A lot has been made over a recent trend in allowing players to enter the final years of their contract and therefore run the risk of losing them on a free transfer. That problem was the root cause of Arsenal’s decision to sell Robin Van Persie to Manchester United this summer, even if they were fairly compensated for the star. The Bosman ruling has been around for many a year now but still some clubs seem to want to play with fire by not tying down their prized assets to longer term deals.
Although some players never sign new contracts; Michael Ballack always moved on free transfers at the end of a deal and that is just the way some players will work but teams should surely make a clearer attempt to deal with such issues before the going gets tough.
Arsenal appear to be culprits once again as it grows increasingly likely that Theo Walcott will leave the club on a free transfer come next summer while there are obviously the older players on the list whose proof of match fitness is a massive determining factor in terms of whether or not a club extends their usually one-year deals.
But with all that in mind here is a rundown of some of the best players from around the globe whose deals run out next summer for which the vultures may soon be circling.
Theo Walcott, Emmanuel Frimpong & Andrey Arshavin – Arsenal
Ashley Cole, Michael Essien, Daniel Sturridge, Frank Lampard & Florent Malouda - Chelsea
Brede Hangeland – Fulham
Rio Ferdinand – Manchester United
Lee Cattermole – Sunderland
Kolo Toure – Manchester City
Mark Noble – West Ham United
Franco Di Santo – Wigan Athletic
… and from the rest of Europe
Cristian Tello – Barcelona
Klaas Jan Huntelaar & Lewis Holtby – Schalke 04
Fernando Llorente – Athletic Bilbao
Andrea Barzagli & Gianluigi Buffon – Juventus
Jeffrey Bruma – Hamburg
Mapou Yanga M’Biwa – Montpellier
Nene & Guillame Hoarau – PSG
Jordan Ayew – Marseilles
Douglas – FC Twente
Miralem Sulejmani – Ajax
Pablo Aimar – Benfica
Keisuke Honda – CSKA Moscow
That is a list of 30 potential free transfers available to talk to clubs at their own free will in January.
Would you want your club to speak to any of these talented individuals?
images: © Ronnie Macdonald