The career of a professional footballer in the modern era is dictated by the club he plays for and the contract he signs for them. His value and his fame are all decided by the club and the fans of the club. So it is very rare for clubs to let go their stars as free player and give their rivals a chance to strengthen their squads.
But over the years there have been players who have rejected new contracts with the existing club for their wellbeing. These free transfers can often end up being the difference at the end of the season. These players can also fetch the new club some profits if they are sold before their new contract expires. So let’s take a look at the top 5 free players who will be available in the upcoming summer transfer window.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris St Germain)
Interested clubs: Manchester United, Beckham’s new Miami MLS club
Still widely regarded as one of the finest footballers on the planet, despite his ageing years, Zlatan Ibrahimovic will leave Paris next summer after his contract expires. The Swedish superstar continues to display spell-bounding performances and will certainly have no shortage of offers having been heavily linked with some of Europe’s biggest clubs last summer and also in January. However, recent reports have suggested that David Beckham may try and lure his old teammate to join him in his new Miami MLS venture, while Manchester United have long been in the race for the lethal striker.
Steve Mandanda (Olympique de Marseille)
Interested club – Everton, Liverpool
Everton have set their sights on the Frenchman as Tim Howard could leave the Goodison Park next summer for MLS, and Joel Robles’s future also looks uncertain, the Toffees have made Mandanda their top summer target. Mandanda is out of contract with the Ligue 1 team at the end of this season and has also hinted that his future is still unknown.
Roman Neustadter (Shalke 04)
Interested clubs – Manchester United, Zenit St. Petersburg
The 27-year-old German midfielder’s current contract with Schalke ends this summer which could well see a scramble for his signature at the end of this season. Although traditionally a midfielder, Neustadter has played regularly at centre back this term and his consistent performances have made this transition an easy one. Linked with Manchester United in the past, this is one scenario that a number of clubs are certain to be watching with interest.
Nicolas N,Koulou (Olympique de Marseille)
Interested Clubs – Tottenham, Chelsea, Everton, West Ham
N’Koulou is out of contract in the summer so Marseille were keen to not lose their star defender for free and had welcomed offers in January and a bid of £5.2million from Tottenham was initially accepted for the centre-back but the proceedings failed in the later stages. Spurs boss still sees the 25-year-old defender as his priority target in the summer window, while according to reports Chelsea, Everton and West Ham are among the others who want to sign N’Koulou.
Sofiane Feghouli (Valencia)
Interested clubs – Inter Milan, Roma, Juventus, Manchester United, Liverpool
The Algeria International already has hand full offers from Inter, Roma, Juventus and Manchester United, Liverpool. Despite claiming earlier he would be willing to stay with Valencia, the 26-year-old Algerian later reportedly rejected a new contract with the La Liga side due to interest from abroad. Meanwhile, Valencia are not ready to meet Feghouli’s wage demands and some of the recent transfer rumours suggest the winger has already handed in a transfer request. Feghouli joined Valencia from Grenoble back in 2010 and has since then made over 100 league appearances for Los Che.