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Out of contract in 2019: Football's best free agents in the new season

10:00 BST 22/05/2019
Juan Mata Mario Balotelli Arjen Robben
Some of the world's top players are into the final year of their deals, meaning they could leave at the end of the season - Goal takes a look at them
  • Mario Balotelli Italy 2018-19

    Mario Balotelli | FW | Marseille

    Mario Balotelli has enjoyed a career resurgence in Ligue 1 and has recently completed a move to Marseille from Nice until the end of the season.

    The Italy international will see out the second half of the campaign at the French side – but where he goes afterwards will depend on how he performs during the season. He has been pictured attending games in Serie A, most recently the encounter between Inter and Atalanta. Make of that what you will.

  • Hatem Ben Arfa Rennes 2018

    Hatem Ben Arfa | MF | Rennes

    Former Newcastle United, Paris Saint-German and Lyon star Hatem Ben Arfa is often considered one of football's 'nearly men'. Blessed with oodles of ability, the France international's career never quite took off as many would have hoped.

    He has shone since joining Rennes in 2018 and his exploits will not have gone unnoticed, nor will the fact that his contract expires this summer. However, it must be noted that there is an option to extend.

  • Yacine Brahimi Porto

    Yacine Brahimi | FW | Porto

    Yacine Brahimi has been a key member of the Porto team for the past five seasons since joining from Granada, but he could potentially decide to move on next summer. The Algeria international has been linked with a number of Premier League clubs, including Wolves, Everton and West Ham.
  • Gary Cahill, Chelsea

    Gary Cahill | DF | Chelsea

    No longer considered first-choice at Chelsea, Gary Cahill is weighing up his options as his career with the Blues approaches an end.

    Derby County have been heavily linked with the 32-year-old, who recently retired from international duty as part of an effort to prolong his club career, but his vast experience means he would also be an attractive acquisition for a number of Premier League teams too.

  • Andy Carroll West Ham

    Andy Carroll | FW | West Ham

    Once a £35 million ($44m) striker, Andy Carroll is now at West Ham in the closing stages of his career, but could find himself at a new club next season as his contract expires at the end of the season. The England international is now fighting for his future with the Hammers, but will not be short of offers otherwise.

  • Matteo Darmian Man Utd 2018-19

    Matteo Darmian | DF | Manchester United

    Matteo Darmian's Manchester United nightmare looks set to end next summer when his contract with the club runs out.

    The Italy international has played second fiddle to Antonio Valencia for a number of seasons and, despite the Ecuadorian's impending exit, is keen to leave Old Trafford.

    A move to Serie A seems most likely, with Napoli and Inter said to be keen. However, it should be noted that United have an option to extend the Italian's contract.

  • Alan Dzagoev Russia 2018

    Alan Dzagoev | MF | CSKA Moscow

    CSKA Moscow stalwart Alan Dzagoev has spent the entirety of his career in Russia, but that could be set to change this summer with his contract running out. Any offer to take the Russia international away from his native country will have to be worth it, though.
  • Diego Godin Uruguay 2018

    Diego Godin | DF | Atletico Madrid

    Atletico Madrid star Diego Godin rejected the opportunity to join Manchester United during the January transfer window and it was claimed that the Uruguayan used the interest to bolster his position in contract negotiations.

    No new deal is forthcoming, however, and he will be available on a free transfer in 2019, which is sure to pique the attention of the Red Devils once more, as well as Juventus and Inter.

    “To be simple, I am captain of the team, have been here many years. We have not reached an agreement to continue, so my stage here is over," Godin said in May.

    “I would like to play here until I’m 40, but that is impossible. For me, the first priority has always been the club, this team, my team-mates. We did not reach an agreement, so I have decided to leave, nothing else."

  • Ander Herrera Man Utd 2018-19

    Ander Herrera | MF | Manchester United

    Midfielder Ander Herrera has confirmed that he will leave Manchester United this summer when his contract expires.

    The former Athletic Club player has been heavily linked with Paris Saint-Germain, but plenty of La Liga clubs will no doubt be monitoring his situation as well.

  • Hector Herrera, Porto

    Hector Herrera | MF | Porto

    Porto captain Hector Herrera could be set to end his stay in Portugal and he could leave the club on a free transfer in 2019. The Mexico international is in his sixth season with the Dragons, but has reportedly been attracting interest from Real Madrid and their cross-town rivals Atletico.
  • Werder Bremen Max Kruse

    Max Kruse | FW | Werder Bremen

    Germany international Max Kruse has been impressive for Werder Bremen this season, but he could be on his way out of the club - and potentially, for the first time, his home country - with his contract up at the end of the campaign.

    Kruse, who turned 31 in March, is believed to have a number of suitors trailing him, with London clubs Crystal Palace and Tottenham reportedly interested.

  • Filipe Luis Atletico Madrid

    Filipe Luis | DF | Atletico Madrid

    Atletico Madrid full-back Filipe Luis is in the final year of his contract with the capital club and his future is currently in doubt. Barcelona are reportedly considering a move for the Brazil international, while Wolves have also been suggested as a potential destination.
  • Juan Mata Manchester United

    Juan Mata | MF | Manchester United

    Juan Mata has endured ups and downs since arriving at Old Trafford from Chelsea back in 2014, winning a number of trophies along the way.

    Now 31 and with his contract heading towards expiry, it has been reported that he is seeking a return to Spain to wrap up his playing days. Barcelona have been linked, as have Valencia and Newcastle United.

  • James Milner Liverpool 2018

    James Milner | MF | Liverpool

    Despite his advancing years, James Milner has been a vital component in Liverpool's push for success under Jurgen Klopp.

    The 33-year-old has shown incredible versatility for the Reds, covering the left-back position, and continues to demonstrate seemingly boundless industry in midfield.

    However, the Merseyside outfit are looking to the future with the recruitment of players such as Fabinho and Naby Keita, meaning he will soon be deemed surplus to requirements.

    It has been suggested that he may retire at the end of the season, which is surprising given how much he could still offer.

  • Alberto Moreno Liverpool 2018-19

    Alberto Moreno | DF | Liverpool

    The emergence of Andy Robertson at Liverpool has severely limited the first-team appearances of Alberto Moreno and the Spaniard could be set to leave Anfield at the end of the season as he searches for regular football.

    Serie A side Lazio have been linked as have - somewhat surprisingly - Barcelona.

  • Samir Nasri West Ham 2018-19

    Samir Nasri | MF | West Ham

    Samir Nasri was handed a chance to revive his career when West Ham gave him a short-term contract in January. That deal expires at the end of the 2018-19 campaign and it will be interesting to see what is next in store for the former Arsenal and Manchester City star.

    Nasri turns 32 in June and has found first-team appearances hard to come by with the Hammers so he will probably be keen to move to a club where he will get sufficient time on the pitch.

  • Adrien Rabiot PSG Paris Saint-Germain 2018-19

    Adrien Rabiot | MF | PSG

    The imminent contract expiry of miidfielder Adrien Rabiot has been a lingering source of consternation for PSG and the player's future remains unclear.

    The 24-year-old has proven himself in Ligue 1 and the Champions League, so it is no surprise to see his name linked with clubs such as Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Liverpool. Serie A has also emerged as a potential destination too, with AC Milan and Juventus being linked.

  • Franck Ribery Bayern Munich 2018-19

    Franck Ribery | FW | Bayern Munich

    Former France international Franck Ribery turned 36 in April and his time at Bayern Munich will come to a conclusion this summer.

    The winger, like his long-term partner-in-crime Arjen Robben, will have no shortage of offers for his services, but, with his advancing years, it remains to be seen whether he still has what it takes to perform at the highest level.

    Ribery wants to continue playing though and he has been touted for a move to Australia. Clubs in Europe will also be pondering a move for the veteran and a return to Marseille would no doubt be tempting.

  • Arjen Robben Bayern Munich

    Arjen Robben | FW | Bayern Munich

    Arjen Robben is 35 and, come the end of the 2018-19 season, he will be a free agent.

    The former Real Madrid and Chelsea star was famously injury prone during his youth, but has managed to prolong his career nonetheless.

    It may be that the Dutch winger retires when his contract expires, but he has also been spoken of as a potential marquee signing in Major League Soccer and the Chinese Super League.

  • Daniel Sturridge, Liverpool

    Daniel Sturridge | FW | Liverpool

    A lot of water has run under the bridge since Daniel Sturridge was starring alongside Luis Suarez at the head of Liverpool's attack and his Merseyside adventure looks set for a conclusion with his contract expiring in 2019.

    Now 29, Sturridge was sent on loan to West Brom last season and has been forced to contend with being a back-up as the trinity of Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane star for the Reds.

  • Mousa Dembele Antonio Valencia Tottenham Manchester United 2018-19

    Antonio Valencia | DF | Manchester United

    At 33, Antonio Valencia is in the autumn of his playing days and his contract is set to expire in 2019.

    With such vast experience under his belt he would undoubtedly attract interest, but whether or not he would want to move to another club at this point is unclear. Inter have been touted as a potential destination, but retirement could also be an option.

  • Danny Welbeck, Arsenal

    Danny Welbeck | FW | Arsenal

    Danny Welbeck has won silverware at both Manchester United and Arsenal, maturing into a reliable international performer for England as well, but his career is heading towards a cross-roads as his contract with the Gunners expires in 2019.

    He hasn't been able to convince Unai Emery of his worth, particularly after being plagued with injury, and is set to leave the Emirates, but his experience means that he will have no trouble finding a new club if necessary. Everton were linked during the January transfer window, as were Galatasaray.