Free Agents 2020: 11 Players From Around Europe Who Will Be Out of Contract Next Summer

As we head into another summer of transfer activity we take a look at some of those stars most vulnerable to bids from rival clubs: the players who have just one year remaining on their current contract. 

This will be the last chance for their clubs to earn maximum profit on any wantaway stars or they risk losing them for nothing next summer. 

2020 will be a big summer for out-of-contract players (assuming their futures aren’t sorted out before then of course), here’s a starting XI for those deals that are set to expire in 12 months’ time.

1. GK – David de Gea – Manchester United

David De Gea

David de Gea endured his worst campaign in a Manchester United shirt last season, conceding 54 goals as his side slumped to a sixth-place finish. 

His stock has dropped a little since an equally embarrassing World Cup, but the Spaniard is still one of the best shot stoppers in the world. 

The latest gossip says United are no closer to agreeing an extension for the keeper. Real Madrid have been a firm admirer of the 28-year-old for some time and could reignite their interest after Thibaud Courtois struggled to find his feet since his switch to the Santiago Bernabeu.  

2. RB – Thomas Meunier – PSG

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The Belgian hasn’t stolen many headlines in his career but he is a top class attacking full back, which is an increasingly significant role in the modern game. 

He has even been deployed as a right winger by international manager Roberto Martinez where, as England fans may remember, he scored the opening goal in the World Cup third-place play off game. 

Premier League trio Manchester United, Everton and Chelsea have all been linked with a move for the 27-year-old this summer. 

3. CB – Toby Alderweireld – Tottenham

Toby Alderweireld

Meunier’s international team mate Toby Alderweireld is also out of contract next summer as Tottenham fans will be very aware. The Belgian has formed a key part of Mauricio Pochettino’s defence over the past four seasons. 

At 30, he appears to have become disillusioned with the club’s prospects and has been linked with a switch to Manchester United for some time. That could still come off this summer though following the events of last season, he may reconsider. 

4. CB – Stefan Savic – Atletico Madrid

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Stefan Savic may be remembered as a flop to Manchester City fans but he has firmly proved himself on the continent since leaving the Premier League. He established himself as a top defender in Serie A, earning him a switch to Atletico Madrid. 

At Atletico, he became the first Montenegrin to play in the Champions League for the best part of two decades, helping guide them to the final, before lifting the Europa League with them two years later.  

5. LB – Ryan Sessegnon – Fulham

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Ryan Sessegnon is one the most exciting young talents in the UK at the moment after two breakthrough campaigns, where he helped Fulham earn promotion in 2018. He has been moved up to a winger role but is a left back by trade and could slot back into that role at a larger club. 

After Fulham failed to secure Premier League survival in their first season, the 19-year-old is expected to depart the London club with Tottenham reportedly confident of securing his services this summer. 

6. CM – Luka Modric – Real Madrid

Luka Modric

Luka Modric is the oldest player on this list and will be 34 by the time his current contract expires. After winning his first Ballon d’Or this year though, it’s hard not to include the Croatian playmaker as one of the best available options. 

Recent reports suggest that Modric will get an extension to his current contract, so he is still likely to remain at the Bernabeu. Until he signs on the dotted line though, anything can happen.

7. CM – Ilkay Gundogan – Manchester City

Ilkay Gundogan

Ilkay Gundogan has rarely stolen the show during his time at Manchester City but he has quietly become a vital cog in Pep Guardiola’s dominant side. Fernandinho often gets the majority of the credit for making that midfield tick, but the German is more than worth his starting place in one of the best Premier League sides of all time. 

He made 41 appearances last season as his side completed a clean sweep of domestic honours, but is reportedly unsure of his future with a return to Germany mooted. 

8. RW – Willian – Chelsea

Willian

The Brazilian is possibly one of the most underrated stars in the Premier League. He’s been consistently brilliant throughout his six years a Chelsea. He perhaps shone the most during Chelsea’s disastrous 2015/16 campaign where they were let down by so many of their big name stars. 

Willian played a vital role in Chelsea’s last two most recent title-winning seasons and he won’t find himself short of suitors if the Blues decide to cash in on the 30-year-old.  

9. AM – Christian Eriksen – Tottenham

Christian Eriksen

Other than Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen is Tottenham’s most important player and unfortunately, like his teammate Alderweireld, he appears to be eyeing an exit. There was a time when Spurs were the best side in the league over a three-season period, but they failed to lift any silverware during those campaigns. 

Having since been well overtaken by Manchester City and Liverpool the moment looks to have passed and stars like Eriksen are considering their options. 

Spurs still have a Champions League final to play that could change some minds, but Real Madrid are believed to have made the Dane a top priority this summer. 

10. LW – Eden Hazard – Chelsea

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Without a doubt the most high-profile name on this list with an estimated market value of around £135m, even with just a year left on his contract. Eden Hazard can play in a variety of attacking roles and has been Chelsea’s talisman for the past seven years. 

