A number of football’s biggest names are potentially available on a free transfer in the summer, and can talk to clubs regarding a Bosman move from January.
Here are some of the best, starting with the actual best.
Even a new Barcelona president may not be enough to convince the world’s best player to remain at the Nou Camp in the summer. Messi, who recently broke Pele’s record for goals for a single club, was unsuccessful in his attempts to force a move in the summer and his relationship with Barca appears broken beyond repair. A January move is out of the question but Manchester City will be among the clubs sniffing around the 33-year-old next June if he fails to agree a new deal. Any move would be one of the biggest of all time.
Left out of the Premier League and Europa League squads, stripped of a number and training alone, Tottenham’s forgotten man has no future under Jose Mourinho. The trouble for Spurs has been finding a club Rose is willing to join, with the left-back having previously turned down offers to join middling sides on the Continent. Rose may well wait until the end of the season and his contract to leave, when he will have more options as a free agent, but his slim chances of playing at the European Championship rest on a January exit.
The German has not played for Arsenal since March and wasn’t even registered in their Premier League squad for this season. As a result, he will be allowed to leave once his £350,000-a-week contract expires in the summer. A move to the MLS is looking likely, while clubs in Qatar and Saudi Arabia are monitoring the German.