In a transfer window where fees have truly gone bananas, signing one of the talented free agents without a club right now could be very shrewd indeed.
Premier League clubs alone have spent roughly £1.7 billion on transfer fees this summer, a number that could potentially rise to £2bn after deadline day.
The lavish spending of the Saudi Pro League has helped inflate a market that was already pumped up to insane levels.
Clubs can try and avoid splashing out such huge amounts by picking up a few Bosmans, although they tend to come with bigger wage packets in the absence of a transfer fee. Here are some veteran players available on a free transfer at the moment.
SIx free agents without a club in the summer transfer window:
David de Gea
It’s been a tough year for David De Gea. Manchester United strung him along for months on the possibility of a new contract, only to let his deal expire.
It then seemed like it would ultimately work out for the Spaniard when, after Thibaut Courtois was ruled out for the rest of the season with an ACL injury, he was linked with a move to Real Madrid. They chose to take Kepa Arrizabalaga on loan instead.
Bayern Munich have also been linked with De Gea, but they too tried to make a play for Kepa. They were interested in David Raya before he chose Arsenal, and are looking at Man City’s Stefan Ortega and Daniel Peretz of Maccabi tel Aviv as possible signings.
I just wanted to send this farewell message to all Manchester United supporters.
I would like to express my unwavering gratitude and appreciation for the love from the last 12 years. We’ve achieved a lot since my dear Sir Alex Ferguson brought me to this club. I took incredible… pic.twitter.com/6R7ezOEf1E
— David de Gea (@D_DeGea) July 8, 2023
He’s still holding out hope that Bayern will pick up the phone, but he could be waiting a while.
After accepting a huge salary on a one-year contract with Nottingham Forest last summer, Jesse Lingard is once again a free agent.
Two years ago the attacking midfielder reinvigorated his career while on loan with West Ham, but Manchester United wasted the opportunity to sell him to said club when his value was inflated and let him go for free.
One injury-strewn spell in the East Midlands later and it feels like two years of Lingard’s career has passed by without anyone really noticing. He’s currently training with the Hammers and a deal could materialise before the end of the transfer window.
“We’ve not even considered a deal at the moment”
David Moyes says Jesse Lingard will continue to train with his West Ham squad ⚒️ pic.twitter.com/Jeqw0CJ7m5
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) August 18, 2023
After two years at Paris Saint-Germain, Sergio Ramos is back on the market. But at 37-years-old will there be any takers for the Real Madrid legend?
Actually, there might. Real Madrid for one. His former club are experiencing something of an injury crisis in the very position he plays in and a return to the Bernabeu would suit both parties.
It just never worked out for Eden Hazard at Real Madrid, with injuries and fitness issues plaguing his spell at the Spanish club. He arrived in 2019 from Chelsea as a €100 million mega star, but left four years later with just seven goals in 76 appearances.
An expensive passenger in the team, his form disintegrated before our very eyes; he lost two yards of pace and his first touch seemed to abandon him overnight.
Hazard appears destined to leave Europe if he wants to continue his career, with offers from MLS, Brazil and the Saudi Pro League reportedly on the table.
Another wide attacker whose ability and qualities seemingly abandoned him from one day to the next, Alexis Sanchez is currently without a club as the domestic season returns across Europe.
A dynamo for Arsenal and a complete flop at Manchester United, the Chilean found a measure of redemption at Inter Milan, with whom he won a Scudetto. Last season he performed decently with Marseille in Ligue 1.
Remarkably, Sanchez has been linked with a move to Forest. A return to Inter Milan has also been mooted, but a move to Brazil is the most likely outcome as it stands.
For a long time it seemed as if Alfredo Morelos would bag Rangers a decent transfer fee, so impressive was his goalscoring record in Scotland. Following a poor final season however, he left the club for nothing as his contract expired this summer.
Plenty of clubs in the past have been linked with Morelos, but a return to South America appears to be on the cards for the Colombian.