January Top Free Agents XI
When the transfer window opens in January, there’s a number of players with contracts expiring in the summer who’ll be able to sign a pre-contract agreement with a new club. We’ve put together an XI of possible free agents and, we think you’ll agree, it’s a formidable side.
The aptly-named Fiorentina keeper is stalling on a new deal with the Serie A club, who boast the third best defensive record in Italy. The Brazilian has reportedly turned down a £1.5 million per season deal and has been heavily linked with Liverpool and Roma in recent weeks.
Dani Alves (Right Wing-Back)
Manchester United seems the most likely destination should the Brazilian sever ties with his club of six years, Barcelona. Louis van Gaal remains unconvinced by current right-back Rafael and is a big fan of Alves. However, Barca are likely to offer the 31-year old a new contract should their transfer embargo be upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
John Terry (Centre-Back)
The veteran Chelsea defender’s contract expires next summer meaning he is free to talk to clubs in January. However, it remains likely he’ll be offered a one-year extension at Stamford Bridge having spent 15 seasons at the club.
Winston Reid (Centre-Back)
The underrated New Zealander has been in fine form for the Hammers for the past 18 months and has been linked with a string of clubs of late. A cut-price January deal is possible, but it is thought a £60,000 per week deal may be enough to convince their defensive lynchpin to remain at Upton Park.
Fabian Schar (Centre-Back)
There are several highly-rated defenders with contracts running down, including Ron Vlaar, Stephan Lichsteiner, Ignazio Abate and Andrea Ranocchia. However, the race for Basel’s Fabian Schar seems set to become one of the most hotly-contested transfer sagas of the new year. The Swiss international has been repeatedly linked with the likes of Arsenal and Spurs and Basel may decide to cash in on the defender rather than lose him on a free in the summer.
James Milner (Left wing-back)
The versatile Manchester City player has played in almost every position but goals during his career – most recently as a false number nine against Crystal Palace at the weekend. He’s impressed when asked to fill in at left-back and his flexibility make him an attractive potential Bosman signing. Manuel Pellegrini remains confident he’ll sign a new deal but reports have surfaced that talks have stalled between the two parties.
Fabian Delph (Midfield)
The former Leeds United midfielder has been in fine form for Aston Villa, which has led to him being linked with a series of clubs, most notably Liverpool. Last season’s Supporters Player of the Year at Villa Park has been mentioned as a long-term replacement for Steven Gerrard, which has underwhelmed many Reds fans. However, he’d be a canny signing for many clubs in a bargain January deal, considering his contract expires in June.
Steven Gerrard (Midfield)
Speaking of whom, Gerrard is yet to agree at new contract at Anfield as speculation deepens over a possible move to MLS side New York Red Bulls. With his talents and role in the Liverpool side diminishing this season, Gerrard may be tempted by a reunion with Red Bulls’ Sporting Director Gerard Houllier.
Sami Khedira (Midfield)
The German midfielder is surplus to requirements at Real Madrid and has a host of Europe’s top clubs interested in his signature. Speculation about a move to Arsenal has been persistent, although the likes of Bayern Munich and Chelsea are also believed to retain an interest in the 27-year-old World Cup winner.
Luiz Adriano (Forward)
The Brazilian striker has been in fine form for Shakhtar Donetsk, particularly in the Champions League where he is the competition’s top scorer this season. The 27-year-old is a later bloomer and only recently made his Brazil debut, but his scoring feats in Ukraine have sparked the interest of a number of English clubs such as Spurs, Liverpool and Arsenal.
Andre Ayew (Forward)
The Ghanaian looks set to leave Marseille in January, and has expressed a preference for a move to the Premier League. Hull City had an offer turned down for him last summer but the likes of Newcastle United, Spurs and Napoli are all thought to be considering bids when the January window opens.