football

On A Free: The Best Out-Of-Contract-Players This Summer

June 28, 2017

- Grant Whittington

The summer transfer window opens in earnest on July 1, although some clubs have already agreed multi-million pound deals with some of Europe’s most promising players.

Clubs have also been busy trimming their squads in preparation for the new season, with a number of high profile players having been released and made available on free transfers.

So, let’s take a look at the experienced professionals who are available this summer, and which clubs should swoop to sign them…

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Let’s start with the incomparable Ibrahimovic, who plundered 28 goals for Manchester United before a cruciate injury cruelly ended his debut Premier League season in April. The Swede, who is unlikely to play again in 2017, has since been released by the Old Trafford club, with a host of teams in Europe and the MLS said to be keen on securing his signature.

No deal has yet been agreed, however, while rumours are circling that he may yet remain at Old Trafford on a rolling, pay-as-you-play contract. This would enable Ibrahimovic to regain fitness while training with United, before having the option of relocating in the January transfer window or adding his considerable weight to Jose Mourinho’s attacking options for the second half of the season.

This will surely be a tempting deal for all parties involved, although it may well depend on whether or not an MLS club is willing to offer a huge deal to the Swede while he is still injured.

John Terry

While champions Chelsea may well start next season as the Premier League favourites, they will do so without their former skipper and talismanic leader John Terry. Having being released after 17 years of service and 15 major honours with the Blues, he is now a free agent and said to be coveted by a number of top-flight clubs.

Bournemouth are currently at the head of the queue, with Cherries’ boss Eddie Howe keen on adding some defensive nouse and experience to his squad as he looks to build on last-season’s record ninth place finish in the Premier League.

Terry has also been linked with a surprise move to Manchester United, where the defender’s former manager and mentor Jose Mourinho is currently in charge. While the Reds have already signed Sweden’s 22-year old centre back Victor Lindelof from Benfica for £30 million, Terry would add some much needed depth and a winning mentality that could be worth its weight in gold/.

Santi Cazorla

If you had forgotten that Santi Cazorla was an Arsenal player, you are probably not alone. The cultured Spaniard missed the entirety of last season with a knee injury, while manager Arsene Wenger has not yet offered him a new deal (even on a pay-as-you-play basis).

The deep-lying playmaker was one of the Gunners’ most inspired players prior to last season, however, and while his injury-prone body may be a huge concern for clubs he undoubtedly has the quality to play at the highest level if he can return to full-fitness.

The former Spain international would represent a good fit for a number of EPL clubs, including newcomers Brighton and Hove Albion. The Gulls are renowned for their possession-based style, and Cazorla would serve as a fulcrum for the club’s midfield as it strived to establish itself in the top-flight.

We will need to watch this space, but it is increasingly unlikely that Cazorla will be an Arsenal player next season.

Arouna Kone

While Arouna Kone may not be a household name, the livewire forward often shone for Everton under the stewardship of former manager Roberto Martinez. Fast  and powerful in equal measure, he was a handful for any defence during his time with the Toffees, while he managed to score 10 goals in 61 appearances (most of which were from the bench) during his time with the club.

His star fell dramatically under new manager Ronald Koeman, however, as the Ivorian international made just eight appearances in all competitions last season. Now a free agent, he is likely to be the subject of numerous bids as the summer unfolds.

Crystal Palace may well be an option, after Kone spent the last six months of the season on loan at Selhurst Park following the last transfer window. The Eagles are still managerless for now, however, so he may well need to find himself an alternative destination if he is to secure a quick move.

Outside of the Premier League, Sunderland has been mooted as a potential option, as the Mackems look to rebuild following their relegation from the top-flight last season.

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