He finished as top scorer again in the previous campaign with 19 goals in all competitions and he could have put himself in the shop window for summer. Real Madrid have also made Hazard a priority as they look for a big summer rebuild after a torrid campaign that was on par with their worst of all time. 

11. ST – Timo Werner – RB Leipzig

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The 23-year-old is one of the hottest properties in world football after playing a significant role in the meteoric rise of RB Leipzig. He already has 63 Bundesliga goals to his name and is expected to become the future of the Germany national team.  

Timo Werner has shown the potential to develop into a world class striker which has attracted the attention of several top European clubs. Bayern Munich are unsurprisingly rumoured to be considering a move for the German, while Liverpool are also long-term admirers.

Substitutes: Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Dries Mertens (Napoli), Stephan El Shaawary (AS Roma), Nabil Fekir (Olympique Lyonnais), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham), Layvin Kurzawa (PSG), Keylor Navas (Real Madrid) 

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Lyon Chief Reveals Club Will Allow Nabil Fekir to Leave This Summer Amidst PL Interest

?Lyon chief Jean-Michel Aulas has confirmed that the club will allow star man Nabil Fekir to leave in the summer, amidst growing interest in the forward from clubs across Europe.

The Frenchman has been the subject of mass transfer speculation in recent windows, with the player seemingly set to join Liverpool in the summer of 2018 before plug was pulled on the move at the very last moment.

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He was then tipped for a move away from France once again in January of 2019 but was unable to secure a move away from Lyon, although he now looks to have finally been granted his wish of a summer exit.

Speaking to ?L’Equipe after Lyon’s 3-2 win over Nimes on the final day of the Ligue 1 season, Aulas revealed that the club will allow Fekir to leave in the summer whilst also insisting the club won’t allow more than two other departures in an attempt to keep the current squad intact. 

He said: “We will not go beyond two sales, plus that of Nabil Fekir, who already had a good exit last season. We will work on recruitments. We will fight to try to lose as few players as possible.”

After winning the World Cup with France last summer Fekir netted 12 league goals this campaign, helping his Lyon side up to a third place finish in Ligue 1. He’s certainly earned his fair share of admirers across Europe, with ?Liverpool said to still be keen on a move for the forward.

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It looks as though Lyon are set to finally lose their star man, and he may not be the only high-profile departure out of the club this summer.

Tanguy Ndombele, Memphis Depay and Moussa Dembele are all also being linked with moves away from the club after outstanding individual campaigns, and it looks as though Lyon will face a real fight to keep hold of their players ahead of next season. 

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Eden Hazard Sets Deadline for Chelsea Exit as Real Madrid Prepare Fresh Move

?Eden Hazard is aiming to seal his transfer from Chelsea to Real Madrid less than a week after the Europa League final, though the two clubs remain a distance apart on the Belgian’s fee.

The 28-year-old is widely expected to complete a move from west London to the Spanish capital in the summer, with Hazard having just one year remaining on his contract at Stamford Bridge, though recent developments suggest that a deal is some way from completion.

According to the ?Mirror, ?Hazard wants his move to ?Real Madrid to be finalised less than a week after playing for ?Chelsea in the Europa League final against ?Arsenal on Wednesday, with a deadline of 4 June set by the forward for his future to be resolved.

The ?Telegraph reports that Los Blancos are preparing a fresh bid for Hazard, but a swift negotiation process is appearing unlikely, given that Chelsea have set a £130m asking price for their pized asset.

Zinedine Zidane’s side are suggested to value Hazard at significantly less and are apparently not optimistic that Chelsea will make any efforts to ease the transfer process by rewarding the player for his performance in the Europa League final.

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However, Madrid apparently remain optimistic that a deal can be done and that they will be able to land their top target to reinforce their struggling squad ahead of next season.

It is said that talks between the two clubs were initiated in March, but have since been put on hold as Chelsea prepare for their showdown with Arsenal in Baku.

Hazard has told Chelsea that he wants to leave at the end of the season but, despite the player’s stance, Maurizio Sarri’s side have maintained a strong position in sticking to their demands.

Zinedine Zidane

Madrid are apparently reluctant to pay more than £88m to land the forward – a figure which falls some way short of Chelsea’s £130m valuation, as the Blues face up to their impending transfer ban which will prevent them from signing a replacement for their star man.

The deal may not be concluded in time to meet Hazard’s apparent deadline, which would have seen him move to the Bernabeu before Belgium’s Euro 2020 qualifiers in June, and the negotiations look set to rumble on into the summer.

However, it is suggested that a compromise is likely to be reached between the two clubs as the transfer appears almost certain.

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James Rodriguez: The Contenders to Sign Him & Where He Might End Up

?It’s set to be a chaotic summer transfer window for Bayern Munich loanee James Rodriguez.

