View from the terraces

Transfer talk: five best footballers out of contract in summer 2022

Kylian Mbappé leads the list of players who could be on the move

Football’s January transfer window may be open right now, but many clubs will be looking towards next season as a host of top players become available on a free transfer when their contracts expire. 

“Perhaps never before have there been so many elite-tier footballers who could leave on a free transfer,” said FootballTransfers.com. “Superclubs” such as Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Barcelona are “running out of time to avoid their superstars leaving for nothing”.

Here we pick out five of the best footballers who are out of contract in summer 2022

1

Striker – age 23

Kylian Mbappe of Paris Saint-Germain

Loic Venance/AFP via Getty Images

Kylian Mbappé: Paris Saint-Germain

Paris Saint-Germain striker Kylian Mbappé is one of the big name players who is now free to negotiate with other teams before his contract expires on 30 June. The forward may only be 23 years old, but he is already a Fifa World Cup winner, in 2018 with France, and is arguably one of the best players in the world right now. Although linked with a number of clubs, including Real Madrid and Liverpool, Mbappé told CNN he is “100%” sure he will finish the season with PSG. “I will give everything I have to win the Champions League, the league and the cup,” he said. “And to give all the pleasure to the fans, because they deserve it.”

2

Defender – age 28

Chelsea defender Antonio Rüdiger is set to join Real Madrid  

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Antonio Rüdiger: Chelsea 

Top-class defenders are in short supply, so one of the most in-demand players will be Chelsea’s Antonio Rüdiger. His representatives have “opened talks” with Real Madrid, PSG, Bayern Munich and Juventus over a pre-contract agreement and Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick is “also an admirer”, Sky Sports reported. However, Rüdiger remaining at Stamford Bridge “has not been ruled out” by the Germany international’s camp.

3

Midfielder – age 28

Paul Pogba of Manchester United

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Paul Pogba: Manchester United

Another French World Cup winner out of contract at the end of the season is Paul Pogba. The midfielder, 28, rejoined Manchester United for £89.3m from Juventus in 2016 and the player’s agent Mino Raiola has refused to “rule out a return to the Allianz Stadium”, GiveMeSport reported. Paris Saint-Germain are also interested in Pogba and are “monitoring his contract situation at Old Trafford”.

4

Forward – age 28

Paulo Dybala of Juventus 

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Paulo Dybala: Juventus 

Juve forward Paulo Dybala has been linked with clubs such as Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United in previous transfer windows – and the 28-year-old Argentine could well be in demand again this summer. Spurs boss Antonio Conte is looking to start building his own squad and he “may well look to sign a player he knows well from his time in Italian football”, Football.London reported. Barcelona and Liverpool are two other clubs reportedly keen. 

5

Winger – age 24

Ousmane Dembélé of Barcelona 

Getty Images

Ousmane Dembélé: Barcelona 

In Spain there are many top players out of contract this summer, including Atletico Madrid’s Luis Suarez and Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale, Luka Modric, Isco and Marcelo. One La Liga-based star who could be on the move is Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembélé. The 24-year-old may well replace fellow Frenchman Kylian Mbappé in Paris, ESPN reported. PSG see Dembélé as a “potential successor if they are able to land him as a free transfer in the summer”.

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