The January transfer window in Europe closed yesterday and it is fair to say that not everyone was enamoured with how things unfolded.
While Nottingham Forest and Brighton & Hove Albion secured promising young talents such as Giovanni Reyna and Valentin Barco, clubs such as Lyon and Real Betis saw their targets slip through their fingers.
If your club falls into the latter category, fear not! The free agent market is still brimming with talents waiting to be unleashed. These five players could be the missing pieces your team needs.
David de Gea
Manchester United legend David de Gea left the Red Devils last summer after 12 storied years with the club.
The 33-year-old had been on the decline, but it was particularly pronounced last season as his performances fell below par.
Since he left United last summer, the former Spanish international has not found a new landing spot.
He has been linked with a move back to Spain, Major League Soccer and the Saudi Pro League, but nothing has materialised.
De Gea could still find a spot at several clubs in Europe, even though he reportedly rejected a surprise move to Nottingham Forest, fuelling speculation about his desired club.
It is a surprise no club has picked him up yet, but he will keep looking for the perfect club.
Another former United star is still available despite reportedly being close to a move to South Korea.
Jesse Lingard’s Nottingham Forest contract ended last season, and he is yet to find a new home. He trained with Al-Ettifaq, but his contract demands proved too much for the Saudi Pro League club.
West Ham United also considered a move for Lingard but decided against it. He is now in talks to join South Korean side FC Seoul. However, it is unclear if he’ll accept a move to the Asian continent.
However, any club looking for a shifty attacking midfielder to plug a gap in their squad should consider a move for the 31-year-old. The Warrington-born star could be a shrewd signing.
Dutch winger Anwar Al-Ghazi signed a two-year deal with Mainz 05 last summer but played just one game before they suspended him for a pro-Palestine post on social media.
The club reinstated him into the first team and claimed he had backed away from his initial sentiments. However, El-Ghazi doubled down and the Bundesliga club terminated his contract.
The 28-year-old still has some good years ahead of him, but it is difficult to see where he will end up. There were shock links to Man United, but those rumours quickly subsided.
After a brief stint at Botafogo, former Chelsea striker Diego Costa is on the free market.
He has been working hard to stay fit as he eyes a move to another Brazilian club, and it will be interesting to see where he ends up.
Costa is in the twilight of his career and will most likely get offers to play back up to a younger and fresh figure leading the line.
Will he opt for a familiar stomping ground or will he seek a fresh challenge, injecting his fiery spirit into a new environment?
Carlos Vela is a free agent after being released by MLS club Los Angeles FC, but the Mexican striker is in talks to return to the club.
The former Arsenal striker has been LAFC’s captain and talisman for years and will look to bring his experience as they attempt to build on an incredible season.
If he fails to sign a deal with the American club, he could be a shrewd pickup for another MLS club or back home for a Liga MX club.
Only time will tell where Vela’s next chapter unfolds. His impact on LAFC and the broader MLS landscape will remain etched in history regardless of his destination.
- Arsenal shortlist four strikers to replace injury-prone Gabriel Jesus
- Premier League reveal April fixture schedule for TV coverage
- Simone Inzaghi wanted by Liverpool, Man United & Chelsea – but who’s the best fit?
- Bowen hat-trick hands West Ham first win of 2024, eases pressure on Moyes
- Chelsea eye Amorim to replace Pochettino this summer
- Analysis: Liverpool did all they could to win the League Cup – and ultimately triumphed
- Everton ten-point deduction reduced to six
- Jurgen Klopp could win the quadruple this season and still not be Liverpool’s best-ever manager
- Chelsea & Man City target set to join Real Madrid in 2024 or 2025
- Cristiano Ronaldo makes obscene gesture at rival supporters chanting ‘Messi’