The free-transfer market will be a fiercely competitive space this summer, as clubs try to bolster their squads while avoiding big transfer fees to mitigate the financial damage of the pandemic.
The Premier League landscape is complicated by a three-month hiatus which has seen the 2019-20 season extended through to August, beyond many player’s contracts which typically end on the last day of June.
While some, like Liverpool’s Adam Lallana, are set to temporarily extend their stay until this season’s new finish, others like his teammate Nathaniel Clyne will depart at the end of June and look for a new club to join ahead of 2020-
Amid so much uncertainty there will plenty of bargains cropping up over the coming weeks. Here are some of the top players likely to be out of contract and available this summer:
Adam Lallana, 32
The Liverpool midfielder is set to finish the extended season at Anfield, and will likely depart with a Premier League winners’ medal before considering a raft of potential suitors. The financial impact of the pandemic means Lallana will be an extremely attractive free signing for a host of clubs looking for a good deal – Leicester is the early frontrunners to woo him.
The Spaniard has said he will depart Manchester City after a sensational decade at the Etihad Stadium but is yet to choose his next destination. A lucrative offer from Qatar is reportedly on the table, as is a potential move to the MLS following his former Valencia and Spain teammate David Villa across the Atlantic, and he has confirmed he will not be staying in the Premier League.
The Chelsea winger is yet to agree either a long-term or short-term extension and could well become available in the summer. Roma has reportedly made contact about taking him to Serie A.
Chelsea want to keep the Brazilian but are only willing to offer a one-year deal, rather than the long-term contract he desires, and it means he could
Jan Vertonghen, 32
The defender is edging towards the exit door, despite Tottenham’s efforts to convince him to join fellow Belgium center-back Toby Alderweireld in extending his stay.
Angel Gomes, 19
The highly-rated teenager remains doubtful of his path to the first team at Manchester United and is set to leave Old Trafford this summer, something which has already generated plenty of interest elsewhere. United would be due some compensation, given Gomes’s age, but his inexperience means the sum would be minimal and he represents a potential bargain.