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Free agents galore

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The summer transfer window is still months away, which means the club will currently scout players they could add to their ranks and who from their current team could be sold. However, the clubs are also working on several deals, including players whose contracts are set to end at the end of the season.

Every year we have seen clubs completing a significant coup by signing top players on a free, like Bayern Munich, who snapped Robert Lewandowski on a free from their fierce rivals Borussia Dortmund.

And this season is no different, with several top players available currently to sign for another club without a transfer fee. So, without further ado, here are the top 10 players whose contracts are about to end this season.

Lionel Messi – Paris Saint-Germain

The seven-time Ballon D’Or winner will consider his future at the French club only after the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. After his unexpected exit from FC Barcelona at the end of the 2020/21 season, Messi looked worn out at PSG. Away from his true heart in Catalonia, he didn’t deliver to expectations after several disappointing performances.

Messi still managed to win the league title, scoring 6 times and providing an impressive 15 assists in the league. The Argentine maestro is starting to fit well in Paris with 4 goals and 7 assists already in just 8 appearances this season. Messi has indicated a desire to extend his contract at the club at the most for another year till 2024, however, he is in no rush and will make the decision post the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Only time will tell where we see him next season.

 

Caglar Soyuncu- Leicester City

One of the top performers in the Premier League ever since joining Leicester City in 2018, Caglar Soyuncu is probably the best defender available for free. The Turkish centre-back has been a rock for the Foxes and has been a perfect replacement for Harry Maguire at the King Power Stadium.

However, Soyuncu, even after repeated attempts by Leicester, has refused to sign a contract and wants to leave the club this summer. According to reports, while several clubs are chasing him, Soyuncu only wants to join Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid and has rejected offers from all other clubs.

N’Golo Kante – Chelsea

N’Golo Kante’s current contract at Chelsea will expire in the summer of 2023. After signing for Chelsea from Leicester City in 2016, the French midfielder then signed a fresh five-year contract back in 2018 and it is coming to a conclusion at the end of the season. It remains to be seen what Kante’s next step will be, but the winds of change have blown through Stamford Bridge in the last six months and he has been linked with some of Europe’s elite, including Barcelona. Kante hasn’t been involved in Potter’s Chelsea squad yet this season and his role has significantly dropped after being out with a hamstring injury. He has contributed significantly to the club and it is interesting to see where he ends following this season.

Luka Modric – Real Madrid

Luka Modric’s Real Madrid contract was set to expire in 2022 but the Croatian midfielder signed a one-year contract extension in June. The current contract is set to keep the 37-year-old at Madrid until the end of the 2022-23 season but there have been suggestions that there is an option to extend the deal till 2024. The Croatian has been playing very well for this current Real Madrid side, being one of their best players last season. 

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Roberto Firmino – Liverpool

Roberto Firmino is playing in his eighth season at Liverpool and it looks like the 2022-23 campaign may well be his last with the Reds. The Brazil star is one of the old guard at Anfield, but, despite being in his thirties, he has had a fire lit under him with the big-money arrival of Darwin Nunez. Firmino’s future will ultimately depend on how Liverpool’s season pans out. So far, Liverpool haven’t been playing to the best of their ability. The Brazilian contributed significantly to the Red’s 9-0 victory over Bournemouth this season.

Toni Kroos – Real Madrid

The €25 million fee that Real Madrid paid for signing Toni Kroos in the summer of 2014 might be one of their best investments ever. When the midfielder joined the club after Germany’s World Cup campaign, big things were expected of him at the Santiago Bernabeu. And he didn’t disappoint, becoming an integral part of a Madrid squad that won four Champions League titles.

Kroos would help the club win 18 trophies and remains one of the best midfielders at 33. With his contract set to expire in the summer, Kroos would be at the top of several clubs’ wishlists.

Ilkay Gundogan – Manchester City

Ilkay Gundogan joined Manchester City from Borussia Dortmund in 2016 and has experienced a stellar stint in the Premier League so far. The four-time Premier League champion has been extremely useful in Pep Guardiola’s midfield who was the Spaniard’s first signing at the Etihad, but he could be on his way out if City do not grant him an extension to his contract, which expires in June 2023. The German international has contributed significantly over the past couple of seasons and has had a good start to the current Premier League campaign as well.

Karim Benzema- Real Madrid

Karim Benzema has been in such incredible form for Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid that his exploits have thrust him firmly into the discussion for the 2022 Ballon d’Or. However, the contract extension he signed in 2021 is set to expire at the end of the 2022-23 season. There are talks of an imminent one-year extension for the French striker, but that move is still pending official confirmation.

David de Gea- Manchster United 

David de Gea could probably be called as Manchester United’s best signing of the last decade. The Spanish shot-stopper joined the club in 2011 and has been a faithful servant of the club over the years. De Gea has helped win the club seven trophies and has produced some of the best performances by a keeper ever seen in the Premier League.

However, with his contract set to expire in the summer, it looks De Gea’s 12-year stint at the club is about to come to an end. De Gea, though, remains a world-class keeper, which means that many clubs will be looking to add the Spaniard to their ranks.

Marcus Thuram- Borussia Monchengladbach

Marcus Thuram showed his entire potential when he played a brilliant role in the second half of the 2022 World Cup final for France. And with his contract expiring in the summer Marcus Thuram is a man in demand among clubs across Europe.

The 25-year-old is being chased by a host of Premier clubs as well as clubs from Serie A. One of the significant frontrunners among them is Newcastle United, who have made smart signings ever since their new ownership took over. Marcus Thuram has scored 12 goals and provided three assists in the Bundesliga this season.

Aditya Kochhar
A true Red Devil, who has idolised David de Gea for more than a decade. He loves watching conspiracy documentaries, writing poetry and food. He claims to be a God-tier FIFA player and can be seen occasionally ranting while playing it.

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