The January transfer window proved to be something of an anti-climax, a largely quiet period livened up briefly with a selection of late moves as clubs sought to complete late deals in the mid-season market.
Whilst Premier League players such as Christian Eriksen, Ashley Young and Danny Rose all happily found themselves in new surroundings, several stars were left frustrated in their desires for pastures new.
Here are five players from the English top flight counting down the days until the summer transfer window:
The Manchester United midfielder remains a firm rumour mill favourite, having made no secret of his desire to leave Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s transitional side for a club ready-made to compete for game’s biggest prizes.
Pogba has long been linked with moves to both Real Madrid and former club Juventus, the two clubs once again likely to be monitoring his situation ahead of potential summer interest.
The France international, beset with ankle problems this season, has featured just eight times in all competitions and there is a growing feeling at Old Trafford that the club may be willing to cash-in on the unsettled star this summer. Solskjaer has made it clear in no uncertain terms that he wants a squad filled with players committed to the club’s rebuild.
In truth, despite flashes of brilliance, Pogba has failed to make the desired impact following his world-record move and a parting of ways this summer could be best for all parties involved. The Frenchman’s future has become something of a circus in recent times with agent Mino Raiola the undoubted ringmaster.
Despite looking almost certain to leave Chelsea during the winter window, Giroud remained at Stamford Bridge as Frank Lampard’s side were frustrated in their attempts to bring in attacking reinforcements.
The veteran forward has publicly spoken of his desire to secure more regular first-team football, having made just two Premier League starts so far this season, whilst he has not been included in the club’s match-day squad for any of their past ten league fixtures.
Giroud was linked with the likes of Inter Milan, Newcastle United and Aston Villa during January but a move ultimately failed to materialise, and the 33-year-old will now be sweating on his involvement for France at this summer’s European Championships following his lack of minutes.
Out-of-contract at the end of the season, Giroud will not be short of potential suitors ahead of a free transfer move and will surely be counting the days until he can end a frustrating period in west London.
Now or never for Wilfried Zaha?
The Crystal Palace star has remained at Selhurst Park despite years of speculation linking him with a move away, the Ivorian having informed the club of his desire to leave to fulfil his ambitions of playing Champions League football.
Arsenal and Everton, two sides heavily linked with the winger last summer, would represent a step up from Roy Hodgson’s side, though neither can offer Champions League football and it remains to be seen whether a club in Europe’s elite comes calling.
At 27-years-old, Zaha is now at what is largely considered the peak years for a footballer, and must now take the plunge if he is to test himself at the very highest level.
Palace’s excessive demands priced him out of a move away a year ago, though a compromise must surely be made at the end of the season for an unsettled player who has proven a talismanic figure for the Eagles in recent seasons.
The Manchester City winger may not have made a single Premier League appearance so far this season but he remains one of the most interesting transfer stories as we head towards another summer of speculation.
Bayern Munich have made no secret of their desire to bring the Germany international back to the Bundesliga, with the Bavarian outfit desperate to bolster their attacking options following the departures of veteran duo Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery last summer.
Having been frustrated in their attempts to sign the 24-year-old last summer, Bayern are set to return with renewed interest, their position significantly strengthened by Sané’s contract situation at the Etihad.
Currently recovering from a long term knee injury suffered in August, Sane will have just a year remaining on his deal at the end of the season. City face a difficult decision in whether to keep the player or risk losing him for nothing the following summer.
With no progress made on contract negotiations, Sané seemingly has his heart set on a return to Germany and will be eagerly waiting to see if a big-money deal can be negotiated between the two sides.
Like Giroud, Jan Vertonghen is another experienced out-of-contract star at the end of the Premier League season, the Belgian facing an uncertain future with no terms on an extension having been agreed with Tottenham Hotspur.
The player’s agent says that staying in north London remains an option for the 32-year-old, though it is looking increasingly likely that the defender will depart after eight seasons and over 300 appearances in a Spurs shirt.
Toby Alderweireld and Davinson Sanchez are both younger alternatives for Jose Mourinho at the heart of the defence and the club are believed to be targeting defensive additions this summer, whilst Vertonghen has also looked unhappy at being asked to play out of position on occasion at left-back.
Former club Ajax have expressed an interest in re-signing Vertonghen on a free transfer at the end of the season, and a return to Amsterdam could suit as a new era begins at Spurs.