5 superstars whose contracts are set to expire in May

FC Barcelona v Real Valladolid CF - La Liga
FC Barcelona v Real Valladolid CF - La Liga
Vishal Subramanian

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

Liverpool v Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Semi Final: Second Leg
Liverpool v Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Semi Final: Second Leg

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

Juventus v SSC Napoli - Italian PS5 Supercup
Juventus v SSC Napoli - Italian PS5 Supercup

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.

#3 Memphis Depay | Lyon

Olympique Lyonnais v Bayern Munich - UEFA Champions League Semi Final
Olympique Lyonnais v Bayern Munich - UEFA Champions League Semi Final

Memphis Depay has managed to get his career back on track after a troublesome time at Old Trafford and is all set to move on to greener pastures this summer. Much like his compatriot Gini Wijnaldum, he came close to a move to Barcelona last summer.

However, the Catalan giants decided they'd be better off waiting a year to snap him up on a free transfer. The 27-year-old is yet to formally agree a deal with Barcelona, but reports suggest the Camp Nou is likely to be his next destination.

Depay also has admirers in the Premier League, with Liverpool reportedly one of the clubs to have kept tabs on him over the years.

#2 Sergio Ramos | Real Madrid

Real Betis v Real Madrid - La Liga Santander
Real Betis v Real Madrid - La Liga Santander

Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos is yet to agree a contract extension at the club in what has been a drawn-out transfer saga. The Spanish defender is one of the greatest players in the club's history and is reportedly keen to extend his deal, but Los Blancos are yet to meet his demands.

The 35-year-old is in the twilight years of his career, but he is still amongst the best in the business and is undoubtedly the leader of the Real Madrid side. However, Florentino Perez indicated last week that he might have to take a pay-cut in order to sign a new deal at the club.

Ramos' future is uncertain and several reports have suggested that he has a massive offer on the table from a foreign club. Only time will tell if those rumors turn out to be true.

#1 Lionel Messi | Barcelona

FC Barcelona v Club Atletico de Madrid  - La Liga
FC Barcelona v Club Atletico de Madrid - La Liga

Lionel Messi's name is dominating the back pages, as the Barcelona skipper is yet to put pen to paper on a contract extension. The Catalan giants are preparing a massive offer to meet his demands, but he is no closer to extending his deal as things stand and will reportedly re-evaluate his options at the end of the season.

The Argentine great's transfer request last summer sent shock waves across the world of football, as he blamed the club's hierarchy and accused them of making false promises. A lot has changed since, as controversial president Josep Bartomeu was impeached, with Joan Laporta taking over the reins earlier this month.

Messi seems much happier now and is likely to renew his contract at the Camp Nou, but Barcelona are running out of time to make him an offer that suits all parties involved.

Edited by Vishal Subramanian
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