10 big players who are still available on free transfers

The deadline for signing contracted players passed almost a week ago, but clubs can still get their hands on this lot for nowt…

1. Martin Caceres

Caceres’s stock was already falling when he drunk-drove his Ferrari into a bus stop in September last year. By this point he was injured anyway, but even after his return from a club-induced suspension he succumbed to a ruptured Achilles which ended his season – and spell at Juventus.

Still, on form the Uruguay international is an excellent centre-back who could improve most clubs’ defensive options. Antonio Conte is rumoured to be keen on a reunion with his former stopper at Chelsea despite having signed David Luiz from PSG on deadline day.

2. Raul Meireles

Midfielder Meireles left Fenerbahce in the summer after almost four years and one Super Lig title in Turkey. His recent career history makes for impressive reading – see Fener, Chelsea, Liverpool and Porto – but he’s still available on the market after a mooted move to Bournemouth never happened.

Roma, after missing out on Jack Wilshere to the Cherries, have been linked with a move for the ex-Portugal international of 73 caps.

3. Dimitar Berbatov

Berbatov probably hasn’t got a club right now because he doesn’t want one. That, or Al Ahly were the best offer he got this summer.

It’s perhaps not surprising – a pretty low-key spell at PAOK last season yielded only five goals from 25 appearances. Palermo look to be frontrunners for his signature, after coach Davide Ballardini resigned following the lack of attacking reinforcements over the summer.

4. Antonio Di Natale

OK, so he’ll be 39 in October, but what a great bloke. Having featured irregularly in an injury-hit 2016/17, the ex-Italy international left Udinese after 12 years in the summer as the Serie A club’s record appearance holder and goalscorer (227 in 446 competitive appearances).

Is he done yet, though? Not likely. Di Natale has already turned down a stint with Indian side Pune City, and, according to reports, offers from New York Red Bulls and China earlier in the summer too. What’s true or otherwise is unclear for now, but it suggests Tony Christmas still thinks he’s got something to offer at a higher level. The Premier League is surely out of reach with those creaking legs, but it’ll be fun to see where he ends up nonetheless.

5. Junior Hoilett

Remember when Hoilett was one of the most highly rated young players in the Premier League? Well, that was back in 2011/12 and since then his career has stagnated somewhat after an expensive switch to QPR.

Still only 26, the Canada international is likely to join another Championship club – albeit on significantly lower wages this time around.

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