From Aimar to Walcott: 30 players in the final year of their contract

Theo Walcott

A comprehensive list of 30 of the best players currently running their contract down till next summer, including five at Chelsea, could your club pick up a bargain?

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

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