The summer transfer window is guaranteed to be entertaining, particularly when it comes to finding out where all the free agents will end up.
There are some stellar names out of contract in 2023, creating the intriguing possibility of clubs picking up top talents without shelling out a fee.
Here’s a look at some of the players who are set to be on the free agent list this summer, starting with one who won’t come cheap salary-wise.
Lionel Messi – Paris Saint-Germain
The Argentinian playmaker’s two-year stint with PSG will end this summer, with the two parties unable to agree on a contract extension.
While an emotional return to Barcelona has been mooted, Messi will probably end up in the United States or Saudi Arabia.
Ilkay Gundogan – Manchester City
Gundogan has reportedly been in talks with City over a new deal, although the Premier League club are reportedly unwilling to match his demands for a two-year contract.
He has been strongly linked with Barcelona, but it would be no surprise to see him eventually remain with City for at least another season.
N’Golo Kante – Chelsea
Kante has been blighted by injury problems in the past few years, but he has insisted he wants to remain in London beyond the summer.
Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur have been touted as possible destinations, meaning Kante will likely get his wish to stay in England regardless of what happens at Chelsea.
Marcus Thuram – Borussia Monchengladbach
Bayern Munich were strongly linked with a move for Thuram, while Inter Milan were believed to be close to securing his services.
Several Premier League clubs are also monitoring the forward, and a move to the English top flight is not beyond the realms of possibility.
Youri Tielemans – Leicester City
The Leicester City midfielder has been widely tipped to leave the club this summer, and he will probably end up staying in the Premier League.
Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool may compete to secure his services but don’t be surprised to see newly-minted Newcastle United win the race.
Adrien Rabiot – Juventus
Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Liverpool have all been strongly linked with the Frenchman, who has been in fine form for Juventus this season.
However, it would undoubtedly be a risky move for any of the Premier League giants to acquire a player who comes with plenty of baggage.
Evan Ndicka – Eintracht Frankfurt
Eintracht Frankfurt have reportedly withdrawn their contract extension for Ndicka, allowing the defender to leave on a free transfer this summer.
The defender has been linked with Liverpool, who desperately need to strengthen their squad following a hugely disappointing season.
Roberto Firmino – Liverpool
Firmino has been tipped to join Real Madrid on a free transfer when his current contract with Liverpool expires at the end of June.
However, Inter Milan, Napoli and Barcelona are also in the running to sign a player who still has plenty to offer in the right set-up.
Wilfried Zaha – Crystal Palace
Zaha wants a crack at the Champions League next season. If nothing else, you have to admire the 30-year-old for still having dreams.
This serial underachiever has an ego the size of Cristiano Ronaldo but nowhere near the same talent. Free agent or not, we’d be swerving this one.
Adama Traore – Wolverhampton Wanderers
Speaking of underachievers, Traore is also out of contract at Wolves this summer and looks likely to be heading out of the Premier League.
Super-agent Jorge Mendes has reportedly urged the winger to move to Italy. Serie A fans will love how he repeatedly runs down blind alleys.
Houssem Aouar – Lyon
Once widely tipped to be the ‘next big thing’ with Lyon, it is fair to say that things have not quite gone to plan for Aouar in recent seasons.
The 24-year-old is reportedly in talks with Roma about joining them this summer. Aouar and Jose Mourinho? What could possibly go wrong?
Ceballos recently turned down an approach from Atletico Madrid, but he still looks likely to exit Real Madrid at the end of the season.
The midfielder would be a useful acquisition on a free transfer and will attract plenty of interest from top clubs across Europe.