As another season comes to an end, a period of football madness begins off the field – the transfer window. With clubs looking to buy (and sell) players to improve squads, make profits and reach higher goals next season, managers will be looking for some bargain buys.
But there are a number of free agents in the market whose contracts came to an end with the 2014/15 season and for clubs looking to add quality players to their roster, here are 10 players they can sign – without having to pay a single penny in transfer fees!
Note: All players listed belowe were free agents as of 27 May 2015.
1) James Milner – Manchester City
It's bizarre to see that Manchester City have allowed the contract of a player of Milner’s calibre to be run down after paying £26 million to sign him from Aston Villa. They risk losing a hard-working and versatile player if he doesn’t sign the new four-year deal worth close to £165,000 per week that was offered to him this month. That offer would make him one of the highest earners at the club and it confirms that Manuel Pellegrini does not want to lose such an important player for free.
Milner has played 40 games this season and has scored 8 goals while providing 7 assists. He has been started in many high profile games across competitions like the EPL and the Champions League. With the ability to play across the midfield, this tireless English player would be an asset to any club and the fact that the 29-year-old is a homegrown player is a bonus. Arsenal and Liverpool have been linked to Milner as well as clubs abroad.
2) André-Pierre Gignac – Marseille
The 29-year-old French forward is another player Marseille are resigned to losing this summer as his contract ends at the end of June. He has been linked with a number of Premier League clubs over the years but never quite made a big enough impact for clubs to shell out money for the centre forward.
Now that he is available on a free transfer, Gignac, who scored 23 goals in all competitions this season, could move to the lesser clubs in the EPL with West Bromwich Albion linked in the past. Strong in the air and with a powerful right foot, this may be his last chance to move abroad before he ends up on the wrong side of 30.
3) Sergio Romero – Sampdoria
Although the Argentina goalkeeper reached the World Cup final with the Albiceleste, his club Sampdoria will only finish as high as seventh in the Serie A. His contract ends this summer and the 6’3” goalkeeper will most likely leave the Italian club.
A goalkeeper with quick reflexes, he has played more for Argentina than he has for his club in the past two seasons. Liverpool are on the lookout for a goalkeeper to replace Brad Jones and Romero could be their man
4) Nigel de Jong – AC Milan
The Dutchman had an impressive World Cup for Netherlands under Louis van Gaal and it is no surprise that he is linked with a move back to the Premier League, but this time to the red side of Manchester. The combative defensive midfielder has had a torrid season under a terribly managed AC Milan who will barely manage to finish in the top half of the table.
With Milan reportedly ready to offer him only about £30,000 per week, De Jong will look to the riches the EPL has to offer. He is no stranger to the English game having won an FA Cup and Premier League title between 2010 and 2012.
5) Andre Ayew – Marseille
Marseille were already resigned to losing 25-year-old Ayew even before the season came to an end. “We can't offer him the kind of money English clubs can offer,” said club president Vincent Labrune. The high tax rates in France prevents players from earning high wages compared to what they would earn in other top leagues in Europe – one of the main reasons for the exodus of players from Ligue 1.
With the ability to play as a left winger or forward, he scored 11 goals for Marseille this season apart from also being the top scorer at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations. Serie A clubs Roma and Inter Milan are interested in securing the Ghanian’s signature while he is also linked with Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Swansea in the EPL.