In the coming months, a handful of world-class players will become free agents, having so far failed to agree contract extensions with their respective clubs. The 2020-21 European football is already at its business end and is set to come to a dramatic climax in the coming weeks, as teams across the world scamper to reach their objectives.
The forthcoming summer could be an interesting one, with the European Championships and the Copa America set to take place. As far as transfers go, there's not expected to be a lot of activity during the two major tournaments, so teams will have to wait to get their business done.
For players who are approaching the end of their deals, the coming weeks could define the course of their careers. Player contracts usually run out in May, and here are five top players who could depart their clubs on a free transfer in a month.
#5 Gini Wijnaldum | Liverpool
Gini Wijnaldum has been a key player for Liverpool over the years and is one of Jurgen Klopp's most trusted players at the club. However, he is yet to put pen to paper on a new deal and looks likely to leave Anfield on a free transfer. The Dutchman was linked with a move to Barcelona last summer, but the deal failed to materialize as the Catalan giants looked to address other areas of concern.
This summer, though, Wijnaldum could emerge as a realistic option for the La Liga giants, as he would be eligible to sign for the club on a free transfer. Liverpool have offered him a new deal, but he is reportedly unhappy with the terms of the contract.
Wijnaldum won't be short of suitors if he leaves Liverpool, with Inter Milan and Paris Saint-Germain reportedly keeping tabs on him.
#4 Giorgio Chiellini | Juventus
Hailed as one of the greatest defenders of the modern era, Giorgio Chiellini looks set to depart Juventus this summer. The Italian defender has been with the club since 2005 and is a fan favorite at the Allianz Stadium, having stuck with the Bianconeri through thick and thin.
However, at the age of 36, his best days are past him, so Juventus are unlikely to offer him a new deal. While it initially looked like Chiellini would retire at the end of the 2020-21 season, he confirmed his desire to carry on playing for at least another season.
He has made over 500 appearances in all competitions for Juventus and has won a staggering 14 major honors, including nine Serie A titles.