Free agent XI for the 2016-17 season
Right-back: Martin Caceres
Martin Caceres was released by Juventus last season and is yet to find a club. At Juventus, Caceres won 5 consecutive league titles and a Champions League during his time at Barcelona. The 29-year-old also brings with him a wealth of international experience having made 63 appearances for Uruguay.
A versatile defender who can operate in the centre as well as the right, he is known for his pace and hard tackling ability and is not expected to be out of contract for long. The Uruguayan full-back has been linked with moves to AC Milan, Inter and Roma but prefers a move abroad.
Centre back: Alex
Alex, nicknamed “The Tank” for his lethal right foot is an experienced warhorse who has seen it all. At 34 years of age, the Brazilian has plied his trade all over the world and has had stints at Chelsea, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain.
The centre-back has made over 400 appearances at the club level and 15 for the Brazilian national team and still has a couple of good years in him.
Alex initially began his career at Santos before moving to Chelsea where he was renowned for his long-range free kicks. The Brazilian amassed 4 trophies in his time at Chelsea including 2 FA Cups, a Premier League and an FA Community Shield.
He then moved to PSG and was just as successful adding another 4 trophies to his kitty. He struggled during his time in Italy though, was often second choice at Milan and was subsequently released earlier this year.
At 34, Alex’s best years are behind him but he could still be expected to add a solid presence and put in a shift whenever required.
Centre-back: Philippe Mexes
Philippe Mexes was touted to be a defensive great after his emergence from the Auxerre academy but it never quite happened for the 34-year-old. Mexes had a few decent seasons in France before making the switch to Roma where he forged a solid partnership with Christian Chivu.
Since 2010 however his career has been in decline mainly due to a spate of injuries. A switch to Milan ensued but again a nasty series of injuries left him on the treatment table for a major part of his career.
He is still quite an accomplished defender though having made 133,183 and 84 appearances for Auxerre, Roma and Milan respectively as well as earning 29 caps for the French national team.
The highlight of the French defender’s career would have to be his magnificently struck volley against rivals Inter last season which earned him a nomination for the Puskas Award.
Left-back: Jose Enrique
Jose Enrique at the age of 30 may have lost some of the blistering pace that made him so famous at Newcastle and Liverpool but he is still a healthy asset to have in the squad. The Spaniard joined Liverpool in 2011 and made 76 appearances for the Reds in five seasons before being released this summer.
The Spaniard has tons of experience at the highest level and will be a boost in the dressing room wherever he ends up. Enrique was earlier linked with a move to Hull City but after the deal did not materialise, he will have to look at other options.Published 04 Sep 2016, 20:57 IST