European clubs face major decisions this summer on whether to stick or twist, having broken the golden rule in allowing leading names to reach the final year of their contracts.
Clubs must now decide whether to sell immediately for a fee, or run the risk of losing assets on free transfers next summer. There will be a number of sides monitoring the 2024 free agency pool, one headlined by some of the game’s top talents.
Here are eight stars whose contracts expire in 2024.
Kylian Mbappe’s future is set to dominate the headlines this summer after the forward informed Paris Saint-Germain that he would not renew his contract with the club.
Mbappe came close to leaving PSG last summer before signing an extension, but another disappointing European campaign and the continued drama of the Parisian’s internal politics has prompted the 24-year-old to consider an exit once again.
Mbappe insists he remains committed to the Ligue 1 champions for the upcoming campaign, but PSG are insistent that the France captain will not be allowed to leave for free.
Mbappe making his defender dance 🤯🕺 pic.twitter.com/8vjzENHo2J
— Ligue 1 English (@Ligue1_ENG) May 21, 2023
“My position is very clear. I don’t want to repeat it every time: if Kylian wants to stay, we want him to stay. But he needs to sign a new contract,” PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi told the media after unveiling Luis Enrique as the club’s new manager.
“We don’t want to lose the best player in the world for free — we can’t do that. This is a French club.
“He said he would never leave for free. If he changes his mind today, it’s not my fault. We don’t want to lose the best player in the world for free, that’s very clear.”
PSG will demand a fee of £150m+ plus for Mbappe despite his contract situation, reflective of his status as arguably the world’s best player after 212 goals in 260 games for the club.
Expect the saga to continue throughout the summer, with an unsavoury exit expected as things stand. Real Madrid are long-term admirers and there is a feeling in Paris that a deal has already been agreed for next summer. Mbappe’s departure as a free agent would be a seismic blow to PSG’s project.
Harry Kane is another who headlines the list of free agents for next summer and is another whose future could be decided beforehand.
Bayern Munich are chasing a deal to sign the England captain and have seen two offers rejected, as the Bundesliga champions look to persuade Spurs into a sale. Kane’s stance, publicly at least, remains unclear.
Should he choose to remain at Spurs, he is 48 goals from Alan Shearer’s Premier League record and closing in on individual immortality. However, he remains without a major trophy in his career to date and will turn 30 later this month.
— B/R Football (@brfootball) July 11, 2023
Bayern are as close to a guarantee of winning trophies as any club in Europe and won an 11th consecutive Bundesliga title last season, while the Bavarians will be among the contenders for Champions League success this time around, an argument that would be strengthened should Kane arrive at the Allianz Arena.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is renown as one of the toughest negotiators in the game and will demand a fee in excess of £100m for club’s record goalscorer. New head coach Ange Postecoglou will want clarity on the situation as soon as possible.
Ousmane Dembele turned down a free transfer exit from Barcelona last summer to sign a new two-year extension at the club, after returning to form and favour under Xavi.
Dembele impressed as Barcelona won La Liga last season, producing 12 goals and assists in 16 league starts. However, fitness issues again plagued the 26-year-old who missed a significant period the season with a hamstring problem, a recurring theme during his time at the Camp Nou.
Injuries have prevented Dembele from reaching the heights expected following his big-money move to Barcelona, but he remains a player bursting with natural talent and creativity. How this season unfolds, for both club and player, will determine the next stage of his career.
Benjamin Pavard is understood to have informed Bayern Munich that he wants to leave the club in search of a new challenge, with the defender keen on a regular role in central defence after featuring predominantly at full-back for the Bundesliga champions.
The 27-year-old has won four league titles, the Champions League and the World Cup during a decorated career for club and country and is the right age profile to make an immediate impact at a new club.
Liverpool, PSG, and several Italian sides have been linked with signing the versatile defender, whose comfortability in defending wide areas makes him suited to recent trends of defensive shape. Bayern are understood to value the Frenchman in the region of €35m, but face losing him for nothing in 12 months if a sale is not agreed.
Adrien Rabiot turned his back on free agency this summer to sign a new deal at Juventus and expressed his delight at the extension.
“I’m thrilled to confirm to you that I’ll be a Juventus player next season. It’s a choice I’ve made with my heart,” he said in a video posted to Juventus’ social channels.
“I’m so attached to the club colours and the jersey. I grew up here and I’ve improved on the pitch and also as a man here. I can’t wait to start the new season and as I promised a few months ago, my aim is to always give 100% for Juventus and for all the fans.”
— Lega Serie A (@SerieA_EN) April 5, 2023
However, the one-year extension means the midfielder could be open to a transfer in the near future. Rabiot has been linked with Manchester United across the last two summers and produced the best football of his career at Juventus last season.
The France international scored 11 goals in all competitions and only Danilo made more appearances for the Turin side. Should he maintain those levels in 2023/24, expect top clubs to circle once again.
Presnel Kimpembe could be on the market next summer after failing to agree terms on a new deal at Paris Saint-Germain.
The centre-back has made 236 appearances for the Parisians since progressing from the club’s academy, but has entered the final 12 months of his deal with no news on an extension.
PSG have been active in the transfer market and have secured the signings of defensive duo Lucas Hernandez and Milan Skriniar, two recruits who will increase competition for a place in Luis Enrique’s side.
Kimpembe recently changed his agent, leading to speculation of an impending move. The 27-year-old has been linked with the Premier League with Chelsea reported admirers.
Presnel Kimpembé has picked his new representative — he’s work with British top agent Jonathan Barnett. 🇫🇷🤝🏻
PSG centre back will be represented by Stellar Group. pic.twitter.com/6QjJepSoSQ
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 6, 2023
Sofyan Amrabat placed himself on the radar of leading European clubs after a run of excellent performances at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The Moroccan midfielder’s all-action performances helped the Atlas Lions become the first African team to reach the semi-finals, with his determined defensive work admired on the world stage.
ManUtd is monitoring Sofyan #Amrabat very closely.
At this stage, it’s not advanced but first
talks took place. #MUFC
➡️ Understand, that it could become a hot topic later in this window.
— Florian Plettenberg (@Plettigoal) July 10, 2023
Last season the 26-year-old helped Fiorentina to the Coppa Italia and Europa Conference League finals and Bayern Munich and Manchester United have been credited with interest.
Fiorentina are likely to reluctantly accept offers in the region of £30m to sell the midfielder this summer, given his contract expires in 2024.
Nico Williams has followed the path his older brother, Inaki, has set into the Athletic Bilbao first team, with the duo becoming the first siblings since 1965 to score in the same La Liga game for the club last season.
Nico’s evolution has been monitored closely by scouts across Europe with the exciting winger emerging as one of La Liga’s best prospects. The 20-year-old scored nine goals and provided six assists in 43 games in all competitions last season and featured in all four of Spain’s games at the 2022 World Cup.
Only three players in La Liga completed more take-ons than the winger (84) last season, with Williams at home hugging the touchline and taking on defenders. Still raw and often a little over-adventurous in his wing play, Williams is nonetheless a brilliantly exciting talent whose ceiling is high.
As a free agent next summer, there will be a long list of clubs at his door.
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