Out of contract XI: Who’s going for free in the summer?
Charlie Dear | 11 May 2018
Stars from Liverpool, Man United and Juve feature
This summer could see a host of Europe’s elite players up for grabs as they enter the final month of their current contracts.
There are still many unresolved issues and with the World Cup on the horizon clubs will look to snap up new additions quickly. Players may yet sign new deals, but with some high profile names in the last few weeks of their contracts you can expect a transfer tussle or two in the off-season.
Read on to see which soon-to-be free agents from across Europe have made the cut in the Coral News Team’s 4-3-3.
Goalkeeper: Iker Casillas
The current FC Porto keeper may not be hitting the heights that would quickly make him a Real Madrid hero, but at 36-years-old, Casillas’ experience at the highest level may prove pivotal to an aspiring, young squad.
Right Back: Rafinha
Having had to play second fiddle to German starlet Joshua Kimmich for much of the last two seasons, the Brazilian could have to leave Bavaria to prolong his glittering career. The 32-year-old’s versatility may prove his biggest asset, with the full-back able to fill in on either flank effectively.
Centre Back: Giorgio Chiellini
A year on from Leonardo Bonucci’s departure to AC Milan, seeing Chiellini depart for pastures new may just be too much for Juventus to handle. A move to Chelsea had been mooted but with Antonio Conte’s future unresolved, remaining at the Old Lady isn’t off the table just yet.
Centre Back: Stefan De Vrij
De Vrij always looked like a promising player as he made his way through the Feyenoord youth teams but since his 2014 move to Lazio he has become one of the most sought-after defenders in Europe. Announced back in February that the 26-year-old was to leave the Stadio Olimpico, the Dutchman will surely be getting his big move this summer.
Left Back: Luke Shaw
Four years ago Luke Shaw was a near on certainty to nail down a regular place in both the England and Manchester United first teams for years to come. Although, the fact Shaw features in this eleven instead of Gareth Southgate’s for this summer’s World Cup is telling. The former Southampton man is still only 22-years-old though. And with a change of manager then you might just be reminded of all the hype.
Centre Midfield: Emre Can
Before injury struck Can had been excelling under Jurgen Klopp this season, but with the plaudits soon came speculation of a move for the Germany international. The Juventus rumours just won’t fade away and if Can recovers from his back injury in time, a Liverpool Champions League final victory against Real Madrid at 11/10 could be the perfect send-off.
Centre Midfield: Max Meyer
Meyer has been a name on the lips of many of European football’s connoisseurs’ lips since his 2013 debut for Schalke 04. In arguably his best season to date, manager Domenico Tedesco has dropped the diminutive midfielder deeper as part of his 4-2-3-1 formation. However, Meyer’s decision to leave the Bundesliga club has put many Premier League clubs on red alert.
Centre Midfield: Jack Wilshere
Arsenal were unwilling to budge on a new deal for the Englishman under Wenger. But despite the announcement of the French manager’s departure, the midfielder would be a coup for any team. His wretched injury record aside he blends his flair, honed through the Wenger years, with a natural instinct for a challenge that when on top form can be a match for anyone.
Left Forward: Bernard
Bernard has always been linked with a move to the Premier League even when first dubbed a wonderkid at Atletico Mineiro. Having had to sit tight as the likes of Willian, Douglas Costa and Luiz Adriano took centre stage, Bernard is now finally showing Europe what he can do. This could now finally be his opportunity to move to the next level.
Forward: Mario Balotelli
Balotelli never seems to be out of the news for more than five minutes, but during his two seasons in Ligue 1 his goals have been doing the talking for Nice. His record in France surely warrants a move back to Europe’s elite. But where to, nobody is quite sure yet!
Right Forward: Fernando Torres
It was always Torres’ dream to retire with Atletico, the club he had captained. He has played 55 games since his homecoming in 2016 but the return of Diego Costa has shuffled him down the pecking order. As his second spell at the club comes to a close, the Spaniard must believe he still has one more challenge in him.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing