Who are the best contract players in England and across Europe? Sky Sports take a look…
David Ospina’s reputation in England was not helped by an error-prone four-year spell at Arsenal, but he bounced back with Napoli, where he established himself as number one as the Italian side secured a place in the Champions League. But the Colombian international has yet to commit to extending his four-year spell in Napoli, which has reportedly caught the attention of Real Madrid and Villarreal. While he would certainly serve as a backup for Thibaut Courtois at the Bernabéu, the fact that the Spanish champions considered signing Ospina shows that he is still held in high regard across Europe. At 33, the goalkeeper still has gas in the tank and would be a bargain signing.
It has been 20 years since Dani Alves first moved to Europe with Sevilla and surprisingly he is still competing at the highest level, having just completed the campaign with Barcelona. The 39-year-old has been open about wanting to extend his second spell at the Camp Nou, but there is no word yet on an extension. Despite his years, Alves remains effective, finishing second in assists and chances created per 90 minutes among defenders in La Liga last season. While he probably can’t be relied on to start every week, the three-time Champions League winner could be a canny short-term pick.
Wolves defender Roman Saiss will play for a new club next season after the Moroccan announced on May 31 that he would be leaving Molineux at the end of his contract. Saiss has been a stalwart for Wolves ever since he signed with French club Angers, helping the club to promotion from the Championship and cementing its place in the Premier League. At 32, Saiss doesn’t have much time left playing at the highest level, but he could be smart business on a short-term deal for any top club.
Burnley can go down to the Championship, but James Tarkowski will not join them. His contract runs out at the end of June and he is proving to be one of the most sought-after defenders among Premier League clubs this summer, with Everton closing in on him. a move previously due to high demands from Burnley.
Real Madrid’s Champions League final victory over Liverpool was a glorious end to Marcelo’s trophy-laden career at the Spanish giants. After 16 seasons, Real Madrid’s most successful player is heading to new pastures after his contract was not extended. The attacking-focused left-back has won 25 major titles with Real, including five Champions Leagues and six La Liga titles, although his 12 appearances in the latest league triumph point to the 34-year-old’s reduced influence. years in recent seasons.
Juan Mata has bid farewell to Manchester United for the last time after eight years at Old Trafford as he prepares to make what is likely to be the final move of his career. A transfer back to his native Spain feels appropriate for Mata, who has lost most of his speed at 34, but still possesses a magical touch and an eye for a killer pass. The former Chelsea midfielder is hoping for one last hurray.
Jesse Lingard’s nightmare 2021/22 campaign is over and he is free to leave Manchester United and find a club that can guarantee him first-team football as he looks to earn a place in England’s World Cup squad. It’s been a dismal final season at Old Trafford for Lingard, but interested clubs shouldn’t forget his loan form at West Ham at the end of last season when considering a move. The attacking midfielder would be a smart move for any club aiming to break into the top six next season and the Hammers, along with Newcastle, are interested, but it is unclear where his future lies.
Christian Eriksen’s return to the Premier League with Brentford has been a revelation. Few knew what level he would be at after his cardiac arrest at Euro 2020, but his six-month spell in west London has re-established him as one of the best creative midfielders on the transfer market. Anyone who achieves this free transfer can count themselves lucky, as it’s not often that a player of Eriksen’s quality is available without paying a fee. Brentford is hoping to keep Eriksen but is expected to face stiff competition from elsewhere, with Manchester United interested.
Could Luis Suarez be ready for a dramatic return to the Premier League? The former Liverpool striker has been linked with a move to Aston Villa, where he would be reunited with former Reds teammates Steven Gerrard and Philippe Coutinho, although there is also talk of a return to his native South America. Suárez will leave Atlético after two years in Madrid that gave him a La Liga title. The 35-year-old has scored 34 goals for Diego Simeone’s side, including 13 this season, despite not being a regular starter.
Rarely are clubs presented with the opportunity to sign a player for free with 32 caps for Argentina, five Serie A titles and more than 50 Champions League appearances. Paulo Dybala is not a veteran looking to end his career away from the high-pressure environment of Juventus. The striker is only 28 years old and was desperate to stay in Turin, as evidenced by the tears that were shed after his farewell match. But Juventus have decided to let Dybala go for nothing, which has reportedly drawn the attention of a number of their domestic and continental rivals, including Inter Milan, Roma and Tottenham.
Ousmane Dembele is probably the most prominent free agent of the summer thanks to the tug-of-war that has taken place between Barcelona and his entourage this season. The Spanish club told the 25-year-old to leave in January to receive a payment for him, but Dembélé refused, saying he would not give in to “blackmail”. However, the winger was reinstated into the first team by coach Xavi, and talks have been taking place about extending his contract. But as things stand, Dembélé can sign a contract with a new club, and after registering 13 assists in just 21 La Liga games this season, he will have plenty of interest. Chelsea and Liverpool are among the clubs linked with the World Cup winner.
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