Premier League clubs may be among the richest on the planet, but they like a bargain as much as anyone. In this slideshow we pick out 26 high-profile players who, as things stand, will be available for nothing next summer…
Adam Lallana (Liverpool)
It was opined by some that Lallana’s late equaliser against Manchester United last month could reignite his Liverpool career, but the next few months are more likely to serve as a shop window for a player who has fallen out of favour at Anfield in recent seasons.
A return to former club Southampton could be on the cards, but Lallana will almost certainly be of interest to a host of Premier League sides.
Could join: Southampton
Blaise Matuidi (Juventus)
Matuidi was linked with Manchester United in the summer and could become a target for the Red Devils if his Juventus deal is allowed to run out.
A reliable performer for club and country, the Frenchman would add some much-needed trophy-winning experience to the Old Trafford ranks, having been crowned a league champion in six of the last seven seasons. Hard-working and versatile, the former PSG midfielder is more than happy to sacrifice himself for the good of the team.
Could join: Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham
Boubakary Soumare (Lille)
Many players on this list are in their 30s and coming towards the end of their careers, but that isn’t the case for Soumare. The 20-year-old is running down his contract at Lille in the hope of securing a lucrative deal elsewhere when he becomes a free agent next summer.
Powerful but technically gifted, the midfielder has already been linked with Liverpool and Manchester United, both of whom will no doubt be tempted by the absence of a transfer fee.
Could join: Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United, Tottenham
Cedric Soares (Southampton)
Previously considered one of the Premier League’s best full-backs outside the big six, Cedric is no longer even guaranteed a starting spot at Southampton. Many thought he would leave the club in the summer having spent the second half of last term on loan at Inter, but he will surely leave St Mary’s behind ahead of 2020/21.
A move abroad is probably most likely, but a member of the Premier League elite may look at Cedric as an astute addition on a free transfer, even if only as a back-up option.
Could join: Sporting CP
Charles Aranguiz (Bayer Leverkusen)
A key cog in Chile’s greatest ever team, Aranguiz helped his country reach the knockout stage of the 2014 World Cup and win back-to-back Copas America in 2015 and 2016. The all-action midfielder had the chance to join Leicester in between those two continental triumphs, but missed out on the Foxes’ title-winning campaign in favour of a transfer to Bayer Leverkusen.
Aranguiz may not turn down a Premier League offer for a second time, should one emerge next summer. The Chilean has suffered injury problems in recent years, but at 30 years old he’s not finished yet.
Could join: Everton, West Ham
Dries Mertens (Napoli)
Mertens recently overtook Diego Maradona in Napoli’s all-time top scorer list, and he’s now just five short of Marek Hamsik in top spot. The Belgian should break the record this season; if he does, he may consider his work in Naples complete by the time his contract expires next summer.
The 32-year-old forward is coming towards the end of his career, but he’s shown no signs of slowing down when it comes to introducing the ball to the net, with seven strikes in 10 games so far this season.
Could join: Manchester United
Edinson Cavani (PSG)
Forced to play second fiddle to Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the early years of his PSG career, Cavani took centre stage in 2016. He responded in spectacular fashion, scoring 49 goals in 50 games followed by 40 in 47 the following campaign.
The Uruguayan was then shunted out of the limelight once more when Kylian Mbappe and Neymar arrived in the French capital in 2017. Now 32 years old and out of contract next June, Cavani looks set to seek pastures new ahead of the 2020/21 campaign.
Could join: Manchester United
Eric Bailly (Manchester United)
It wasn’t too long ago that Bailly was hailed as Manchester United’s leading centre-back, but some terrible luck with injuries means the Ivorian could be released next summer. That isn’t to say his Premier League career will also be over, though; still only 25, the Ivorian has already shown he can thrive in England’s top tier.
Reports in August suggested that United would offer Bailly a new deal to protect his value, but there has been progress made since then. As things stand the former Villarreal stopper will be available on a free in less than eight months’ time.
Could join: Leicester, Arsenal
Ever Banega (Sevilla)
The last time his Sevilla contract ran down, Banega joined Inter in summer 2016. The Argentinian was back at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan a year later, but as things stand he seems set to leave the club for a second time next summer.
