Juan Mata and Aaron Ramsey are just two of the high profile players who could be available on a free transfer in the summer.
The transfer window is around the corner and the various clubs have already started to make moves to bag their transfer target in January, the winter transfer window.
The rumours have started doing the rounds and as the days pass by, more and more transfer gossip has emerged. Players asking to leave, contracts coming to an end, and pre-contract agreements being put in place – the upcoming transfer window is gearing to be an eventful one.
When a club does not sell a player, nor offering them an extension, then the player stand a chance to sign a pre-agreement before the expiration of his contract. It is the best solution for all parties involved. Liverpool had nabbed Naby Keita in similar fashion last year.
Therefore, we have compiled a list of top 10 players who may sign a pre-agreement in the upcoming window.
1. Aaron Ramsey
It has been confirmed that Arsenal will not be offering a new contract to their midfielder, Aaron Ramsey. He is said to leave the club for free after his contract expires at the end of the season. Juventus has emerged as the ideal destination for the Welsh International and a pre-agreement would be a smart choice to finalize the deal in January itself.
2. Toby Alderweireld
Manchester Evening News confirmed that Jose Mourinho and Ed Woodward have reached an agreement to sign a central defender in the upcoming transfer window after Mourinho seemed visibly disappointed on missing out on making his desired signings in the summer. The sources have claimed that Toby Alderweireld is the prime target for the Red Devils and they could shell out £40 million to secure his services or may offer to sign him on a pre-contract agreement when his current contract expires at the end of the season.
3. Danny Welbeck
Danny will be the second Arsenal player that will have his contract expired at the end of the season and will leave for free. As for the renewal, it is unlikely to happen since the new manager at the helm, Unai Emery believes the striker to be injury-prone.
The Englishman has a lot of Premier League experience and a pre-contract agreement could be in the offing for the out-of-favour striker from clubs that are looking to bolster their attacking options.
4. Adrien Rabiot
The midfielder is set to finish the final year of his contract at Paris Saint-Germain at the end of season and is yet to be offered a new deal. The 23-year-old is technically gifted and is a threat on the ball and has been heavily linked with a move to FC Barcelona.
Rabiot would perfectly with the style of play that is operated at Camp Nou. Bayern Munich and Chelsea are also interested parties and the Frenchman could signing a pre-contract agreement to put an end to speculations.
5. Cesc Fabregas
The Spaniard has been sidelined on the bench since the arrival of the new boss at Chelsea, Maurizio Sarri. The London based club is well-stocked in central midfield with N’golo Kante and Jorginho steadily becoming regular starters.
Fabregas will probably leave for free at the end of the season when his current contract expires with the Blues. Considering the quality Cesc possesses, any club would do well to sign him up. Teams like A.C. Milan, Valencia and Inter are all keen to bag the Spaniard.
6. Gary Cahill
Another Chelsea player who is staring at an exit is their long-serving centre-back, Gary Cahill. He is no longer a first-choice at Stamford Bridge and could leave at the end of the season.
The 32-year-old has vast experience in the Premier League and could invite interest from a number of top-tier English clubs. A pre-contract agreement would be a smart choice for any club to secure his services on a free transfer.
7. Mario Balotelli
Balotelli has silenced his critics and performed to his full potential at Nice, scoring 33 goals in 51 appearances. However, the Italian is in the last year of his contract and is likely to move elsewhere on a free transfer.
The forward’s possible destination is rumoured to be Olympique Marseille. The 28-year-old has yet again become a hot property in the market. However, the clubs will take a cautionary approach considering Balotelli’s history of unpredictable and controversial behaviour.
8. Juan Mata
Probably the silver lining at Manchester United, the Spanish midfielder is a player with the right amount of oomph for a game. He has the knack of scoring and creating goals yet the Red Devils are letting his contract run dry in almost six months time.
Barcelona, Ajax and other European clubs are emerging on the scene to sign the former Chelsea player of the year.
9. Mousa Dembele
The midfielder is set to leave Tottenham at the end of the season when his contract expires with the London club. Inter Milan are said to be showing a keen interest in signing the Belgian on a free transfer and he may sign a pre-contract agreement to secure his future move to the Serie A top-flight. The 31-year-old is unlikely to be offered a new contract by his current employers.
10. Phil Jones / Chris Smalling
Jose Mourinho is clearly not satisfied with his current options at the centre-back position at Manchester United and has been vocal about his intentions of wanting to bring in a new defender in the January transfer window.
This fact does not bode well for the long-serving defenders, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling. The Englishmen are going to be free agents at the end of the season when their contracts expire with the Red Devils and they are not offered new deals. Staring at an uncertain future, the duo may go forth and sign pre-contract agreements with other clubs.