The Colombia international’s immediate future in Bavaria still hasn’t been decided and the clock is ticking for Bayern Munich to make Rodriguez’s deal permanent, with the Bundesliga champions needing to pay €42m by 15th June.

With it clear that the 27-year-old is surplus to requirements back at his parent club Real Madrid, teams across Europe are now lining up to land the 2014 World Cup’s poster boy before the start of next season.

Here’s a rundown of the clubs who’ve been linked with a move for Rodriguez this summer and just how likely it is that he’ll be playing there next season.


Chelsea

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With Eden Hazard on his way out of the club this summer, it’s only natural that Chelsea will be looking for a marquee name to fill the Belgium international’s boots.

But the club still hasn’t launched an appeal against their transfer ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which has to be submitted by 29th May – the date of the Europa League final – to stand any chance of being upheld.

Likelihood Rating: 1/10


Arsenal

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This isn’t the first time that Arsenal have been linked with a move to sign James Rodriguez, having been tipped to sign any semi-creative player under Arsène Wenger’s old regime.

But with a budget of roughly £40m, their transfer priorities are sitting anywhere but in Rodriguez’s position and with current playmaker Mesut Özil eating up the majority of their wage bill, it’s highly unlikely the club will even entertain a deal.

All that being said…it would be a very, very Arsenal thing to do.

Likelihood Rating: 2/10


Paris Saint-Germain

James Rodriguez,Dani Alves

Paris Saint-Germain might have an unlimited transfer budget in every transfer window, but the scrutiny of their ability to comply with Financial Fair Play regulations is growing every season.

Les Parisiens are under pressure to sell one of either Neymar or Kylian Mbappé this summer, but understandably they’re reluctant to let go of half of their iconic pairing.

Having a net spend of €292.5m since 2017 alone, Paris Saint-Germain won’t be looking to make too many major moves in the upcoming transfer window.

Likelihood Rating: 3/10


Liverpool

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New multi-million pound attackers won’t be at the top of Jürgen Klopp’s wishlist this summer, with Liverpool instead expected to focus bringing is some backup players for more defensive positions.

But Rodriguez has admitted that he is warming to the idea of a move to England, and the project underway at Anfield will make them the most attractive option for any attacking player looking to find a new club this summer.

Likelihood Rating: 4/10


Bayern Munich

James Rodriquez

Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich have just a few weeks left before the chance to sign Rodriguez for €42m is taken away from them, with the Colombian now at the end of his two-year loan deal at the Allianz Arena.

Even though all the signs are now pointing to Bayern Munich not activating Rodriguez’s clause, the club’s top brass have previously hinted that the loan would be made permanent, and at the very least it would allow the Bavarians to re-sell the midfielder later this summer.

Likelihood Rating: 5/10


Atlético Madrid

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The shakeup that is set to happen at Atlético Madrid this summer has been one of the most downplayed stories of the early stages of the summer transfer window.

Antoine Griezmann, Lucas Hernandez, Juanfran and Diego Godin will leave, while midfielder Rodri has also emerged as one of the most sought after players on the continent.

Although negotiating with Real Madrid could prove to be tough when Rodriguez returns to the club, Diego Simeone’s side are in the market for a goalscoring forward in a similar mould to their departing World Cup winner.

Likelihood Rating: 6/10


Manchester United

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Out of all of the Premier League clubs who are believed to be interested in signing Rodriguez this summer, a switch to Manchester United would make the most sense for everyone.

The only thing holding a move to Old Trafford back is that United appear to be focusing their attention in signing young, British players ahead of the new season.

And with so much work still to do behind the scenes in the north-west, fans might be forced to wait until next summer before any high-profile arrivals of Rodriguez’s ilk make their way into Manchester United’s dressing room.

Likelihood Rating: 6/10


Juvenuts

James Rodriguez,Giorgio Chiellini

It’s common knowledge that Juventus could be looking offload Paulo Dybala this summer as the Argentine continues to grow frustrated in Turin, and the club’s top brass will be looking to offer their new manager a new marquee player upon their arrival.

Rodriguez’s arrival at Juventus would boost their short-term ambitions of winning the Champions League too, offering the Colombian another shot at working alongside his former Real Madrid teammate Cristiano Ronaldo.

Although the Bianconeri’s interest in Rodriguez is still something which is largely up for debate, recent reports are suggesting that the Italian champions are at the front of the queue for his signature.

Likelihood Rating: 7/10

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8 Figures From the Football World Who Could Become the Next Prime Minister

?Theresa May has just announced her impending resignation as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Yeh, BREAKING, and all that. 

So, with a list of possible candidates that leaves, well, a lot to be desired, we thought we’d turn to the footballing world, as we have at so many other points in our lives, for salvation. 