A creative midfielder with vast experience in La Liga over the last decade, Banega could be tempted by a change of scenery in 2020/21. Recruitment departments up and down the Premier League will no doubt be keeping a close eye on his situation.
Could join: Arsenal
Giacomo Bonaventura (Milan)
Having been one of Milan’s rare bright spots in recent years, Bonaventura has endured a frustrating 2019/20 up to now, making just a single start in Serie A. New manager Stefano Piolo says the Italian will feature more often under his stewardship, but that might not be enough to persuade Bonaventura to extend his San Siro career.
Having spent his entire career in his home country, a move abroad at the age of 30 might not be on the midfielder’s radar. There are, however, several Premier League clubs who would benefit from Bonaventura’s invention.
Could join: West Ham, Everton
Christian Eriksen (Tottenham)
You've probably heard by now but Eriksen will be a free agent next summer. Although the Denmark international was keen to seek a new challenge last summer, he now looks set to see out the season in north London.
His performances for Tottenham this term have been disappointing, but Eriksen won’t be short of suitors in mid-2020. Creative and intelligent, the 27-year-old favours a move to Spain but may ultimately settle for a Premier League rival if Real Madrid cool their interest.
Could join: Juventus, Bayern Munich
Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham)
Vertonghen is another Spurs player in the final year of his deal. The Belgium international reportedly held contract talks with the north Londoners last month, but there appears to have been little progress and a departure next summer is looking increasingly likely.
Inter boss Antonio Conte is a fan of Vertonghen’s, and there have been rumours of a move to San Siro in recent days. But with so much Premier League experience under his belt, don’t be surprised if another Premier League club attempts to keep the 32-year-old in the division.
Could join: Man United, Atletico Madrid, Juventus
Jose Callejon (Napoli)
Callejon left Real Madrid in 2013 in search of more game time, and his wish has certainly been granted at Napoli: in his six full seasons at the club, the Spaniard has missed only six Serie A encounters.
His time at the Stadio San Paolo could be nearing the end, however, with Callejon out of contract next summer. Now 32, he’s still a key man but may nevertheless seek pastures new in 2020.
Could join: Manchester United
Juan Cuadrado (Juventus)
Cuadrado looked like the perfect fit for Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea when he pitched up at Stamford Bridge at the start of 2015, but he was given few opportunities to impress in west London and left the club having made only 13 Premier League appearances.
Now 31, the Colombian remains quick and direct but has gradually become a more considered player during his time at Juventus. Able to play as a winger, wing-back or even an attacking full-back, Cuadrado has unfinished business in the Premier League that he may wish to put right.
Could join: Tottenham, Manchester United
Layvin Kurzawa (PSG)
Kurzawa has now been at PSG for more than four years, but he’s never nailed down a regular starting spot in that time. Injuries haven’t helped at times, but it’s hard to shake the feeling that the left-back has failed to live up to expectations at the Parc des Princes.
Currently playing second fiddle to Juan Bernat, Kurzawa will almost certainly depart PSG next summer. An excellent attacking full-back who’s still just 27, the Frenchman will attract plenty of interest from England and beyond.
Could join: Inter Milan
Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
Modric turned 34 in September, and there have been signs in the last year or so that his powers are on the wane. Yet although the Croatian midfielder is no longer at the peak of his career, it’s equally true that he isn’t over the hill just yet.
A phenomenal talent who has won it all at Real Madrid, it will be interesting to see what the next couple of years have in store for Modric. Milan and Inter have both been linked, but Premier League clubs will no doubt be keeping tabs on the four-time European champion.
Could join: Inter Milan
Mario Gotze (Borussia Dortmund)
It can take a few seconds for the mind to process the fact that Gotze is still just 27 years old. The German has had an eventful career since bursting onto the scene as a teenager, controversially swapping Borussia Dortmund for Bayern Munich in 2013, before returning to Signal Iduna Park three years later. And that’s not to mention scoring the winning goal in the World Cup final.
A metabolic illness threatened to derail the attacking midfielder’s career at one point, but he’s now healthy again and will be desperate to fulfil his early promise. If Dortmund decide against offering him fresh terms, a move to the Premier League could be an option.
Could join: Tottenham, Leicester
Nacho (Real Madrid)
A versatile, hard-working defender who never kicks up a fuss if he’s not starting, Nacho is the ideal squad player at a club like Madrid. He may want to be more than that next season, though, with his current contract at the Santiago Bernabeu nearing the end.
