Following a summer transfer window that has so far seen a number of high profile players leave their clubs as free agents and join new ones, such as David Alaba, Memphis Depay, Gini Wijnaldum, Sergio Aguero and Gianluigi Donnarumma, we take a look here at other high profile players that are on the lookout for new teams having left their sides following the expiry and mutual terminations of their contracts throughout and at the end of the 2020/21 season.
The Free Agents on the Move This Summer
The Free Agents on the Move This summer
One of the biggest stories of the transfer window is the departure of Sergio Ramos from Real Madrid following 16 years of service at the Santiago Bernabeu. The 35-year-old joined Los Blancos from Sevilla back in the summer of 2005 from Sevilla for €27m which was a record fee for a Spanish defender. Ramos made 671 appearances in his time at Real, winning 22 major honours including four Champions League crowns.
Inevitably, there are plenty of suitors for Ramos at present with Ligue 1 outfit Paris Saint Germain, Manchester City and Manchester United all supposedly looking at the Spaniard. PSG are yet to replace Thiago Silva following his move to Chelsea last summer which proved vital in helping the Blues win the Champions League.
City boss Pep Guardiola has a tendency to occasionally sign players from his home nation, such as Nolito, Angelino, Rodri and Ferran Torres, as well as having given academy graduates Pablo Maffeo and Eric Garcia their debuts. United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is rumoured to want Ramos due to his experience of winning trophies in order to give his young squad more guidance, this move would be very much in the same ilk as the Edinson Cavani transfer last summer.
Manchester United recently announced that Argentinian goalkeeper Sergio Romero would be released this summer which in all truth seemed like an inevitability having excluded the 34-year-old from all of their league and cup squads’ last season. The former AS Monaco man was a reliable backup goalkeeper, starting in goal for United throughout their last trophy win which was the 2017 Europa League.
Due to the quality demonstrated by Romero in his time at Old Trafford as well as the experience the former Argentina international has, having earned 96 caps for his country, there is a queue of suitors. Everton look likely to go for Romero having wanted to sign the shot-stopper last season prior to loaning in Robin Olsen, however, United’s reluctance to let him leave caused a huge row which effectively saw the experienced international exiled from the Red Devils first-team.
There is also rumoured to be interest from La Liga outfit Celta Vigo, as well as Italian giants Juventus. But, according to the Athletic’s United correspondent Laurie Whitwell, Romero is said to prefer to stay in England, meaning a move to Goodison Park could be on the cards.
Former Chelsea striker Diego Costa has not had a club since he mutually terminated his contract with eventual La Liga champions Atletico Madrid on 29th December, with the Brazilian born Spain international rumoured to be looking for a move back to his homeland, following reports that he had offered his services to the likes of Gremio, Palmeiras, Sao Paulo and Atletico Miniero, but, having failed to find a club since leaving Diego Simeone’s side, there are rumours circulating that he wants a return to Europe.
According to Brazilian and Turkish tabloids such as UOL, there is interest from Wolverhampton Wanderers and Besiktas to sign the 32-year-old striker, as Bruno Lage wants to add to his attacking options at Molineux, whilst Turkish champions Besiktas are rumoured to have offered Costa a £2m per year contract with a £500,000 signing on fee.
31-year-old England left-back Ryan Bertrand announced that he would be leaving his current side Southampton when his contract expires this summer, ending a seven-year spell at St Mary’s having initially joined on loan from Chelsea in the 2014/15 campaign, before making this move permanent in February 2015 for a rumoured fee of £10m.
With several clubs in need of more quality and depth at left-back, Bertrand has been rumoured to be the subject of a transfer tug of war between Arsenal and Leicester City, with the Foxes leading the race as will need to replace the likes of Christian Fuchs following the Austrian’s departure for MLS expansion side Charlotte FC in the summer, as well as adding experience and depth to their squad as Brendan Rodger’s side will have to contend with Europa League football for a second season running.
Another 31-year-old in Brazilian forward Alex Teixeira features on this list, having not had a club since February following Chinese Super League club Jiangsu Suning dissolving due to financial difficulties in February, despite winning the league title for the first time in their history in November.
Teixeira had initially moved to China from Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk, as the Chinese club outbid Liverpool for the striker by €18m, signing the 31-year-old for €50m and in the Brazilian’s time at Jiangsu, he managed 58 goals in 120 league appearances.
The Brazilian forward has reportedly had interest from Liverpool once again, although this seems farfetched as well as Inter Milan and MLS clubs, but it seems as though Besiktas are keen on the former Shakhtar man’s signature with the Turkish champions looking to link up the 31-year-old with Diego Costa in what would be a deadly strike partnership for Turkish Super Lig standards.
Paulinho has also left a Chinese Super League club, following the mutual termination of his contract at Guangzhou Evergrande last week. The former Tottenham man played for the CSL club between 2015 and 2021 with a one-year gap in the 2017/18 campaign where he joined Barcelona on a permanent transfer before returning to China initially on loan despite putting in a string of impressive performances at the Catalan club, before leaving for Guangzhou permanently in January 2019 for €42m.
The 31-year-old has been linked to a return to Spain with Atletico Madrid and former club Barcelona, however, it is rumoured that he is likely to go to Turkish Super Lig club Galatasaray.
The final player on this list is another Brazilian in 34-year-old defender David Luiz.
Luiz left Arsenal this month following the expiration of his contract at the Emirates Stadium following a two-year spell, having left Chelsea to join the Gunners in the summer of 2019, where he managed to win the FA Cup against his old club in the final back in 2020.
The Brazilian centre-back has been linked with a move back to his homeland with Flamengo, the 34-year-old has only ever played one year of senior first-team football in Brazil, which was with Vitoria back in 2006/07. Luiz has also reportedly been subject to interest from Marseille, despite having played for their bitter rivals Paris Saint Germain between 2014 and 2016, winning seven major honours.
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