Free Agent XI: Best out-of-contract players now available from Euro stars to £80m signings – Football News

Free Agent XI: Best out-of-contract players now available from Euro stars to £80m signings

Memphis Depay is one of those who is a free agent this summer (Image: Getty)

A club-record signing of £72million, a Premier League icon and two former Manchester United forwards are among those who are available on a free transfer this summer. July 1st typically signals a new beginning for many footballers as contracts usually expire at the end of June.

It’s an exhilarating period for football enthusiasts, filled with anticipation about where players might land when the summer transfer window opens. Over the years, some of the world’s most celebrated talents have left their clubs without any money changing hands. Lionel Messi famously departed Barcelona to join PSG for £0 in 2021, and more recently, Kylian Mbappe signed for Real Madrid without any fees despite his staggering market value of £152million (€180m).

The summer of 2024 is set to follow suit, with several club legends and outstanding performers poised to change teams during the upcoming transfer window. Here, we’ll provide a breakdown of some of the top players per position who are up for grabs on a free transfer this month.

Free agent XI for 2024: 4-3-3

Goalkeeper – David De Gea

Despite a successful 12-year stint with Manchester United, David De Gea has spent the last season as a free agent. The iconic 33-year-old Spanish goalkeeper, who won a Premier League title, three Community Shields, two League Cups and a Europa League trophy with the Red Devils, was let go at the end of the 2022/23 season when Erik Ten Hag decided to bring Andre Onana to Old Trafford.

Left-back – Juan Miranda

Juan Miranda moved to Real Betis from Barcelona in 2021 on a free transfer, making 59 appearances for the La Liga team before his contract ended this year. Although AC Milan showed interest in the speedy full-back in January, a deal never materialised – and he is now expected to sign with Bologna this summer on another free transfer. No doubt a blow for Barca, who were due to receive 40 per cent of any transfer fee for Miranda had he been sold.

Former Man United keeper David De Gea

Former Man United keeper David De Gea remains without a club (Image: Getty Images)

Centre half – Raphael Varane

Raphael Varane, aged 31, transferred from Real Madrid to Manchester United in 2021 for an impressive £33.9million – but while the Red Devils would have liked to recoup some of that this summer, he will ultimately leave the club for free. Known for retaining older players, Varane could reunite with his former Galacticos soon, if Carlo Ancelotti wants him. He has also been linked with a move to the Cesc Fabregas-owned Como in Serie A.

Centre half – Mario Hermoso

Atletico defender Mario Hermoso, 29, is rumoured to be joining Inter Milan this summer after his contract in Spain expired. With a market value of £21million, the robust centre-half could be a valuable addition to Simone Inzaghi’s team alongside Alessandro Bastoni, Stefan de Vrij and Francesco Acerbi.

Former Man United defender Raphael Varane

Raphael Varane could be on the verge of a move to Como in Serie A (Image: Getty Images)

Right back – Youcef Atal

Right back Youcef Atal is set to leave Adana Demirspor on a free transfer this summer, despite only signing for the Turkish club from Nice in February this year. However, his eight-month suspended sentence for inciting religious hatred on social media may deter some clubs from signing him.

Centre midfield – Adrien Rabiot

Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot is also leaving the Italian club on a free transfer this summer, despite having a market value of £29.6million. The 29-year-old Frenchman is unlikely to remain a free agent for long, with Manchester United, Aston Villa and Arsenal all reportedly interested in securing his services.

Centre midfield – Guido Rodriguez

Guido Rodriguez, valued at £16.9million, made a name for himself in La Liga with six goals in 139 appearances. Barcelona have reportedly been keeping an eye on his situation, suggesting a move to Camp Nou could be imminent – a move that would allow players like Pedri and Gavi to benefit from his experience.

Juventus' French midfielder Rabiot

Rabiot’s time at Juve is up (Image: AFP via Getty Images)

Centre Midfield – Wilfred Ndidi

Wilfred Ndidi, a stalwart at Leicester City since 2017, appears to be nearing the end of his tenure at King Power. The defensive midfielder is currently unattached, but Everton are reportedly preparing an enticing offer for him. With 192 Premier League appearances under his belt, Ndidi could significantly bolster Everton’s midfield.

Left Wing – Anthony Martial

Anthony Martial was the talk of Old Trafford when he joined Manchester United for £50million in 2015. However, recent seasons in the Premier League have been less than kind to him, with just 13 goals last season. At 28, there’s plenty of time for Martial to make his mark elsewhere, and many speculate that the speedy forward will return to Ligue 1 in hopes of rejoining the French national team.

It never worked out for Memphis Depay at Man Utd

It never worked out for Memphis Depay at Man Utd (Image: Manchester Evening News)

Right Wing – Nicolas Pepe

Nicolas Pepe, despite his impressive performances in the French leagues, struggled to adapt to English football. His £72million transfer from LOSC Lille in 2019 didn’t pan out as expected, with the skilful winger managing only 16 goals and nine assists for Arsenal. The 29-year-old club-record signing was allowed to join Trabzonspor on a free transfer last summer and is once again a free agent this month.

Striker – Memphis Depay

Memphis Depay, the 30-year-old former Manchester United player, had a less than stellar run in the Premier League, managing a meagre two goals in 33 games between 2015 and 2017 – hardly justifying the £28.8million they shelled out for him. His time with Lyon, Barcelona and Atletico have been somewhat more fruitful, but the Dutch striker is setting his sights on Euro 2024 glory before entertaining any club transfer discussions.