Indeed, Nacho turns 30 in January and will probably be keen for more regular minutes at this stage of his career. If he’s available for nothing, expect plenty of Premier League clubs to make a move.
Could join: Arsenal, Tottenham
Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool)
Previously in competition with Kyle Walker for England’s right-back spot, Clyne has become the forgotten man for both club and country. The former Southampton man has played just seven Premier League games for Liverpool since 2016/17, with injury problems and the emergence of Trent Alexander-Arnold pushing him closer to the Anfield exit door.
Clyne doesn’t turn 29 until April, and as long as he can prove his fitness the defender still has plenty to offer mid-table Premier League clubs.
Could join: Crystal Palace, Watford, Newcastle, Burnley
Nemanja Matic (Manchester United)
Matic was a key part of a title-winning team just three seasons ago, but the former Chelsea man is now struggling to get into a relatively weak Manchester United midfielder. With his contract due to expire in June, his days at Old Trafford are numbered.
He might not be ready to bid the Premier League goodbye just yet, though; Matic only turned 31 in August, and was never a player who relied on pace. Inter are thought to be leading the race for his signature, but things could change between now and the summer.
Could join: Inter Milan
Pedro Rodriguez (Chelsea)
Should Pedro leave Chelsea shortly before his 33rd birthday next summer, a return to Spain would be the most logical next step. The forward’s experience – he’s won six league titles, three Champions Leagues, a Europa League and four domestic cups across his time with Barcelona and the Blues – would make him a fine asset for most teams in La Liga.
However, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that Pedro may wish to extend his Premier League stay. He may no longer be capable of starting week in, week out at the highest level, but the Spain international is exactly the type of player every manager would love to have in his ranks.
Could join: A return to La Liga beckons
Ryan Fraser (Bournemouth)
Fraser was heavily linked with Arsenal in the summer, but no move came about and he began the campaign a Bournemouth player. The Cherries are reportedly keen to offer him a new deal in order to prevent him leaving for nothing at the end of the campaign, but Fraser’s recent admission that he is frustrated with his current role in the team makes an exit more likely.
The winger scored seven goals and provided 14 assists in the Premier League last term, and will be an attractive proposition to clubs higher up the division given he’s still only 25.
Could join: Everton, Leicester
Stefan Savic (Atletico Madrid)
Savic had a brief spell at Manchester City earlier in his career, but the centre-back was restricted to just 12 Premier League outings under Roberto Mancini in 2011/12. He’s represented Fiorentina and Atletico Madrid since then, but could leave the latter when his contract expires in June.
Diego Simeone will probably attempt to persuade the Montenegrin to stick around at the Wanda Metropolitano, but offers from around Europe – including from the Premier League – would no doubt be of interest to the 28-year-old.
Could join: Tottenham, Arsenal
Thomas Meunier (PSG)
Meunier gave an interview in the summer in which he professed his desire to sign a new contract at PSG, but negotiations have yet to start – which suggests the French giants have a different view.
An attack-minded right-back who loves to get forward at every opportunity – he has also played as a wing-back and even further forward – Meunier would improve a number of Premier League squads. Manchester United and Arsenal have been linked in the past, and both clubs could join the race for the Belgian’s signature next summer.
Could join: Tottenham
Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham)
Given how well he’s performed for Tottenham over a number of years, it was curious that no club took advantage of a £25m release clause in Alderweireld’s contract in the summer. The centre-back will surely attract more interest if, as expected, he becomes a free agent next June.
Like many of his Spurs team-mates, the Belgian hasn’t been at his best at the start of 2019/20. He does, however, have plenty of credit in the bank from recent campaigns, and at 30 years old he still has several seasons left in him.
Could join: Manchester City, Manchester United, Juventus
It’s hard to imagine Willian pulling on the colours of another Premier League club given his lengthy association with Chelsea, but the same could have been said for David Luiz – one of the winger’s best friends in football – before he joined Arsenal in the summer.
Willian has made it clear that he would love to stay at Stamford Bridge, but that decision might be taken out of his hands, particularly as Frank Lampard continues to promote young players. Perhaps a reunion with Luiz in north London isn’t entirely out of the question.
Could join: Arsenal
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.