As we head towards the end of the year and the January transfer window, several teams are facing uncertainty over star names approaching the end of their current contracts.
There are a number of high-profile players whose current deals expire at the end of the season and upcoming free agents can negotiate with foreign sides from the winter window.
We’ve looked at six high-profile Premier League players who are out of contract next summer.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s future could be decided before his contract expires, with the Manchester United forward unsettled at the club after agitating for an exit last summer.
Ronaldo expressed a desire to leave the Red Devils following the club’s failure to secure Champions League qualification last season, but saw credible suitors in short supply. His advancing age and high wages have impacted the interest in his services, though his availability on a free transfer could increase the number of clubs willing to make an approach for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.
— UEFA Europa League (@EuropaLeague) November 1, 2022
The 37-year-old proved he can still cut it at the highest level with a 24-goal campaign for United last term, performances which earned Ronaldo the club’s Player of the Season accolade. Only Mohamed Salah and Son Heung-min scored more goals in the Premier League last season and Ronaldo remains a regular source of goals for a team prepared to structure around him.
N’Golo Kante’s career at Chelsea could come to an end next summer, with the midfielder yet to agree a new deal at Stamford Bridge.
Kante remains an integral part of the Chelsea side when called upon, but he has been persistently plagued with fitness issues in recent campaigns. The 31-year-old has not made more than 24 league starts across any of the past three seasons, while he has made just two appearances during the current campaign due to a hamstring injury that has ruled the France international out of the World Cup.
Barcelona have been linked, while Paris Saint-Germain are understood to hold a long-term interest in the midfielder who has been a key figure in Chelsea’s recent success. Kante signed for the club from then-Premier League champions Leicester in 2016 and became the first player to win back-to-back titles with different clubs during an impressive debut campaign.
He was named as the PFA Player of the Year during his first season at Chelsea and has since gone on to win the Champions League, FA Cup, FIFA Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup.
Jorginho’s deal is also set to expire next summer, with Graham Potter facing a potential overhaul of his midfield options.
Liverpool’s formidable front three was broken up last summer as Sadio Mane departed Anfield and Roberto Firmino could be second of their trophy-winning trio to leave the club.
Firmino’s deal expires next summer and he was linked with an exit last summer, with Juventus reportedly interested in a deal to sign the Brazilian.
The 31-year-old is no longer an automatic choice in Jurgen Klopp’s side following the arrivals of Diogo Jota and Darwin Nunez in recent windows, but has underlined his value during the current campaign despite the Reds’ struggles.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) October 13, 2022
Firmino is Liverpool’s leading scorer in the Premier League this season with six goals and has averaged a goal involvement every 87 minutes during the current campaign.
Liverpool have, however, looked an ageing side this season and Firmino could be allowed to depart in search of a new challenge at the end of the campaign. Nunez will be expected to lead the line on a more consistent basis next season, following a period of adaptation in the Premier League.
Wilfried Zaha’s failure to sign a new deal at Crystal Palace will have raised alarm bells, as the Ivorian approaches the end of his contract at Selhurst Park.
Zaha has been a talismanic presence for the Eagles and Palace have successful kept him out of the clutches of rival sides since his permanent return to the club in 2015.
Zaha scored 14 league goals during a career-best campaign last term and has long held an ambition to compete at the highest level, following a disappointing move to Manchester United as a teenager in which he made just two starts.
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) October 18, 2022
Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham have all been linked with a move for the forward, who might feel this is his last chance to move to a side competing in Europe. Zaha will turn 30 next week, but will appeal to clubs on a free transfer next summer.
His ability to operate across the front line will interest teams in search of an injection of attacking threat.
Youri Tielemans’ departure from Leicester looked inevitable last summer, with the midfielder having hinted at his desire for a new challenge.
Leicester’s need to raise funds, coupled with Tielemans having entered the final 12 months of his deal, looked set to lead to a transfer with Arsenal among the clubs credited with an interest.
A move failed to materialise and Tielemans remained at the King Power Stadium, but new terms appear unlikely. Arsenal have been linked with a January approach, though Brendan Rodgers has insisted that Leicester are not considering offloading the Belgium international before next summer.
— Leicester City (@LCFC) October 23, 2022
“It’s not something we are thinking of and not anything the club have said we need to do. We don’t want to be offloading our best players, that’s for sure”, Rodgers said.
“So, there has been no hint or indication we need to generate money and move him on. But of course, there’s a business side to the club that they will look at.”
Leandro Trossard is an option that will appeal to the clubs on the hunt for cost-efficient additions, as the Brighton winger approaches free agency.
Trossard has developed into a consistent Premier League performer across three-and-a-half seasons at Brighton and has had a fantastic start to the current campaign. The Belgium international has scored seven goals in just 12 league appearances for the Seagulls, just one less than his career-best return of eight last season.
Chelsea have been linked with a move, as Graham Potter reportedly eyes a reunion with the 27-year-old. Trossard’s comfortability in multiple roles will appeal to rival sides, having operated at wing-back, as an inside-forward and centrally as a false nine for the Seagulls.
— Brighton & Hove Albion (@OfficialBHAFC) October 1, 2022
Rio Ferdinand has been among the names to have endorsed a Chelsea move for Trossard. Speaking on his Vibe with Five Podcast, he said: “Trossard, he’s one of the players I’ve heard there hasn’t even been a bid for him since he’s been there, someone told me.
“This guy is doing major bits right now. If Potter doesn’t go back there to try and sign him I’d be amazed. The best part of his game is being creative. He’s just scored a few goals lately, that’s not even his game.
“I think the creative and the approach play in his game is unreal. The only thing I was asking for before was a bit more end product and he’s actually doing that now.”