There can surely be few greater feelings for a top-level football club than picking up a high quality player for nothing. In an age where transfer fees have become outrageously inflated, making a big signing without spending a penny (on transfer fees, at least) must leave club chairmen and accountants purring.
The big one this summer will be Robert Lewandowksi’s transfer from Dortmund to Bayern Munich, with the Polish striker following in the footsteps of the likes of Sol Campbell, Michael Ballack, Henrik Larsson, Andrea Pirlo and Fernando Llorente in having allowed his contract to run down before moving on to pastures new.
Here are ten more players who could join the Bosman Club in the coming months…
Bacary Sagna (Arsenal)
Linked with: Manchester City, Inter
Once again, Arsenal appear to have got it wrong as far as contract lengths are concerned. In 2012 they were forced to sell Robin van Persie on the cheap, relatively speaking, and now it seems Bacary Sagna is set to walk away from the Emirates for nothing. The Frenchman has stated that he would be willing to a sign a new deal but feels the terms offered by Arsenal are not reasonable. Premier League rivals Manchester City are said to have offered a deal with vastly improved terms - surely Arsenal can’t afford to let another star move to the Etihad?
Patrice Evra (Manchester United)
Linked with: Monaco, Inter, Roma
One thing David Moyes has tried to do in his first season as Manchester United manager is ease out the old guard and try and build a younger core. To that end, Nemanja Vidic is being allowed to leave for Inter, with defensive partner Rio Ferdinand also likely to be moved on. Evra’s attacking instincts have never deserted him, and he is arguably more of a threat going forward than ever (see his recent Champions League goal at Munich), but his legs aren’t coping quite so well when it comes to going the other way, and he is regularly exposed defensively. He has become a liability for a team like United but could easily slot in at Monaco or Inter Milan, two clubs he’s been heavily linked with.