with the club.
If no move does arise, Dean Smith has already said he's back the players he already has at the club to do a job in Abaraham's place.
Premier League calling?
A man who's been in dazzling form himself this season, Matt Phillips is a player who could be looked at fondly by Premier League clubs this January.
West Brom won't want to let him go, and are well within their rights to keep him at the club even with interest from the top flight - but if an offer arrives that they can't turn down it's a move they could make.
Scoring five times so far this season, he's been utilised in a number of positions so far this campaign, showcasing his versatility under Darren Moore.
There are already rumours of Premier League clubs sniffing around him, West Brom fans will be hoping they turn their collective gaze elsewhere.
Albion have already opened talks with Phillips over a new contract in an effort to ward off interest in the midfielder.
More football elsewhere?
Walsall are looking to sort out their mid-season form - but could they see Kieron Morris depart in search of more first-team football?
He might've made 25 appearances so far this campaign, but he's only completed the full 90 minutes 10 times so far this season. What's more, he's also out of contract in the summer.
If a suitable offer arrives and Walsall accept, it could be possible that Morris sees his future lying elsewhere.