Only this time, these figures won’t be aiding us in our sporting escapism, but actively helping us escape this dire sh*tshow of a situation we find ourselves in, politically speaking. 

The nominees are…


Joey Barton

Joey Barton

Party: UKICK (United Kingdom Independence Collective Kickers – you know, like UKIP, but they kick stuff)

Campaign Slogan: ?’Milkshakes today. Bricks tomorrow. Petrol bombs next week.’ 

Key Issues: Them Jonny Forriners coming in and stealing our hard-earned playoff spots. 

Positives: Errr, he has experience on ‘Question Time’?

Negatives: Faux-philisophical git.

Skeletons: Where to start? The man has a rap sheet longer than the ballot for Thursday’s European Parliament election. Highlights include stubbing a cigar out in a youth player’s eye, like a true man of the people.

[Yeah, well, not all of them are gonna be good, are they? When we say Joey Barton ‘could’ be Prime Minister, we mean it more in the sense that he thinks he could, just like he thought he was the best English midfielder in the ?Premier League back in 2011.]


Frank Lampard

Frank Lampard,Izzy Brown

Speaking of players Joey Barton thought he was better than: Frank Lampard. 

Party: Frank Lampard’s Political Party

Campaign Slogan: ‘Stop crying Theresaaaa.’

Positives: Media trained, good analyst and unlikely to be caught up in an expenses scandal because, didn’t you know, he picked up the whole [Frank Lampard’s] ?Derby County bar bill after the Leeds playoff win! He was also once rumoured to have been asked to stand as MP for Kensington.

Skeletons: Tory.


Gary Lineker

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Party: Walkers’ Rights Party

Campaign Slogan: ‘Footballers can politics too!!!’

Positives: Very popular. Takes media trained to a whole new level; as the host of a popular tv show, the guy has clear political chops in 2019. Honest (basically admitted he did a poo on the pitch which, as Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison ?has shown, does not preclude yourself from governance) and has kept promises in the past (that bet about Leicester and pants).

Negatives: Do we really want to follow a precedent set by the Aussies?

Skeletons: Did those oversized shorts really count as pants? 


Neil Warnock & Sam Allardyce

Sam Allardyce,Neil Warnock

Party: The British Alliance

Campaign Slogan: [Apparently aimed at the EU] ‘Your sh*t, but your birds are fit’

Positives: A joint ballot provides a nice USP. Hard-nosed motivators. Everyone’s seen the way Warnock can command a room with his swashbuckling oratory style, while Allardyce is bringing both the brains and the brawn. Between them, they’ve worked in almost every county in Britian, so ‘know the country’.

Negatives: Hate referees – so wouldn’t take too kindly to being policed – and have been known to descend into profanity to convey their points. Have publicly supported Brexit and Donald Trump in recent times, with the latter taking place inside a radio booth alongside a bottle of HP sauce. Seriously.

Skeletons: One was once found *allegedly* (as in, falsely) watching inappropriate videos on transfer deadline day and the other famously lost power after an undercover sting operation.


Pep Guardiola

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Party: Catalan Independence Group

Campaign Slogan: ‘A Better Spain for Catalunya!’

Positives: Judging by that look, Pep is clearly a man of the people. There’s also been ample proof that guy has serious dance moves, so no chance of a return of the Maybot anytime soon.

Negatives: Central issue to campaign is making Catalan a separate entity from Spain, which is not in the United Kingdom. Unrelatedly, he’s also Spanish *I mean Catalan*, so ineligible.

Skeletons: Questionable human rights record of recent employers, and could feasibly remain in the pocket of Abu Dhabi during tenure…so a bit too ‘same old, same old’ for our liking, perhaps?


Steven Gerrard

Steven Gerrard

Party: Istan-D4STEVIE-bul

Campaign Slogan: ‘This time, we REALLY don’t let it slip.’

Positives: Natural born leader and used to carrying a team on his back. Bound to get the Scottish vote.

Negatives: Creepy smile, ‘me-first’ mentality, terrible party name and prone to costly slip-ups.

Skeletons: Known associate of Brendan Rodgers. 


Arsene Wenger

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Party: Patience Union

Campaign Slogan: ‘Liberte, Egalite, Eternite.’

Positives: Have you ever seen a football man looks so bloody presidential? Forget British politics, Arsene, you’re heading to the US of A. The thing is, I’ve seen Wenger’s passion for Britain first hand – at the 2016 Euros I watched him passionately sing along to God Save the Queen at the stalemate with Slovakia (genuinely true).

Also, with his philosophical and economical leanings, Arsene Wenger is the closest on this list to possessing a PPE degree from Oxbridge, aka the key to 10 Downing Street. He doesn’t, obviously, but he’s close. 

Negatives: A key part of his manifesto is that Prime Ministers cannot serve for any less than 22 years, so some slight dictatorial concerns. 

Skeletons: He’s French. 


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