• 15 high-profile players who are out of contract in the summer

    Everyone loves a bargain, so Premier League clubs would be wise to cast an eye over this list of potential freebies.

    Dries Mertens (Napoli)

    Mertens recently overtook Diego Maradona in Napoli’s all-time top-scorer list, and he’s now just five short of Marek Hamsik in top spot. The Belgian should break the record this season; if he does, he may consider his work in Naples complete by the time his contract expires next summer.

    The 32-year-old forward is coming towards the end of his career, but he’s shown no signs of slowing down when it comes to introducing the ball to the net, with seven strikes in 10 games so far this season. A big payday could soon be his.

    Edinson Cavani (PSG)

    Forced to play second fiddle to Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the early years of his PSG career, Cavani took centre stage in 2016. He responded in spectacular fashion, scoring 49 goals in 50 games followed by 40 in 47 the following campaign.

    The Uruguayan was then shunted out of the limelight once more when Kylian Mbappe and Neymar arrived in the French capital in 2017. Now 32 years old and out of contract next June, Cavani looks set to seek pastures new ahead of the 2020-21 campaign.

    Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool)

    Previously in competition with Kyle Walker for England’s right-back spot, Clyne has become the forgotten man for both club and country. The former Southampton man has played just seven Premier League games for Liverpool since 2016-17, with injury problems and the emergence of Trent Alexander-Arnold pushing him closer to the Anfield exit.

    Clyne doesn’t turn 29 until April, and as long as he can prove his fitness, the defender still has plenty to offer mid-table Premier League clubs.

    Blaise Matuidi (Juventus)

    Matuidi was linked with Manchester United in the summer and could become a target for the Red Devils if his Juventus deal is allowed to run out.

    A reliable performer for club and country, the Frenchman would add some much-needed trophy-winning experience at Old Trafford – he’s been crowned a league champion in six of the last seven seasons. Hard-working and versatile, the former PSG midfielder is more than happy to sacrifice himself for the good of the team.

    Layvin Kurzawa (PSG)

    Kurzawa has now been at PSG for more than four years, but he’s never nailed down a regular starting spot in that time. Injuries haven’t helped at times, but it’s hard to shake the feeling that the left back has failed to live up to expectations at the Parc des Princes.

    Currently playing second fiddle to Juan Bernat, Kurzawa will almost certainly depart PSG next summer. An excellent attacking full back who’s still just 27, the Frenchman will attract plenty of interest from England and beyond.

    Charles Aranguiz (Bayer Leverkusen)

    A key figure of Chile’s greatest-ever team, Aranguiz helped his country reach the knockout stages of the 2014 World Cup and win back-to-back Copas America in 2015 and 2016. The all-action midfielder had the chance to join Leicester in between those two continental triumphs, but missed out on the Foxes’ title-winning campaign in favour of a transfer to Bayer Leverkusen.

    Aranguiz may not turn down a Premier League offer for a second time, should one emerge next summer. The Chilean has suffered injury problems in recent years, but at 30 years old he’s not finished yet.

    Eric Bailly (Manchester United)

    It wasn’t too long ago that Bailly was hailed as Manchester United’s leading centre back, but some terrible luck with injuries means the Ivorian could be released next summer. That isn’t to say his Premier League career will also be over, though; still only 25, the stopper has already shown he can thrive in England’s top tier.

    Reports in August suggested that United would offer Bailly a new deal to protect his value, but there has been progress made since then. As things stand the former Villarreal man will be available on a free loan in less than eight months’ time.

    Mario Gotze (Borussia Dortmund)

    It can take a few seconds for the mind to process the fact that Gotze is still just 27 years old. The German has had an eventful career since bursting on to the scene as a teenager, controversially swapping Borussia Dortmund for Bayern Munich in 2013, before returning to Signal Iduna Park three years later. And that’s not to mention scoring the winning goal in the World Cup final.

    A metabolic illness threatened to derail the attacking midfielder’s career at one point, but he’s now healthy again and will be desperate to fulfil his early promise. If Dortmund decide against offering him fresh terms, a move to the Premier League could be an option.

    Pedro Rodriguez (Chelsea)

    Should Pedro leave Chelsea shortly before his 33rd birthday next summer, a return to Spain would be the most logical next step. The forward’s experience – he’s won six league titles, three Champions Leagues, a Europa League and four domestic cups across his time with Barcelona and the Blues – would make him a fine asset for most teams in LaLiga.

    However, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that Pedro may wish to extend his Premier League stay. He may no longer be capable of starting week in, week out at the highest level, but the Spain international is exactly the type of player every manager would love to have in his ranks.

    Luka Modric (Real Madrid)

    Modric turned 34 in September, and there have been signs in the last year or so that his powers are on the wane. Yet, although the Croatian midfielder is no longer at the peak of his career, it’s equally true that he isn’t over the hill just yet.

    A phenomenal talent who has won it all at Real Madrid, it will be interesting to see what the next couple of years have in store for Modric. Milan and Inter have both been linked, but Premier League clubs will no doubt be keeping tabs on the four-time European champion.

    Ever Banega (Sevilla)

    The last time his Sevilla contract ran down, Banega joined Inter in summer 2016. The Argentinian was back at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan a year later, but as things stand he seems set to leave the club for a second time next summer.

    A creative midfielder with vast experience in LaLiga over the last decade, Banega could be tempted by a change of scenery in 2020-21. Recruitment departments up and down the Premier League will no doubt be keeping a close eye on his situation.

    Willian (Chelsea)

    It’s hard to imagine Willian pulling on the colours of another Premier League club given his lengthy association with Chelsea, but the same could have been said for David Luiz – one of the winger’s best friends in football – before he joined Arsenal in the summer.

    Willian has made it clear that he would love to stay at Stamford Bridge, but that decision might be taken out of his hands – particularly as Frank Lampard continues to promote young players. Perhaps a reunion with Luiz in north London isn’t entirely out of the question.

    Ryan Fraser (Bournemouth)

    Fraser was heavily linked with Arsenal in the summer, but no move came about and he began the campaign a Bournemouth player. The Cherries are reportedly keen to offer him a new deal in order to prevent him leaving for nothing at the end of the campaign, but Fraser’s recent admission that he is frustrated with his current role in the team makes an exit more likely.

    The winger scored seven goals and provided 14 assists in the Premier League last term, and will be an attractive proposition to clubs higher up the division given he’s still only 25.

    Thomas Meunier (PSG)

    Meunier gave an interview in the summer in which he professed his desire to sign a new contract at PSG, but negotiations have yet to start – which suggests the French giants have a different view.

    An attack-minded right back who loves to get forward at every opportunity – he has also played as a wing back and even further forward – Meunier would improve a number of Premier League squads. Manchester United and Arsenal have been linked in the past, and both clubs could join the race for the Belgian’s signature next summer.

    Jose Callejon (Napoli)

    Callejon left Real Madrid in 2013 in search of more game time, and his wish has certainly been granted at Napoli: in his six full seasons at the club, the Spaniard has missed only six Serie A encounters.

    His time at the Stadio San Paolo could be nearing the end, however, with Callejon out of contract next summer. Now 32, he’s still a key cog in the Napoli machine but may nevertheless seek pastures new in 2020.

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