Premier League clubs may be awash with money these days, but everyone loves a bargain. Matthew Barker picks out some of the talents available from July...
1. Sofiane Feghouli
Quick, direct and dangerous, France-born Algeria international winger Feghouli has been integral to Valencia’s success since 2011, despite their poor form this term. He’s now 26 and entering his prime, making him a desirable asset for teams in need of a cutting edge.
If he joins a Premier League club, he’ll no doubt be encouraged by Algeria teammate Mahrez’s exceptional 2015/16 season
If he joins a Premier League club, he’ll no doubt be encouraged by Algeria team-mate Riyad Mahrez’s exceptional 2015/16 season with unlikely title challengers Leicester.
But after causing a transfer gossip frenzy by turning down a new deal with his current club, Feghouli was "suspended as a cautionary measure" by los Che last week after allegedly refusing to warm down after Valencia's 2-1 win over Sevilla. “Feghouli knows how to recover – he’s not a child,” spat the Algerian’s agent in response.
It's since been lifted, but his time at Mestalla is coming to a bitter end.
2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
It’s thought that London is Ibrahimovic’s favoured UK destination, with West Ham boldly making their intentions clear
Ibrahimovic needs no selling – he’s taken care of that part quite comfortably himself. Ego aside, the Swede continues to dazzle PSG fans, despite now being 34 years old.
At an age when most players are desperately clinging to the remnants of their fading talent, Zlatan is showing no signs of slowing, even though he hasn’t ruled out retiring in the summer. It’s thought that London is Ibrahimovic’s favoured destination, and the Swede has revealed that he has "had lots" of offers from England. "I have won a lot of trophies, but I still want to win a lot more," he also declared. "I want to do it wherever I can."
Who would he suit? Chelsea will surely be signing a new striker this summer to rival (or perhaps even replace) Diego Costa – and they're one of few clubs who could actually afford him. The same goes for Manchester United, who have also been linked amid a mooted summer of spending.
3. Mehmet Topal
In the post-Claude Makelele era of the holding midfielder, 4-2-3-1 formations are now more popular than having meat and two veg for dinner. Hence the need for players like Fenerbahce's Topal to shield the defence.
The Turkey international has spent almost his entire career in his homeland with Galatasaray and Fenerbahce, a two-year spell with Valencia in Spain aside. Now approaching 31, his only limitation is his lack of experience in Europe’s major leagues. It might not be easy to attract him away from Turkey anyway.
4. Hatem Ben Arfa
He’s been in scintillating form since joining Nice, sending social media into meltdown on multiple occasions following incredible, trademark solo runs
Nice will be loathe to lose Ben Arfa for nothing after a brilliant season in Ligue 1 which has so far produced 16 goals.
A familiar name to British audiences, the former Newcastle man is now 29, and his hostile exit from the Premier League in January 2015 left many questioning his professionalism. He’s been in scintillating form since returning to France, however, sending social media into meltdown on multiple occasions with some trademark solo runs.
Joining Alan Pardew again at Crystal Palace may be out of the question, but Ben Arfa’s blistering campaign will have clubs forming a disorderly queue for his services.
Who would he suit? Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere declared English interest in January, but Ben Arfa has been linked with some of Europe's biggest sides too: see Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Juventus and PSG. A Premier League return seems unlikely with those in mind, but that shouldn't stop a club like wing-happy (and Europe-bound) Leicester from trying to tempt him.