Wednesday 12 December 2018

40 players out of contract in 2018 including seven Manchester United stars

Alexis Sanchez looks to be on his way out at Arsenal. Photo: PA
Alexis Sanchez looks to be on his way out at Arsenal. Photo: PA

Independent.ie newsdesk

European football’s big spenders will have plenty of options when they open the cheque books this month or in the summer transfer window

1 Alexis Sanchez

After a failed deadline-day move to Manchester City in the summer, the Chilean forward has refused to sign a contract with Arsenal, and will have a host of top European sides after him this month or in the summer.

2 Mesut Ozil

The German playmaker’s protracted contract negotiations at Arsenal are well documented, and he will have a host of suitors should he fail to re-sign for the Gunners before the summer.

3  Juan Mata

Manchester United's Ashley Young
Manchester United's Ashley Young

The Manchester United playmaker is yet to renew his contract with the club; however, having started 13 games this season, it seems unlikely the Spaniard will be shown the door by Jose Mourinho.

4 Luke Shaw

Following strong criticism from his own manager and pundits, after a series of long-term injuries, the former Saint looks set to leave Old Trafford after four seasons that has seen him make only 53 appearances for United.

5 Ander Herrera

Manchester United have a one-year option they can invoke in the Spaniard’s contract should they wish to extend his stay at Old Trafford. Nemanja Matic’s arrival has limited the midfielder’s opportunities with the majority of his appearances this season coming from the bench.

6 Jack Wilshere

Having struggled with injuries for years, the Arsenal academy graduate has played in the club’s last four games. Undoubtedly talented, should the midfielder reject a proposed contract extension from the London club he will have plenty of Premier League sides eager to sign him at the end of the season.

7 Emre Can

Heavily linked with a move to Juventus, the former Bayern Munich midfielder has been frustrated by Jurgen Klopp’s rotation policy in a congested Liverpool midfield, and with the impending arrival of Naby Keita from Leipzig in the summer, sees his opportunities further diminishing.

8 Marouane Fellaini

Struggling for game time in a Manchester United midfield consisting of Paul Pogba, Ander Herrera, and Nemanja Matic, the Belgian may be tempted to move in search of first-team opportunities.

9 Franck Ribery

The Champions League winner, now 34, has struggled with injury this season, and has understandably looked rusty upon his return to the Bayern Munich starting XI.

10 Fernandinho

While the midfielder is out of contract next summer, it is believed that Pep Guardiola is keen for the Manchester City hierarchy to offer the 32-year-old Brazilian a new contract.

11 Daley Blind

Having made only 13 appearances for Mourinho’s side in all competitions this season, the versatile Dutchman has been linked with a move to Barcelona.

12 Ashley Young

Following his conversion to full-back by his manager Jose Mourinho, the 32-year-old (below) has scored twice and provided four assists for United this season with his dangerous delivery from out wide. Teams in the Premier League will be keen to secure the former Aston Villa player’s experience next term.

13 Giorgio Chiellini

At 33, the Italian centre-back is still a world-class player, and with less than a year on his contract at Juventus, will surely be a bargain for whoever secures his services next summer.

14 Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Undoubted class, but at 36, whether the Swede represents value for money after his recent injury is another matter, with the striker one of the highest paid players in the Premier League.

15 Fernando Torres

The former Liverpool striker has had to settle for a place on the bench since his return to Atletico Madrid, behind Antoine Griezmann and Kevin Gameiro in the pecking order. A move away surely beckons for the 33-year-old former Liverpool and Chelsea striker.

16 Aaron Lennon

Former Spurs flyer Lennon has not been offered a new contract by current club Everton, but will certainly add Premier League know-how to promoted sides looking to avoid relegation next season.

17 Arjen Robben

Bayern Munich’s other veteran winger has also had an injury-stricken season in Bavaria, though has still managed to score three and assist four in all competitions. The Dutchman is certainly still a threat when fully fit.

18 Iker Casillas

Having won the Champions League three times, Casillas is certainly a high-quality goalkeeper. Could the Spanish veteran be a good signing for a top European club?

