12 high-profile players STILL going on free transfers this summer

Stefan de Vrij contract

With clubs around the continent already preparing their summer recruitment plans, these reputable stars could prove particularly tempting for absolutely nothing

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Jack Wilshere (Arsenal) 

Jack Wilshere

A loan move to Bournemouth brought only mixed success for Wilshere last season: the midfielder mostly stayed fit and made 27 appearances in the Premier League, but he struggled to recapture his best form on the south coast.

The England international has been much improved this term, though, reminding everyone of his quality after belatedly returning to the Arsenal starting XI in December. Wilshere will no doubt look at the improvements made by former team-mate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain at Liverpool and consider whether his future lies elsewhere. The Gunners have offered him a new deal – but only on reduced terms. 

Hatem Ben Arfa (PSG)

Hatem Ben Arfa

Ben Arfa’s time at PSG has been akin to a nightmare: after making just five Ligue 1 starts in 2016/17, the former Newcastle man has been completely frozen out by Unai Emery this time around. The 31-year-old hasn’t played a single minute for the first team this term, making his exit this summer inevitable.

He probably regrets leaving Nice in 2016 having shone as a big fish in a small pond, but question marks over his attitude mean he won’t attract the amount of suitors his talent deserves. Claude Puel was the man to revive his career in France before, though, and the Leicester boss could try again with Riyad Mahrez likely to leave. French newspaper Le Parisien have reported that Ben Arfa "wouldn't be against" a Foxes switch. 

Stefan de Vrij (Lazio)

Stefan de Vrij

De Vrij has been linked with a move to the Premier League ever since Louis van Gaal took charge of Manchester United in 2014, but the Dutch defender remains at Lazio four years on. His stay in the Italian capital is unlikely to extend beyond this season, however, and the 26-year-old is interesting a host of clubs around Europe.

United could renew their interest in a centre-back who’s among the best in Serie A, although Inter appear to be leading the race for his signature. De Vrij is approaching his peak years and would be a brilliant signing on a free.

Yaya Toure (Manchester City)

Yaya Toure

Despite having edged closer and closer to the exit over the last three years, Toure remains at Manchester City as the 2017/18 campaign nears its conclusion. The Ivorian has been a bit-part player under Pep Guardiola this season, though, and it’s hard to see him remaining at the club beyond June.

Toure may favour one last big payday in China or the United States, particularly as his contract status means a buying club wouldn’t need to fork out a transfer fee. With his 35th birthday on the horizon, the City stalwart will almost certainly bid goodbye to the Etihad in the next couple of months.

Max Meyer (Schalke)

Max Meyer

He may only be 22, but German midfielder Max Meyer is already approaching 200 appearances for Schalke. Unfortunately for the Gelsenkirchen club, though, he's also set to leave them this summer for absolutely nothing. 

The central midfielder has been with Schalke since he was 13 and made his debut for the club aged only 17 in early 2013. He's pretty much been a first-team staple ever since, winning four caps for Germany and helping his national team to an Olympic final against Brazil (which they lost on penalties).

Arsenal, Liverpool and Atletico Madrid will be on red alert to sign him this summer after Schalke's sporting director Christian Heidel admitted: "At the moment we can and must expect that Max leaves the club in the summer. Everything suggests that. There is no offer from us and no wish from Max to have a conversation again."

Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich)

Arjen Robben

Long-serving Bayern Munich winger Robben retired from international football when Holland failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, but he still has plenty left to give at club level.

The former Chelsea and Real Madrid man has been directly involved in nine Bundesliga goals this term, and although he’s no longer an automatic starter at the Allianz Arena, almost every squad in the world would be improved by the presence of the Dutchman. Robben recently dismissed the prospect of moving to MLS or the Chinese Super League, labelling it a “step backwards”, so the 34-year-old is likely to remain in Europe next season.