Last week I took a look at players who could be in the transfer spotlight because of their team fighting relegation (you can read Relegation revenue here). This week I’m focusing in on those who are out of contract this summer with a high probability of moving elsewhere. This is another type of player that can often see steady increases all the way into summer (providing they don’t sign a new contract) and a select few will expectedly blow up big time once the interest levels start to rise. Max Meyer provides a good example from last season, once it became known that his intention was to leave Schalke, the German midfielder's price steadily increased and eventually doubled to over £2 (pre-share split, but still at a time when that was a high price) before his surprisingly underwhelming move to Crystal Palace.
This year, we have several big names ready to leave on a free but none are bigger than Adrien Rabiot. A huge talent whose time at PSG is coming to an end. He appeared destined for Barcelona but talks appear to have broken down and he is supposedly considering his options carefully and in doing so is beginning to cause a stir in the media, with Manchester United, Liverpool and Real Madrid also being heavily linked. His mother recently said “he is a prisoner” and that “there is no going back”. As you can see below from the latest headlines on google (04/04/19) that there's plenty of speculation at the moment!
There are also a few top Premier League strikers up for grabs. Olivier Giroud’s deal is up at Chelsea but the striker looks set to be heading away from England, at a top side he could be a bargain for In-Play Dividends. One more likely to stay in English football is Arsenal’s Danny Welbeck. Although Emery has recently stated he will “consider” renewing his contract, it’s far from certain, with Welbeck still sidelined after his long term injury. You’d expect he may drop down a level to a more mid-table club but when you look at the prices of some of their English forwards (Josh King (£0.64), Callum Wilson (£1.03) for example) and the heights that the likes of Danny Ings hit after a move towards more playing time (equivalent of £0.60 now after his move back to Southampton) the Ex-United man could be worth a punt at £0.38!
West Ham’s Andy Carroll is also in a similar position and Pellegrini has made it pretty clear he won’t look to extend his deal with the Hammers. The injury-prone striker is currently on £90,000 a week so it could be interesting to see where he ends up. Newcastle has obviously been linked and it would make some degree of sense for him to return to his boyhood club, especially at a time where Rafa has been complaining about lack of attacking options. Who knows, a return to St. James Park may revitalise the big man’s career. One thing is for sure, having his house up for sale since January shows he isn't afraid to change location as well as club. At a ridiculously low £0.22 a good percentage rise is certainly possible.
Another English striker out of contract at the end of this season is Daniel Sturridge. He’s made his way around some of the top clubs in the country in his time but he can’t seem to find game time at the moment at Liverpool with even Origi getting into the team ahead of him. Being such a big name could definitely attract media attention and I’m sure plenty of decent clubs will be sniffing around him come summer time so at £0.33, once again there’s plenty of room for movement. The latest rumours suggest Real Betis may be trying to tempt the striker but anything could happen at this stage.
Over in Portugal, Porto is fighting Benfica for the title but at the end of the season, they could be fighting to keep their team together. Captain Hector Herrera is free to leave in the summer after a deal failed to materialise with anyone following his strong World Cup last year. This time around, if someone can grab him on a free I’m sure they will. It all depends on where he decides to play next season, with the latest reports saying Athletico Madrid are currently the front runners, some suggesting a deal has already agreed. The other player they’ll be trying to keep hold of is Yacine Brahimi. The 29-year-old is yet to agree to terms and doesn’t look to have much intention of doing so. Lazio and Inter are the latest clubs linked along with Everton, Newcastle and West ham earlier in March. He’s scored eight goals from midfield this season. Both players will be looking to boost their profile in the upcoming Champions League tie with Liverpool.
Looking set for a move out of Athletico is left-back Filipe Luis. The Spaniard is a top target for Barcelona and Manchester City, both clubs see him as a great potential back up option in their squad. Defenders are never the most exciting holds on Football Index and only quality ones will get attention over summer. Another one that should fall into that category is David Luiz. He’s out of contract at Chelsea in the summer and could definitely be on his way out after a rocky time since his return to Stamford Bridge. The latest comments were that he loves the club, but nevertheless, a deal is still not done.
Mario Balotelli is a name that has to be mentioned here too. The rogue Italian striker is out of contract at the end of the season. Since joining in January he has enjoyed an impressive spell at Marseille, netting seven times in nine games. Now the catch with this one is he seems pretty happy there at the moment. The Marseille manager has stated he will decide whether or not to offer him an extension in the summer, but of course, in the world of Mario Balotelli, a lot could happen between now and then. Even if he doesn’t move, he does have some nice fixtures between and now and the end of the season and at £0.56 he could at least offer some nice In Play Dividends to protect against him signing a contract in summer.
Overall, there are plenty of players available for free in the summer that could definitely cause a stir in the market! I think Rabiot is the one with the most potential but Madrid is currently the favourites. However, there's been no official word on that. If it is true it may not be good for his price but if it's not then it could be the start of a summer saga! The English strikers are worth a cheap punt too, with good % returns available on the likes of Andy Carroll and Daniel Sturridge but overall it’s hard to be sure how it will all pan out. Certainly, some cash to be made on these boys though that’s for sure!
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I hope this article has been useful in preparing your portfolio for the week ahead, happy trading and I’ll be back same time next week!