Whenever the football season begins the run-in, talk of transfers gets loud again and players seemingly without a club for the next campaign put themselves in the shop window whilst being permitted to speak to other clubs.
Free transfers courtesy of the Bosman rule such as Andrea Pirlo to Juventus, Robert Lewandowski to Bayern Munich and Zlatan Ibrahimović to Manchester United (now to LA Galaxy) have shook the football world and more could follow this summer.
Let’s take a look at the top 10 players out of contract at the end of this season.
Hatem Ben Arfa (PSG), Yohan Cabaye (Crystal Palace), Iker Casillas (FC Porto), Andre-Pierre Gignac (Tigres UANL), Juanfran (Atletico Madrid), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Hebei China Fortune), Amin Younes (Ajax), Daley Blind, Ashley Young (all Manchester United)
10. Luke Shaw (Manchester United)
Problems with his manager both on and off the pitch has lead to more stagnation in his United career. His club may offer him a new deal simply to cash in on the former most expensive British defender but numerous teams around the world would welcome his tenacity and undoubted natural quality.
9. Yaya Touré (Manchester City)
After recently coming out of International retirement and then pulling out due to family reasons, the over-the-hill midfield powerhouse is likely to leave the team he helped build under previous managers in summer for a club where he’d likely finish his career. One thing is for certain, he’ll only be playing for a club who are prepared to give him a birthday cake.
8. Iván Marcano (FC Porto)
Linked with Everton and AC Milan, the left-footed Spaniard has been solid for his current side for the past four seasons but is eyeing up a summer move if reports are to be believed. Watch this space for a very competent man to make a move.
7. Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United)
Apparently rejecting numerous offers from United and other clubs in the last transfer window, the 30 year-old seems to be eager for a lucrative contract next season. Hit and miss, a big club may take a chance on him if in need of his unique qualities.
6. Emre Can (Liverpool)
Another Premier League man midfielder who wants a big salary wherever he is for the next campaign, the deep-lying play-making is constantly discussed on Merseyside. With clubs all over the world looking at the youngster, there may be a tug of war over him come summer.
5. Mario Balotelli (OGC Nice)
The ever-infamous Italian has been noisy (not quite fireworks) ever since moving to Ligue 1 but his time there could be coming to an end. His agent has speculated that his client would be happy to return to England although you can never be sure with him.
4. Ander Herrera (Manchester United)
Player of the season last campaign under José Mourinho, the 4-2-3-1 system has not given the Basque man much of a chance to truly impress. As a true fan favourite, it would be a shock for him to leave his current side.
3. Franck Ribéry (Bayern Munich)
Almost under the radar these days, the out-of-favour winger still has quality in abundance. Possibly destined to stay at the club he made his name at, he’ll still have many options in the summer if that doesn’t prove to be the case.
2. Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich)
The slightly more worrying contract situation for Stern des Südens (Star of the South) is with the flying Dutchman who still manage to strike fear full backs when he cuts in from the right to fire with his left foot. Recently explaining that is yet to decide his future due to interest from China, MLS and Qatar, he could make a swansong next season.
1. Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus)
Despite rumours circulating that he is finally ready to commit to the Old Lady once again after snubbing huge offers, the fact that the old-school centre back has not officially signed on the dotted line is intriguing. Ears will prick up around the “top 5” leagues if nothing is announced soon because the man is a total powerhouse at the back.
Do you agree or disagree with these picks? Let us know.