60 big stars out of contract in 2022: Pogba, Dybala, Mbappe, Modric…
It’s 2022 and we’ve reached a point where dozens of big-name footballers are free to negotiate with potential suitors.
Back in 2017 when Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez were running down their deals at Arsenal, Arsene Wenger presciently predicted the future.
“You will see more and more players going into the final year of the contract because no club will want to pay the amount demanded… in the next 10 years, it will become usual,” Wenger said at the time.
It’s undeniable that’s now the case, with some players at the very peak of their powers available for free transfers in the summer, as well as some rising stars and a handful of veterans with tons of experience of winning trophies.
We’ve picked out 60 of the biggest names from Europe’s five major leagues, listed in order of their transfer market value.
Paul Pogba (Manchester United)
Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea)
Andreas Christensen (Chelsea)
James Tarkowski (Burnley)
Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal)
Jesse Lingard (Manchester United)
Todd Cantwell (Norwich)
Sean Longstaff (Newcastle United)
Divock Origi (Liverpool)
Calum Chambers (Arsenal)
Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)
Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal)
Roman Saiss (Wolves)
Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal)
Hugo Lloris (Tottenham)
Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace)
Pontus Jansson (Brentford)
Teemu Pukki (Norwich)
Thiago Silva (Chelsea)
Newly-minted Newcastle United will be spoilt for choice when it comes to recruiting proven Premier League players this summer and will surely be competitive in terms of the wages they can offer.
However, the Magpies may have to be realistic when it comes to their targets – you’d imagine Paul Pogba will go to a top-level European club like PSG or Real Madrid.
The likes of James Tarkowski, Jesse Lingard and Eddie Nketiah might be a bit more feasible, while Jordan Ayew, Pontus Jansson, Roman Saiss and Todd Cantwell may appeal to clubs in that lower-midtable bracket.
Thiago Silva, Cesar Azplicueta, Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen all featured in Chelsea’s Champions League final victory last year but could all four defenders could unthinkably exit Stamford Bridge in six months time.
Chelsea F.C. The least goals ever conceded in a winning Champions League campaign (4 in 13 games).
Still the best defence in the Premier League. pic.twitter.com/YLPWidgksh
— LDN (@LDNFootbalI) July 26, 2021
Paulo Dybala (Juventus)
Franck Kessie (AC Milan)
Marcelo Brozovic (Inter Milan)
Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli)
Andrea Belotti (Torino)
Remo Freuler (Atalanta)
Alessio Romagnoli (AC Milan)
Aaron Ramsey (Juventus)
Federico Bernardeschi (Juventus)
Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Roma)
Juan Cuadrado (Juventus)
Ivan Perisic (Inter Milan)
David Ospina (Napoli)
Josip Ilicic (Atalanta)
Dries Mertens (Napoli)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (AC Milan)
It looks increasingly likely that Juventus will fail to qualify for the Champions League next season, which would surely see star man Paulo Dybala depart in search of a new challenge.
Franck Kessie, Marcelo Brozovic and Federico Bernardeschi will surely have no shortage of suitors, either.
Meanwhile, veteran forwards like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Dries Mertens, Ivan Perisic and Lorenzo Insigne – who has reportedly already agreed terms with MLS club Toronto – may look for one last payday.
It will also be interesting to see what’s next for Aaron Ramsey. A Premier League return surely beckons.
Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona)
Serge Aurier (Villarreal)
Adnan Januzaj (Real Sociedad)
Luis Suarez (Atletico Madrid)
Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
Isco (Real Madrid)
Sergi Roberto (Barcelona)
Gareth Bale (Real Madrid)
David Silva (Real Sociedad)
Marcelo (Real Madrid)
Radamel Falcao (Rayo Vallecano)
Real Madrid’s freshening up project looks set to continue, with members of the old guard like Isco, Marcelo and Gareth Bale all set to leave at the end of their current deals. Luka Modric, however, looks classy as ever at the age of 36 and reports from Spain suggest he’ll be offered an extension.
Meanwhile, it’s been suggested that Ousmane Dembele has rejected a new deal at Barcelona and will look to revitalise his career elsewhere, while Sergi Roberto’s future is up in the air.
Veterans like David Silva, Luis Suarez and Radamel Falcao also face uncertainty this summer, while there’ll be a keen eye on what’s next for Serge Aurier and Adnan Januzaj.
Niklas Sule (Bayern Munich)
Denis Zakaria (Borussia Monchengladbach)
Matthias Ginter (Borussia Monchengladbach)
Andrej Kramaric (Hoffenheim)
Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich)
Dan-Axel Zagadou (Borussia Dortmund)
John Brooks (Wolfsburg)
Marvin Friedrich (Union Berlin)
Niklas Stark (Hertha Berlin)
Bayern’s man-mountain centre-back Niklas Sule is only 26 – Newcastle and West Ham are reportedly eyeing the Germany international, but you’d imagine he’d want a club that can offer Champions League football.
Gossip column stalwarts like Denis Zakariam Corentin Tolisso and Andrej Kramaric are also worth keeping an eye out for.
Kylian Mbappe (PSG)
Boubacar Kamara (Marseille)
Jason Denayer (Lyon)
Angel Di Maria (PSG)
Randal Kolo Muani (Nantes)
It’ll no doubt be interesting what’s next for Angel Di Maria and Jason Denayer, while highly-rated midfielder Boubacar Kamara looks ready for a step up in his career.
But really, it’s all about one name in Ligue 1 – the Bernabeu looks the obvious destination for Kylian Mbappe, but Los Blancos will have no shortage of competition for his signature. Not least from PSG, who you can bet will fight tooth and nail to tie the superstar down to a new deal.