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From Kylian Mbappe to Raphael Varane – top players set to move as free agents

With the summer transfer window around the corner, the football world is abuzz with anticipation as clubs scour the market for reinforcements. 

Almost every transfer window drops a bombshell or two, sending shockwaves through the football community as the prices keep skyrocketing.

Saudi Arabia redefined the market terms last summer. Wealthy clubs from the Middle East, relying on their unparalleled financial power, signed some of Europe’s best players. 

The Saudis transformed the football landscape and that trend could continue this year, forcing European teams to change their approach and find alternative ways to deal with a brand-new situation. 

Poaching free agents has always been an effective way to strengthen your squad without making substantial financial sacrifices.

Rare opportunities like these often demand swift action. Time is of the essence, as clubs must move decisively to seize the chance to secure their desired talent before competitors swoop in.

Without further ado, let’s look at the most sought-after stars in the Premier League and abroad whose contracts will expire at the end of the current campaign. 

Premier League free agents

Liverpool will undergo a comprehensive squad overhaul in the coming months as the Reds brace up for life after charismatic manager Jurgen Klopp. 

Among players destined to leave Anfield are Joel Matip and Thiago Alcantara. 

Injuries have ruined what could’ve been an illustrious career, as the Spanish midfielder spent most of his time on Merseyside in the treatment room. 

Matip has had some stellar moments, but he’s no longer part of the club’s long-term plans and will wave goodbye to the Kop at the end of 2023/24.

Manchester United are on the verge of severing ties with injury-prone forward Anthony Martial and veteran centre-back Raphael Varane. 

Both players have tumbled down the pecking order at Old Trafford and will not be offered new deals amidst Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s bid to assemble a competitive squad following another embarrassing campaign. 

Fulham’s Tosin Adarabioyo could be an exciting option for the Red Devils after refusing to pledge his future to Craven Cottage. 

After four years in London, the Manchester City academy graduate is ready to start a new chapter as his contract runs out in less than a month.

Will Hughes’ time in the capital is about to expire, as Crystal Palace have no intention of keeping him beyond the summer.

Changes will not bypass West Ham United.

Long-serving stalwart Vladimir Coufal is close to departing the club on a free transfer, and he will not go alone.

The Hammers’ homegrown defender, Ben Johnson, is on his way out of the London Stadium after falling out of favour with manager David Moyes.

Ola Aina might be the only player to have outpaced Kyle Walker this Premier League campaign, but it won’t earn him a new contract at Nottingham Forest. 

Bournemouth’s Lloyd Kelly is one of the most wanted soon-to-be free agents. 

With Burnley set for relegation, Josh Brownhill’s future is lying away from Turf Moor but probably outside the Premier League due to a lack of interest. 

Free agents around Europe

Jorginho’s return to Naples is a distinct possibility as the former Serie A champions prepare to part company with Piotr Zielinski, who’s on the cusp of joining new Scudetto holders Inter Milan.

Inter could also sign Mario Hermoso, who is ready to say goodbye to Atletico Madrid.

Porto’s Mehdi Taremi has already agreed personal terms with the Nerazzurri and is expected to sign a two-year deal at the beginning of June.

While Inter will seemingly benefit from free transfers, Juventus could have a taste of their own medicine amid the club’s stuttering effort to tie Adrien Rabiot down to a new contract. 

The Turin giants have been synonymous with cost-effective signings for years, but they could be the victims of a heartbreaking departure.

Of all anticipated free transfers this summer, one bids to shape the future of European football.

Kylian Mbappe’s long-awaited move from Paris Saint-Germain to Real Madrid could finally go through in the coming months. 

After another Champions League heartache with PSG, it’s now a near-certainty that Mbappe will don the famous white jersey next season. 

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