Skip to main content

15 Premier League-quality free transfers available this summer

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.

Who would he suit? A host of England's big guns have been linked, including Manchester United, Tottenham and Liverpool. There may be overseas competition from the likes of Inter and Fenerbahce. 

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. 

Who would he suit? West Ham's Slaven Bilic will know Topal from his time as Besiktas boss, while Liverpool might be in need of some midfield reinforcement if Joe Allen leaves as expected. 

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. 

5. Steve Mandanda

Having admirably guarded the Marseille goal for so long, poor Mandanda could be forgiven for feeling he should have more than 21 France caps. The OM skipper, who was targeted by a host of clubs in January, looks set to leave in the summer instead. With proven goalkeepers at a premium, he could be a valuable asset to a Premier League outfit in need.

At 31, Mandanda has plenty of good years left in him, although he’s repeatedly refused to be drawn into the speculation about what’ll happen next: "My future? We will have a discussion at the end of the season. We have enough concerns without speaking about my personal situation." (It's true – Marseille are currently 15th in Ligue 1.)

Who would he suit? Liverpool really do need someone good to rival Simon Mignolet (sorry Adam Bogdan), while Everton are on the hunt for a new No.1 with Tim Howard leaving for the Colorado Rapids in July. 

6. Miguel Veloso

Any club who signs him will gain more than a midfielder - the Portuguese can also play at left-back and sports a famously impressive quiff

Son of former Benfica captain Antonio Veloso, the Portuguese defensive midfielder currently plies his trade for Dynamo Kiev in Ukraine. In his youth, Veloso was considered overweight by Benfica, and therefore nurtured his talent in the Sporting academy – a popular decision, no doubt.

After spells with Sporting, Genoa and Dynamo, 29-year-old Veloso is a free agent this summer. Any club that signs him will gain more than a midfielder – the Portuguese can also play at left-back and also sports a famously impressive quiff. 

Dynamo chairman Ihor Surkis seems content enough with seeing Veloso go. “If he wants to leave as a free agent, he will leave. He is 29, and in this position we have no problems.” No tissues required, then.

Who would he suit? Veloso would make the perfect central-midfield partner for Giannelli Imbula at Stoke.

7. Gregory van der Wiel

Seemingly known for his various tattoos as much as his marauding from right-back, the 28-year-old PSG man is another who has Premier League-suited attributes.

Having come through the fabled Ajax academy, Dutchman Van der Wiel is no stranger to the Champions League or the international stage, and while he declared his desire to remain at PSG last summer, it looks like he’ll be on his way this time.

He was fined by the French champions in March after allegedly leaving the stadium at half-time of PSG's title-winning victory against Troyes, following an argument with Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

"I'm not happy here," he told Algemeen Dagblad. "One week I sit in the stands and the other week I play in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. It doesn't seem that I will stay."

Who would he suit? With top-level experience, Van der Wiel will be an attractive freebie. Manchester City might fancy freshening up at full-back, so too Chelsea

8. Chris Samba

Man-mountain Samba endured mixed fortunes during his two stints in the Premier League, impressing for Blackburn but then enduring a difficult time at QPR in 2012/13, when the R's were relegated after Harry Redknapp & Co. had paid £12.5m for him on deadline day in January. Having then re-joined Anzhi (incredibly, for about the same fee) and currently playing for Dynamo Moscow, Samba will be a free agent in the summer.

Man-mountain Samba endured mixed fortunes during his two stints in the Premier League, impressing for Blackburn but then proving a liability in QPR’s 2012-13 relegation campaign

He’ll need to make sure he's in tip-top condition before then, though: Turkish side Trabzonspor refused to sign Samba in 2015 because manager Shota Arveladze felt his physique resembled that of a "heavyweight boxer like Mike Tyson". After his last Premier League spell, it would take some cojones for another English club to sign him – he hasn't played for Dynamo since May last year due to a spinal injury. 

Who would he suit? Signing Samba would be a risk: it's not actually clear how bad his injury is. But he was once among the top flight's most feared stoppers and if – and it's a big if – he's still equipped to deal with the rigours of a season, you're looking at the likes of Everton, West Brom and Watford who mighty take him to beef up their backline options. 

9. Nicolas N’Koulou

Centre-backs with pace are a rare commodity, but 26 year-old N’Koulou boasts it. He has been relentlessly linked with the Premier League down the years, and now the 68-capped Cameroon international looks likely to be a sought-after signing in the summer.

N’Koulou remains tight-lipped on possible destinations, though: "It's difficult to talk about it right now. My season isn't finished. It's important for me to stay focused and finish well."

