Top 5 Free Agents of Summer

Free transfers have become the preferred mode of player transfer for clubs after the COVID-19 pandemic wrecked the finances of most teams. Many clubs have trodden this route to land high-profile targets like Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Gianluigi Donnarumma, to name a few.

Meanwhile, many top players are currently in the final year of their contracts. If they don’t sign contract extensions soon, their parent clubs may be powerless to stop these players from moving out on free transfers.

2022 is fast approaching and some of the best players in world soccer are due to be available for nothing next summer, with Kylian Mbappe, Antonio Rudiger and Paul Pogba among those potentially up for grabs.

On that note, here’s a look at the 5 most valuable players who are slated to become free agents in 2022.

Antonio Rudiger

Few players have benefited more from a change in manager than Antonio Rudiger. Out of the side under Frank Lampard, Rudiger has become a key figure under Thomas Tuchel and is now seen as one of the best defenders in Europe.

Rudiger and Chelsea are miles apart in terms of contract negotiations and come January he is going to have a host of offers on the table. Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City and Juventus are among the clubs being linked.

A return to Germany is seen as the most likely option with Betfair, as Bayern are 7/2 to take him to the Bundesliga.

PSG are becoming the experts in landing free agents and they are also in the mix for Rudiger. They are priced at 9/2.

A Premier League move would cause a real stir and Manchester City always have room for a defender – they are at 6/1.

OVERALL CAREER STATS

  • Apps (Subs): 373 (28)
  • Goals (P): 19 (0)
  • Assists: 7
  • Yellows: 60 (2)
  • Reds: 4
  • Min Played: 31325

Paul Pogba

Manchester United have accepted that Pogba will run down his contract and become a free agent next summer. United also have no intention of letting the 28-year-old leave in January.

A thigh injury sustained while on international duty with France this week could force Pogba to miss up to two months, so by the time he’s fit to return, he could be able to negotiate a free summer switch to a non-English team.

Real Madrid, Juventus and PSG all have a long-term interest, but if he becomes a free agent next summer, an English team could yet make a move to keep Pogba in the Premier League.

OVERALL CAREER STATS

  • Apps (Subs): 462 (65)
  • Goals (P): 80 (12)
  • Assists: 66
  • Yellows: 78 (2)
  • Reds: 3
  • Min Played: 36361

Jesse Lingard

Lingard enjoyed a wonderful end to last season on loan at West Ham. But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is clearly not a huge fan, and that has again been seen at the start of this season as he struggles for game-time.

Lingard had decided to give it another go, but it seems he will be leaving in 2022, and he is also not short of options.

A return to West Ham is seen as one of the most likely destinations, but it is soon to be big spending Newcastle who are favourites to secure his signature.

Everton with Arsenal are interested but could Lingard move abroad? There was interest from Atletico Madrid last summer.

OVERALL CAREER STATS

  • Apps (Subs): 322 (108)
  • Goals (P): 66 (2)
  • Assists: 21
  • Yellows: 38 (0)
  • Reds: 1
  • Min Played: 19182

Paulo Dybala

Although it has been reported throughout the season that Dybala is close to agreeing to a new contract at Juventus, the Argentina international has still not put pen to paper. As it stands, the 27-year-old will be able to agree to a free summer move to a non-Italian club from January onward, and it’s a risk that Juve have so far been unable to counter.

Dybala came close to joining Tottenham in 2020, and there will be Premier League interest alongside potential options in France and Spain for the forward given his scoring prowess.

OVERALL CAREER STATS

  • Apps (Subs): 377 (91)
  • Goals (P): 129 (25)
  • Assists: 49
  • Yellows: 28 (2)
  • Reds: 0
  • Min Played: 24748

Kylian Mbappe

PSG forward Mbappe attempted to force a move to Real Madrid during the final days of the summer transfer window, but a deal could not be done and he’s now expected to run down his contract in Paris. Although a move to Real seems the most likely outcome for the France international, PSG are determined to negotiate a new deal with the 22-year-old.

Real Madrid also face competition from the Premier League, with Liverpool and Manchester City both long-term admirers and potential rivals should Mbappe hit free agency.

OVERALL CAREER STATS

  • Apps (Subs): 284 (55)
  • Goals (P): 187 (14)
  • Assists: 64
  • Yellows: 30 (0)
  • Reds: 3
  • Min Played: 20828

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