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The best free agents on the market come the end of the season?

Mesut Ozil, Jack Wilshere and Zlatan Ibrahimovic among the players whose contracts expire in the summer.

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ Taken By: joshjdss

The January transfer window is now in full swing but as players come and go for large sums of money before the 31st of this month, who can be picked up for a bargain at the end of the season.

Premier League:

Mesut Ozil – Arsenal

The Arsenal midfielder is a man Arsene Wenger will be keen to hold onto, given the imminent departure of Alexis Sanchez,  but unfortunately it has been said in the past that he’s keen to leave the Gunners. He signed from Real Madrid back in 2013 for £42.4 million and this could represent a huge loss not just on the pitch, but also financially, if he fails to pen a new deal before the end of the summer.

Emre Can – Liverpool

Can, famed for his bicycle kick for The Reds last season could well be on his way out at the end of this campaign on a free. It is believed that the German has agreed to join Juventus in the summer, meaning Liverpool are likely to take the hit and let him leave. Jürgen Klopp though, will be pleased that Can has vowed to give his all for the club, whilst he’s under contract.

Jack Wilshere – Arsenal

Jack Wilshere, the man who perhaps has never fulfilled his potential, with injuries reeking havoc for him over the last few years. He has been a mainstay in the Arsenal team of late and has been a shining light during a tough time on the field. He has a dream of captaining Arsenal since his return from a loan spell with Bournemouth last year and given his current form, I’ll be surprised if his contract situation stays the same.

Luke Shaw – Manchester United

Luke Shaw, still at the young age of 22, is a bright English prospect and Manchester United I’m sure will be keen to tie him down for a little longer. However Shaw has failed to make much of an impact since Jose Mourinho’s arrival at Old Trafford and may not want to sign a new contract in the hopes of finding first-team football elsewhere. This could spell trouble for the Red Devils, who could be forced to lose him at the end of the season.

Yohan Cabaye – Crystal Palace

The Frenchman’s contract is due to expire in the summer and with the midfielder possessing great technical ability, I’m sure there will be a host of clubs ready to sign him, should he become available. Since Roy Hodgson’s arrival at Crystal Palace they have enjoyed somewhat of a revival, following an extremely poor start to the season, but you feel if they don’t maintain it, relegation is a real prospect. If relegation was to happen, Cabaye will more than likely not sign a new deal.

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Manchester United

Ibrahimovic is definitely the biggest free agent coming about at the end of this season and with United’s options up front bigger than ever, this could be end for Zlatan at Old Trafford. He isn’t getting any younger and with injuries now becoming a struggle, it has been suggested that the MLS is a possibility.

Championship –

Joe Ledley – Derby County

The Derby midfielder has been vital to The Rams success this season as they sit second in the Championship. The Welshman signed from Crystal Palace and has been a fan favourite since his arrival, certainly making things happen when operating in midfield. Gary Rowett will be keen to get an extension on his contract, especially if they win promotion to the Premier League. However if that wasn’t too happen, Ledley would be a real steal for many clubs.

Jordan Hugill – Preston North End

Hugill has wanted out at Preston for a while, putting a transfer request in at the beginning of the season, although manager Alex Neil said he was not for sale. The interest has been high in this window from clubs like Leeds and Aston Villa who are both in the market for a striker but with his price tag set at £12 million, it maybe putting these clubs off. This may not be the right approach for Preston who could end up losing him on a free if they aren’t careful.

Aron Gunnarsson – Cardiff City

The Iceland captain and a favourite in the holding role for Cardiff City is a certainty to leave this summer by the looks of it. He is an attractive proposition for sure, but clubs will have to work hard to get his signature as according to the man himself,  he wants to try his hand in one of the leagues abroad. He is perhaps the most likely free agent of all the players mentioned.

Pablo Hernandez  – Leeds United

The skilful Spaniard has been a pivotal player in the Leeds midfield for the last two years and with the current absence of new signing Samu Saiz, who received a six-match ban for spitting, he’s even more crucial. The driving force behind many of Leeds’s goals, his creativity on the ball is a real benefit to strikers such as Pierre-Michel Lasogga upfront. I’m sure manager Thomas Christiansen will be keen to add him to the squad for another season but if not, he’s a player that should certainly be on the radar of other Championship clubs.

League One –

Danny Graham – Blackburn Rovers

The former Swansea striker is out of contract at the end of the season and could be one to watch out for. He may now be 32, and getting older, but he’s a player that can certainly find the back of the net. On a free transfer, he could be a real bonus for anyone. He has perhaps gone under the radar at Blackburn, with midfielder Bradley Dack stealing most of the headlines, as the club sit second, eyeing a quick return to the Championship.

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Reece James – Wigan Athletic

The young left-back demanded a lot of attention at one time and the former Manchester United academy product is a strong defender and any club across League One should be pleased to have him. It isn’t yet known what will happen in regards to his future with Wigan looking set to win promotion to the Championship as they sit first in the league, but James will no doubt hope to get his contract renewed.


League Two –

Isiah Osbourne – Forest Green Rovers

Isiah Osbourne arrived at Forest Green in the summer as a free agent, on a one-year-deal, and he maybe set to leave the way he came in. He has made 18 appearances so far this campaign for the club, scoring one goal in a 2-0 win over Morecambe.

Carl Winchester – Cheltenham Town

The right-back has made 35 appearances for The Robins this season and has been a relative mainstay in the starting 11 for Gary Johnson. They’ve had a mixed season and are currently going through a bad patch, but assuring players of their future, could be a way of helping performances on the field. Having been the captain last time out against Mansfield, Johnson clearly rates him highly and it will be a huge surprise if he’s not a Cheltenham player at the start of the next campaign.

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