Who would he suit? Leicester and Tottenham have been linked most recently, the former in need of adding numbers to their squad with a guaranteed European season to come. N'Koulou is most likely to get minutes in the East Midlands, too. 

10. Roman Neustadter

Given that talks have stalled with his current outfit, he looks certain to be available this summer

One of the lesser-known names on this list, Ukraine-born Neustadter is another who fulfils the defensive midfield role, although he’s also been successfully deployed at centre-back by current club Schalke.

The 28-year-old, who has two Germany caps to his name, is reportedly attracting attention from across Europe, with Zenit St Petersburg and Inter two of the sides who are rumoured to be interested. Given that talks have stalled with his current outfit, he looks certain to be available this summer.

Who would he suit? Reports in Germany say Arsenal and Tottenham have been tracking him this term. "Big clubs are interested," confirmed Schalke boss Andre Breitenreiter. 

11. Andrija Zivkovic

Still only 19, Zivkovic has already achieved some impressive feats in his fledgling career: he became Serbia’s youngest-ever player in 2013, and is also the youngest man to have ever captained Partizan Belgrade.

Zivkovic may now look to follow countryman, and Liverpool’s January signing Marko Grujic, to the Premier League. Any English suitors would have to bat away interest from elsewhere, though. "I've received several offers for a transfer," Partizan president Curkovic revealed this winter. "My priority is to get him to sign a contract extension. Afterwards, we'll see."

Who would he suit? Someone willing to give him some development room. In time he might be good enough for the likes of Chelsea, who he has been linked with in the past, but it seems more likely he'll head somewhere in the mould of Milan, Benfica or Galatasaray. 

12. Ibrahima Balde

His 6ft 3in frame and powerful build certainly give him the raw attributes to succeed, but question marks surround his technical abilities

Once a promising talent at Atletico Madrid, 26-year-old striker Balde has been something of a journeyman since. He’s now at Kuban Krasnodar in the Russian Premier League, with three Senegal caps and one international goal to his name.

While his international future might be limited due to the presence of Premier League trio Sadio Mane, Mame Biram Diouf and Oumar Niasse, he may yet be able join his fellow Senegalese stars in domestic football. His 6ft 3in frame and powerful build certainly give him the raw attributes to succeed, but question marks surround his technical abilities.

Who would he suit? Swansea have had mixed success with strikers down the years, but Balde seems like the type they might go for. Similarly Sunderland – if they stay up.

13. Martin Caceres

Despite persistent reports linking the Juventus stars with moves elsewhere, the Turin outfit have so far done a superb job of retaining most members of their squad. One player who will seemingly be allowed to move on in the summer, though, is Uruguayan defender Caceres, a utility man who has also spent time at Villareal, Barcelona and Sevilla in the past.

There are concerns, however: Caceres tore his Achilles tendon in February and has an estimated six months left on the sidelines, while his season was also disrupted by a suspension for drink-driving.

Who would he suit? Jurgen Klopp will be welcoming Joel Matip to Anfield this summer, but he probably won't stop there when re-stocking his defensive supplies. Everton should really be making efforts to sign a player like this, but wages would likely prove a stumbling block. Perhaps, then, a more willing side like West Ham

14. Tom Carroll

England under-21 international Carroll has long been talked about in gushing terms, with Tim Sherwood even comparing the Spurs academy graduate to Luka Modric. “Gareth Bale needed that ball very quickly and I think Luka Modric got it to him quickly. I think Tom Carroll was that player – he can do that.”

The boyish Carroll is now 23 and appears to have realised that this season was the time to step up with some classy performances for Mauricio Pochettino’s rejuvenated side. While Harry Winks has been handed a new deal, though, Carroll looks set to depart this summer.

Who would he suit? Carroll will likely land himself another Premier League deal. Swansea, Southampton or Crystal Palace might fancy a punt. 

15. Ahmed Elmohamady

Hull allegedly opened contract talks with the Egyptian over a new deal in January, but with only a handful of games to go there's been no resolution. Should the Tigers fail to go up through the play-offs this season, they might find it tough to fend off Premier League interest for their 28-year-old right-wing-back – even if he has implied he's keen to stay at the KC Stadium.

Everton and West Brom were both interested in January, while Marseille were linked last summer, so the fact he's stayed put this long could be a good sign for Steve Bruce & Co. It's hard to imagine that his head couldn't be turned by a top-flight team this summer, though – at his age it could be a final big move. 

Who would he suit? There's no reason why Everton and West Brom wouldn't go back in for him – especially the latter, where full-backs are rarer than Bigfoot sightings – while Bournemouth probably wouldn't be averse to some backline bolstering. 

More features every day on • More Premier League