The 10 best free agents still available this summer - and where they might go

Diego Costa
(Image credit: PA)

With clubs across Europe having taken a financial hit amid the coronavirus pandemic, the importance of value in the transfer market is greater than ever.

We've already seen some high-profile free transfers already this summer, with Dayot Upamecano joining Bayern Munich, Barcelona signing Sergio Aguero, and PSG gratefully gobbling up Gini Wijnaldum, Gianluigi Donnarumma and Sergio Ramos, 

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There are still some talented players available for nothing, including one Lionel Messi of Barcelona fame. We've not included him here for obvious reasons, but here are 10 free agents ready and waiting for a change of scenery...

1. Andy Carroll

The first time Andy Carroll left Newcastle, it was to become Liverpool's new £35m striker. Ten years later and he has departed St James' Park facing an uncertain future.

Carroll only started eight Premier League games in his second spell at Newcastle, and is now in search of more regular minutes. He might have to drop down to the Championship in order to find them, although a club like Burnley might conclude that Carroll is worth bringing in as cover.

2. David Luiz

For a long while it looked as though Arsenal would offer David Luiz a new deal, but they ultimately opted against it. The Brazilian defender is thus looking for new employers while he continues his recovery from a knee injury.

The centre-back turns 35 next season and is unlikely to get anything more than a one-year deal at a Premier League club. A move to Turkey has been mooted, while Marseille are also thought to be interested.

3. Diego Costa

Diego Costa has been a free agent for seven months now, having agreed to terminate his contract with Atletico Madrid in December.

The striker wanted to bide his time before jumping back into the game, but he will be keen to agree a deal with his next club sooner rather than later. A second spell in the Premier League is unlikely, although Wolves has been mentioned as a potential destination for a player represented by Jorge Mendes.

4. Patrick van Aanholt

While the likes of Joel Ward and Andros Townsend had to wait a little longer to learn their fate, Patrick van Aanholt knew that he would not be staying at Crystal Palace months before his contract expired on June 30.

The Dutchman started each of his country's games at Euro 2020 but is without an employer at club level. A move to Italy could be in the offing, with Inter, Lazio and AC Milan having all been linked. It would be a surprise if there were no Premier League offers for the left-back, though.

5. Jerome Boateng

Whereas David Alaba's move to Real Madrid was confirmed in May, his erstwhile centre-back partner at Bayern Munich remains a free agent.

Jerome Boateng has departed the Allianz Arena after 10 years of service. His best days might be behind him, but the German is only 32 years old and has a few seasons left in him yet. The Premier League's big six could do far worse.

6. Nikola Maksimovic

Another centre-back whose future is unresolved is Nikola Maksimovic. Previously a target for Manchester United and Tottenham, the former Napoli stopper is still weighing up his options as the new season creeps ever closer.

West Ham have reportedly offered a deal to the 29-year-old, but the lack of progress over the last fortnight suggests Maksimovic isn't sold on the London Stadium. Real Betis and Crystal Palace have also been linked.

7. Gary Cahill

After two successful seasons at Crystal Palace, Gary Cahill is seeking pastures new after rejecting the Eagles' offer of an extension. The ex-Chelsea defender proved last term that he can still perform at the highest level, so Cahill shouldn't be short of offers from the Premier League.

Palace may yet mount a last-ditch attempt to retain the 35-year-old, who has recently been linked with a switch to Rangers.

8. Alex Teixeira

Remember the name? Alex Teixeira once came close to joining Liverpool, but the deal fell through and the Brazilian joined Chinese side Jiangsu Suning instead.

After five years in Asia, Teixeira may well fancy another crack at Europe. Besiktas have registered an interest, while clubs in the United States and Brazil are also considering tabling a contract for the 31-year-old.

9. Franck Ribery

Franck Ribery might be 38 years old, but the thought of retirement is far from his mind - unlike his former partner in crime Arjen Robben, who has hung up his boots for the second time. 

After two seasons at Fiorentina, Ribery is keen to find another employer in Serie A, according to his agent. If offers from Italy are not forthcoming, the winger would surely consider a stab at the Premier League. 

10. Ezgjan Alioski

Ezgjan Alioski was a key part of the Leeds team that secured a top-half finish in the Premier League last season, but he's now on the market after failing to agree fresh terms with the Whites.

A purported move to Galatasaray appears to have stalled, potentially leaving the door open to Jose Mourinho's Roma. Alioski has already proved himself in English football, so there will no doubt be interest from Leeds' domestic rivals too.

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