Making a move? We identify five out-of-contract European stars
European clubs are anxiously getting their business sorted ahead of the new domestic season. And things could be about to ramp up a notch come midnight on Saturday.
That’s when out-of-contract players are free to shop about and find themselves a new home ahead of the 2018-19 campaign.
We’ve picked out five big-name stars on the lookout for a new destination from across the big five European leagues…
After 10 years in North London, it’s the end of the road for Jack Wilshere at Arsenal.
The 26-year-old has been beset by injury problems in recent years but it was the departure of long-term manager Arsene Wenger that put the final nail on the coffin for the midfielder.
He’s a man in demand, with Galatasaray, AC Milan and Everton all reportedly showing interest.
Yet it’s in London where Wilshere’s future appears to lie. That makes West Ham United and Crystal Palace prime destinations.
Ok, he’s not pulling up any trees at the age of 34, but it’d be remiss of us not to mention Fernando Torres in this list.
The ex-Chelsea and Liverpool striker departs Atletico Madrid for the second time as a Champions League runner-up and Europa League winner.
He’s unlikely to get a big-money move in the twilight of his career. But he still knows where the back of the net is.
A switch to China or MLS seems the most likely option for the Spanish legend.
Hatem Ben Arfa
Controversy is never far away from Hatem Ben Arfa. Yet on his day the enigmatic Frenchman is one of the best in the business.
He showed glimpses of that during his time at Newcastle United, and again with Nice during the 2015-16 season. He bagged 17 goals in 34 appearances on the French Riviera.
A subsequent switch to Paris Saint-Germain didn’t quite work out and now the 31-year-old will be on the move again this summer.
Any club would be taking a chance on the 5ft 10in ace. But it could be a chance worth taking.
If it’s a promising young central midfielder you’re after then Max Meyer is your man.
The 22-year-old is free to leave Schalke 04 at the weekend after failing to take his stay at the Veltins-Arena beyond the summer.
He has been compared to Santi Cazorla in some quarters thanks to his exceptional technique and ability to see – and then execute – killer passes.
It should come as no surprise then, that Arsenal have been linked with the young German.
His conversion to a player who plays at the base of the midfield has been a remarkable one. But he has adapted to the role extraordinary well.
Good defensive midfielders are at a premium in the Premier League. So expect there to be plenty of interest in departing Fiorentina captain Milan Badelj.
The 29-year-old Croatia star is renowned in Serie A for his impressive technique and fluid passing game – traits which would no doubt hold him in good stead in the English top-flight.
His two goals so far at the World Cup show that he’s more than capable up the other end too.
Tottenham Hotspur were rumoured to be in for him in 2016. That interest is unlikely to be followed up on now.
But for a whole host of middle-of-the-range Premier League clubs, Badelj would undoubtedly make a very smart capture.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing