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Five high-profile Premier League free agents whose futures remain uncertain

We’ve reached July and the expiration of player contracts with a number of Premier League names now officially free agents.

While some of the most high-profile free agents in Ilkay Gundogan, Youri Tielemans and N’Golo Kante have already confirmed their next challenge, there are a host of Premier League players whose futures still remain unclear.

Five free agents whose futures remain uncertain.

David de Gea

David de Gea’s future has become somewhat of a circus at Manchester United.

Erik ten Hag’s reservations over De Gea were made clear from the moment he took charge last summer, but a series of impressive shot-stopping performances prompted a rethink into where a new goalkeeper sat in the Dutchman’s list of priorities.

De Gea was offered a new deal and agreed to an extension on vastly reduced terms from his current £375,000-a-week wages, with the Red Devils appearing content to keep the Spaniard for the short-term on lower wages. That contract failed to be finalised and after United reportedly reneged  on that proposal and returned with an even lower deal, a standoff ensued.

The expectation is now that De Gea will depart Manchester United after 12 years at Old Trafford, a sad end to a career with the club that has brought largely stellar service despite the doubts over his suitability to the current manager.

The situation looks likely to lead to the Red Devils pursuing a new first-choice goalkeeper and links to Inter Milan’s Andre Onana have been prominent of late, a change of plan that will have frustrated Ten Hag who is operating on a restricted budget this summer. Given the need for midfield and centre-forward additions, it remains to be seen whether United can stretch their budget.

It just wouldn’t be a summer transfer window without some form of saga at Manchester United, would it?

Wilfried Zaha

Wilfried Zaha is mulling over his future with the forward’s contract at Crystal Palace having expired.

Crystal Palace have submitted a club-record offer worth £200,000-a-week to the Ivorian, an offer the 30-year-old is understood to be considering alongside exploring options elsewhere.

Zaha has made 458 appearances across two spells with the Eagles, a period which has seen him rise from the ranks, help the club back into the top-flight and consolidate in the Premier League, and produce no shortage of memorable moments along the way.

Should he depart, he will do so as one of Crystal Palace’s all-time greats. Zaha is believed to be keen to sign for a Champions League club after Palace turned down big-money offers for the forward in recent windows.

Lazio are reported to be interested in a deal and have qualified for the competition, while Fenerbahce – Europa Conference League qualifiers for next season but regulars in Europe – are also keen.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is among a quartet of senior names to depart Liverpool as free agents this summer, his exit confirmed alongside James Milner, Naby Keita and Roberto Firmino.

Each of that latter trio have confirmed new clubs or are closing in on agreements, but Oxlade-Chamberlain’s future appears unclear. Still just 29, he is capable of operating in a number of midfield roles but will perhaps seek regular football in his preferred central position.

He made 146 appearances across seven seasons at Liverpool and won the Premier League and Champions League among his honours, but suffered a series of setbacks with serious injuries and his fitness problems will perhaps be a concern for interested clubs.

Saudi Pro League sides are understood to be preparing proposals for the midfielder, though it would come as a surprise if Premier League clubs did not firm up interest with formal approaches. Even given his injury problems in recent campaigns, the opportunity to sign a versatile 35-cap England international on a free transfer is a rarity.

Adama Traore

Adama Traore is expected to leave Wolves when his contract expires this month, bringing an end to his five-year career with the club.

The Spanish winger has made 200 appearances across five seasons at Molineux, a period which has seen Traore occasionally look a world-beater but too often frustrate.

Traore’s almost unmatched pace and power has seen several coaches try to harness the best from the baby-oiled speedster, but a consistent lack of end product has meant the 27-year-old has failed to take his game to the heights once expected.

After an unsuccessful loan spell at Barcelona during the 2021/22 season, he returned to Wolves last season and made 40 appearances in all competitions. However, he now looks set for an exit from the Premier League with clubs across Europe prepared to take a chance on a player who has too often flattered to deceive. AC Milan and Roma have been linked.

Jesse Lingard

Jesse Lingard is back in the free agency pool after finding himself subject of offers last summer. The midfielder’s free transfer move from Manchester United to newly-promoted Nottingham Forest caused surprise and it’s fair to say the move did not work out as hoped.

Lingard made just 12 league starts and failed to score or assist in the Premier League, a poor return given the lucrative one-year deal he signed at the City Ground.

That contract has not been renewed and Lingard now finds himself at a crossroads in his career, his stock significantly lower than this time last summer.

After a frustrating period out of favour and struggling for fitness, the 30-year-old recently admitted that he will consider all avenues this summer – including a move to the fast-rising Saudi Pro League.

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