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EPL 2016/17: Top 10 players who can sign a pre-contract with another club in January 2017

Their contracts expire at the end of the season. They'll be free to choose another club in January.

Every new season sees a number of players move into the final year of their contract. Sometimes it is the clubs who are at fault for not extending the said player’s contract. In other instances, players choose to run down their contracts – either in the hope that desperate clubs give them a better deal with higher wages or simply because they want to leave the club.

Ever since the Bosman ruling allowed players at the end of their contract to leave without a transfer fee, players were allowed to sign a pre-contract with another club six months before the end of their current contract. The pre-contract ensures the new club signs the player on for free before other clubs step in to try and convince the player to join them instead.

We look at 10 Premier League players who can do that come January 2017. (Updated as of 4 October)

#1 Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Manchester United

Zlatan Ibrahimovic pre contract
Ibrahimovic signed only a one-year deal when he arrived at Old Trafford

Footballers in their mid-30s are usually on the wane and look for one last big payday before hanging up their boots for good. Not Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Swedish striker just turned 35 but still plays like he is at his peak.

Indeed, he had the best season of his career last season when he scored 50 goals across all competitions for Paris Saint-Germain. At Manchester United, he is four years older than captain Wayne Rooney but still looks a far fitter and more flexible player than the Englishman. 

“If you didn’t know Zlatan’s age, you’d think he was 28 or 29,” gushed Ander Herrera. “He’s an example to every one of us!”

Ibrahimovic only signed a one-year deal at United. Will he stay on like Jose Mourinho said he would?

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