Mohamed Salah’s blistering form for Liverpool has highlighted the need for the club to secure his services on a long-term contract, with his current deal due to run out in 2023. But there are a number of superstars for whom the situation is far more urgent.
Paul Pogba is perhaps the biggest name in the Premier League who can leave for free in 2022. He, and the others on this list, will be able to sign a pre-contract agreement with overseas clubs as early as January 1st.
Club: Manchester United
Value: €60m (according to Transfermarkt)
United’s record £89.3million signing is coming to the end of his contract at Old Trafford with the club having already triggered the one-year extension option they included in the five-year deal he signed in 2016. The Frenchman’s inconsistent form has meant the move has not worked out as the club would have hoped and rarely does a transfer window pass without him being linked with a move elsewhere, with PSG and Juventus usually touted as prime destinations. At 28, he is still a formidable performer on his day and United will be reluctant to lose him for nothing.
After a shaky start to life at Stamford Bridge, 28-year-old Rudiger has developed into one of the most assured central central defenders in the Premier League. The German has the intelligence, aggression and pace to dominate opposition strikers and is thriving in Thomas Tuchel's first choice back three. Yet he is out of contract in the summer and linked with a number of top team across the continent, including Bayern Munich and PSG.
Market value: €35m
Another Chelsea lynchpin out of contract next summer, Christensen's departure would be a huge blow to Tuchel; especially if Rudiger leaves as well. To add to the manager's worries, Cesar Azpilicuta and Thiago Silva also become free agents in the summer, meaning he could lose an entire backline's worth of defenders in one go.
Christensen's departure would be more keenly felt than some, however. The 25-year-old has been at Stamford Bridge since joining their youth ranks in 2012 and has become a leader in the dressing room. His calmness in possession and positioning are key to Chelsea's system and not easy to replace at low cost.
Terriers stalwart Tarkowski is known for his aerial prowess, strength and organisational skills. Capped twice by England, he is recognised as one of the most solid mid table defenders around, and he won't be short of suitors next summer when his contract expires.
Rumours linking him with a big money move to Newcastle in January refuse to die down, however, so Burnley may yet get a payday on a player they pick dup for just €4m in 2016.
When Lacazette joined Arsenal from Lyon in a €53m deal in 2017, many fans thought he would be the signing to kickstart another glittering era at the Emirates, It hasn't;t really worked out that way, with the Frenchman scoring a fairly average 68 goals in 178 Gunners appearances. Still, he remains a deadly marksman, and an intelligent creator, on his day and Arsenal won't want to lose him for nothing. A move back to France in the summer seems the likeliest outcome.
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