19 Ross Barkley

Yet to make an appearance for Everton this term, the attacking-midfielder, previously unwanted by former manager Ronald Koeman could be thrown a lifeline by recently appointed Sam Allardyce. If, however, the Evertonian sees his future elsewhere, he will be a good pick for top sides in the Premier League with Tottenham and Chelsea likely to be interested.

20 Santi Cazorla

Blighted by serious injuries to his Achilles and having had surgery nine times in 14 months, the diminutive Arsenal midfielder will hope to regain his fitness to restart his career.

21 Bernard

The pacey winger has enjoyed a four-year spell in Ukraine with Shakhtar Donetsk, though in not signing a new contract, may have his heart set on playing in one of Europe’s top five leagues.

22 Mario Balotelli

The enigmatic Italian striker has reignited his stop-start career in Nice with 33 goals in 49 appearances for the French side.

23 Hatem Ben Arfa

Talent in abundance though lacking work rate, teams interested in the Paris Saint-Germain attacker will hope they can see the player find the form he displayed at OGC Nice, scoring 18 goals and assisting seven in 2015/’16.

24 Ezequiel Lavezzi

The stocky Argentine forward has been on fire this season in the Chinese Super League, scoring 20 goals and assisting 19 in 27 games. A return to Europe is surely on the cards for the former Napoli man.

25 Joel Robles

Displaced from the Everton starting line-up by £30m summer arrival Jordan Pickford, the Spaniard will be eager to guarantee himself more game-time next year.

26 Juanfran

The Atletico Madrid legend, now 32, is under increasing competition from Croatian full-back Sime Vrsaljko and could be tempted by a move before retirement.

27 Amin Younes

The Ajax forward, currently sidelined with a serious knee injury, had an excellent season in 2016/’17 and was rewarded with his first Germany cap by Joachim Loew in June this year.

28 Andre-Pierre Gignac

The French target-man has enjoyed the most prolific spell of his career with Mexican side Tigres UANL, scoring a goal in every two games in all competitions. Proven in Ligue 1 with Marseille, the striker is capable of succeeding in Europe.

29 Yohan Cabaye

Capable of dictating games at the top level, the Crystal Palace man could surely be a wild card for a top side in the Premier League next season.

30 Joao Moutinho

Winner of Ligue 1 with AS Monaco last year, the 31-year-old midfielder is into the final year of his contract.

31 Leon Goretzka

The box-to-box midfielder has had an excellent start to the season, scoring four goals from central midfield for Schalke. The German international has been linked with moves to top European sides Barcelona and Juventus.

32 Carlos Vela

The Mexican wide man has found goals hard to come by this season, scoring just once this season for Real Sociedad.

33 Yaya Toure

After years of speculation that Toure would leave Manchester City, the Ivorian’s time at City finally seems to coming to an end.

34 Stefan de Vrij

Liverpool have been linked to the Netherlands international in recent weeks as Jurgen Klopp seeks to add more quality to his defence.

35 Neven Subotic

The Bundesliga winner has made only four appearances this season, often failing to even make the bench for Borussia Dortmund.

36 Max Meyer

The 22-year-old playmaker Meyer has been consistently linked with Liverpool, Tottenham and Barcelona and has so far refused any contract offers made by Schalke.

37 Dani Garcia

The Spanish midfielder has been a mainstay for SD Eibar over the past three seasons. Offering a goal-threat from midfield with his long-distance shooting and set-piece ability, Garcia could prove a shrewd acquisition.

38 Achraf Hakimi

Real Madrid’s Moroccan full-back has deputised well for Dani Carvajal in La Liga this season, and has shown glimpses of his potential at the Bernabeu.

39 Stephan Lichsteiner

Disappointing performances for the Bianconeri this season, and added competition from Mattia de Sciglio at Juventus have led to rumours that the Swiss defender could be set to leave Turin this month.

40 Rafinha

The experienced Brazilian right-back is entering the last year of his contract with Bayern Munich. Capable of deputising at the top level, and with invaluable experience in the Champions league, the 32-year-old could provide excellent cover for an elite European side next season.

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