January is almost upon us and it’s about to start a huge transfer rush.
Directors of football are bristling, managers rub their hands with joy, and players are planning moves – and big wins.
Some of the best players in the world will be available for free in July 2022 and can start talking to potential new clubs once Big Ben ushers in the new year.
Arguably this could be one of the most exciting transfer windows of all time with so many key names potentially available at a great price due to their contractual status.
Meanwhile, clubs that could lose their biggest names may well be stepping into the market to sign replacements for those expected to leave them.
So who are these big names who could be tricked into negotiating free transfers in a month? talkSPORT.com takes a look.
Kylian Mbappé (Paris Saint-Germain)
The PSG sensation was the subject of a gigantic offer from Real Madrid at the end of the summer window and although he did not seal a move to the Santiago Bernabeu, Mbappe is still expected to move to Spain.
An offer of € 220million (£ 187million) was submitted to the Parisians on deadline day, but they pushed it back and opted to keep the 22-year-old for the remainder of the season.
That said, the PSG superstar has said he is “happy” on the pitch and in his personal life and only time will tell if he signs a contract with the French giants.
Otherwise, we think sunny Spain may be on the horizon. Or will he want a transfer to the Premier League?
Paul Pogba (Manchester United)
The hectic period of the central midfielder at Old Trafford is surely coming to an end after years of inconsistency.
In his time, the Frenchman was one of the best players in the world, but unfortunately for Man United supporters they weren’t able to witness enough of his talent.
It can be said that he spent the best years of his career at Juventus and with Real Madrid who have reportedly chosen not to sign the Frenchman, a return to the Old Lady could be considered.
Franck Kessie (AC Milan)
Considering his age, the AC Milan midfielder could be a great option for many like Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Manchester United who would be interested in his services.
However, their attempts to lure the Ivorian away from the San Siro appear to be in vain.
The 24-year-old is said to be very happy at Milan and the club are looking to extend his contract, but with Antonio Conte starting a revolution at Spurs he could be tempted by a change of scenery.
Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea)
One of four Chelsea players available to speak to other clubs before the window opens is Rudiger.
The German center-back and the club’s hierarchy have not agreed on a new deal and, as such, one of Thomas Tuchel’s main defenders could be on the verge of exiting.
Rudiger is ready to stay at the club, but given his reported salary demands of £ 400,000 a week and the fact that the Chelsea board don’t want to pay him that much, the German’s time at Stamford Bridge could come to an end.
Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal)
The French striker appears to be on the verge of leaving the Emirates ending a five-year stay in north London.
Although he has been used frequently by Mikel Arteta this season and impressed on occasion, it still seems likely that he and the club will not extend their relationship.
Especially with the Gunners who rarely hand over new contracts to experienced stars, sign young players and bring in academy players like Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka.
Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona)
It just didn’t work for the French star in Spain.
His previous four seasons have seen ups and downs with injuries limiting his impact at Camp Nou.
Once one of the most exciting youngsters in the world thanks to his ability to use both feet with breathtaking poise, he is now 24 years old and in need of a career boost.
Newcastle are said to love the winger and are now able to afford a big paycheck if he wants to move to St James’s Park for free.
Other players who could travel for free
Angel Di Maria (PSG)
César Azpilicueta (Chelsea)
Andreas Christensen (Chelsea)
Thiago Silva (Chelsea)
Paulo Dybala (Juventus)
Luis Suarez (Atletico Madrid)
Gareth Bale (Real Madrid)
Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
Lorenzo Insigne (Naples)
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