With the January transfer window now open, most of the speculation will surround players being bought and sold. This year, 10 world-class players are almost out of contract and now can sign pre-contracts for next year’s season. Here is our list of the top 10 upcoming free agents.
#10 Hakan Calhanoglu CAM (AC Milan)
Calhanoglu, 26, has scored six goals and made nine assists in 21 games for AC Milan in the 2020-21 season so far and is fresh off being named the Serie A player of the month. There is interest from a few teams in England and Germany for the Turkish international’s signature as he enters the final 6 months of his contract. Reports out of Italy state that Hakan’s agent and the club held a positive meeting as the 26-year-old looks to increase his earnings from 6 million euros to around 8 million.
Interested Clubs – Everton, Arsenal, Wolfsburg,
#9 Julian Draxler CAM (PSG)
It just wouldn’t be the transfer window without there being a Julian Draxler to Arsenal link. With the German international’s contract expiring and new PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino keen to pursue former Tottenham Hotspur players Christien Eriksen and Dele Alli, it is looking increasingly likely that Draxlers time in Paris could be up. Arsenal is not alone in their pursuit of Draxler. Leeds United appears to be keen on the 27-year-old star. Draxler hasn’t been what many in Paris were hoping, and a fresh start in England could be just what the Dr ordered.
Interested Clubs – Arsenal, Leeds United
#8 Gini Wijnaldum CM (Liverpool)
Just over a week ago, some reports claimed that Gini Wijnaldum’s future was far from decided and that the 30-year-old Netherlands international and world-class midfielder needed more time to decide if his future was at Anfield or somewhere else. Sky Sports have since said that while that is not necessarily true, there is still some distance between the player’s contract demand and what the club wants to offer. You can understand why a player at 30-years-old would want to cash in on one last contract. Whether it’s with Liverpool or not, there will be options as Inter Milan and Barcelona are said to be closely monitoring the situation. Don’t be surprised if Tottenham’s Jose Mourinho picks up the phone on this one as well.
Interested Clubs – Barcelona, Inter Milan, Tottenham Hotspur
#7 Jerome Boateng CB (Bayern Munich)
It certainly sounds like Bayern remains undecided on the subject of whether they will offer a contract extension to their 32-year-old defender. However, it is being said that the front office will begin talks in the spring of 2021. Bayern is in no rush to get this done as they ultimately will be deciding between keeping Boateng or their other pending free agent CB David Alaba this summer. Boateng still has a lot of life left in his legs, but it is truly starting to sound like the Munich legend will be ending his career elsewhere. There are several top clubs in England monitoring this situation, including Chelsea, Man United, Everton, Arsenal, and Tottenham Hotspur. If Boateng departs, he will end up in England. Trust me.
Interested Clubs – Chelsea, Man United, Everton, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur
#6 Memphis Depay CF (Lyon)
If there is one player on this list that I would say will 100% be moving on from his current club, it is Memphis Depay. The 26-year-old former Manchester United F is an absolute weapon for any manager. He can play multiple positions in attack and has an incredible work rate on and off the ball. After an unsuccessful stink with United, Memphis left for Lyon and has certainly removed any doubts critics had about his ability. Depay is the main target for Barcelona as manager Ronald Koeman is searching for a new number 9. Based on the gossip, it sounds like the player is also keen to join the Spanish side, and I would anticipate Memphis will be the new number 9 by July 1st, 2021.
Interested Clubs – Barcelona, PSG
#5 Sergio Ramos CB (Real Madrid)
It is not every day an all-time great becomes available on a free transfer, but Sergio Ramos is just 6 months away from hitting the open market. Ramos is considered a Real Madrid legend and has had success at the club that would seem only possible in dreams or cinema. The 34-year-old Spanish international is looking to play for 2-3 more seasons and has apparently told the club that if they refuse to give him the length he desires on his next contract, he could move to PSG. PSG is in love with the idea of adding Ramos and Messi this summer. Jose Mourinho has also stuck his nose into this one, but the wages/PSG option makes that seem like a pipe dream for the North London side. Manchester City are also monitoring the situation as well.
Interested Clubs – PSG, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur
#4 Mesut Ozil CAM (Arsenal)
According to agent Dr. Erkut Sogut, Arsenal outcast Mesut Ozil’s future is expected to be finalized in the next 10 days with the midfielder undecided over his next move. The 32-year-old German international is free to talk directly to overseas clubs after entering the final six months of his £350,000-a-week contract with Arsenal and has attracted interest from the United States, Turkey, China, and even the Middle East. While there is interest, the two most likely destinations are Fenerbache and DC United of the MLS. Fenerbache makes sense as they are the best club in his home country, but the buzz right now is Ozil likes the idea of playing in North America following in the footsteps of Beckham, Zlatan, and Rooney.
Interested Clubs – Fenerbache, DC United, Shanghai SIPG
#3 David Alaba CB (Bayern Munich)
According to reports out of Spain, Real Madrid is leading the race to sign the Bayern Munich CB David Alaba, who is out of contract in the summer and can move on a free transfer. The 28-year-old Austrian apparently wants to leave Bayern in the summer after 12 years at the club. Real Madrid makes a ton of sense as uncertainty over Sergio Ramos’s future has been growing. Real Madrid has made an offer to Alaba but will be receiving some competition from Liverpool who are also keen on the signature. Klopp spent a lot of time in Germany with Dortmund and has coveted the player ever since. This is a two-horse race.
Interested Clubs – Real Madrid, Liverpool
#2 Sergio Aguero ST (Manchester City)
There are three guarantees in life. Death, Taxes, and Sergio Aguero bagging goals, and yet the 32-year-old Argentine has not been offered a contract renewal thus far at City. Aguero has struggled with his fitness, and production has dropped off. However, Aguero is still not a player you let walk on a free transfer, and if they wish to have any luck persuading Messi to join them and not PSG, they may need to ensure his countryman will be there to greet him. If, for some reason, Aguero does hit the open market, look for Barcelona, Athletico Madrid, and Real Madrid to be circling like flies on shit.