Top 5 free agents in the summer transfer window￼
The countdown for the full-fledged opening of the Summer transfer window begins as the football clubs around Europe are lining up with their strategies and plans for the window saga. It is that time of the year again when small clubs are keen to protect their talents, the elite clubs are eying high-profile signings and the fresh season is ticking the clock.
Although the clubs are still allowed to sign free agents before and beyond the transfer window period. Earlier, elite clubs from the Top 5 European leagues used to show very less interest in this section but things have changed in the modern era. Due to the current protocols of negotiations between clubs and player representatives, high-profile names leaving the club as free agents have become very rare nowadays.
In the previous summer, we witnessed the legendary Lionel Messi departing from his beloved FC Barcelona to the French giants Paris Saint-Germain as a free agent. And many such anticipated free signings are expected to take place in the 2022 Summer transfer window where big guns will be changing their sides free of cost. Hence, ‘Parimatch News‘ brings a list of the Top 5 free agents in the summer transfer window of 2022.
5. Luis Suarez
The Uruguayan striker has announced his departure from Atlético Madrid after a memorable association of two seasons with the Spanish club. El Pistolero has now begun his search for a new home to spend his final years of professional football. The 35-year-old will be a very good option for any club running low on transfer budget and looking for an experienced option in the forward line.
Suarez was expecting a renewal approach from the ATM board and had no plans of leaving Madrid at this stage of his career. He was in tears while leaving the pitch during his final game at Wanda Metropolitano in Atlético colours.
In his very first season at Colchoneros, Suarez played an integral role to crown them champions of the Spanish league after six years. He established himself as the best Atlético arrow to strike goals in just a span of two seasons, with 32 goals and 6 assists from 67 La Liga appearances.
Suarez may leave the Spanish top-flight football after a nine-year stint which saw the Uruguayan earning the status of one of the best strikers of this generation. Although his return to the English Premier League seems unlikely due to the age and fitness issues which stumbled his recent campaign with ATM. His first professional club Nacional and the MLS outfit Inter Miami are the current frontrunners for the signature of El Pistolero.
4. Angel Di Maria
The Argentine Magician who played a pivotal role in the rise of PSG has left the French capital after the expiration of his contract. His Nation teammate Lionel Messi’s arrival at Paris Saint-Germain has affected his role in the team as Di Maria is no longer the first-choice option of Les Parisiens.
Di Maria who joined the French giants in 2015 was keen to make a move out of Paris ever since the addition of Lionel Messi to the PSG roster. He lost his first-choice status to Messi who now dons the Number 10 role in the PSG system and his decision to not renew was highly speculated. After scoring the winning goal for Argentina in the 2022 Finalissima, the 34-year-old is eying the Qatar mega event and his destination will play a role to keep him relevant in the national setup.
He concluded his PSG stay bagging five Ligue 1 trophies with career-best individual statistics of 93 goals and 119 assists. He remained fan-favourite throughout the stint and formed a deadly attacking trio with Neymar Junior and Kylian Mbappe.
Juventus are showing serious interest in di Maria to have him as a like-to-like replacement for fellow Argentinian Paulo Dybala for the short term. The Italian outfit has already made multiple offers along with FC Barcelona and his former side Benfica. Having many offers on the tables, the Argentine playmaker will take his time to take a final call in the upcoming days.
3. Ousmane Dembélé
The French wonderkid who arrived at Camp Nou on a record-breaking transfer fee of €150 million from Borussia Dortmund is set to leave the Catalan club as a free agent. The 25-year-old winger was considered the next big thing and the perfect successor of Neymar Jr for FC Barcelona but unfortunately, things didn’t go in the way they were planned.
Barcelona tried their level best to keep him at the Camp Nou but the French forward was already convinced that his future lies somewhere else. Even after offering contract renewals multiple times, Dembélé couldn’t get a convincing deal to prolong his stay at the Blaugrana. Hence it is now confirmed that Barca won’t get any finances from the departure of the lad for whom they spent a whopping transfer sum back in 2017.
Injuries played a major role in the downfall of a French winger who was bound to become an elite forwards in the football world. Since joining the Spanish giants, he has missed 102 club fixtures and remained unavailable for 670 days due to injury issues.
His poor fitness track record has narrowed down his options for the next destination as many clubs consider his wages a risk. Dembélé has been pursued by Chelsea for the past months and his Barca contract rejection has put the stakes very high for the potential move. There will be exciting scenes when Dembélé will land in the Premier League but it will be also a challenge for him to adjust to the physicality of English top-flight football.
2. Paulo Dybala
The poster boy of Turin has decided to end his lucrative journey with the Italian giants Juventus. The Argentine playmaker was the face of Juve’s attack during his diligent service to the Old Lady.
It was a tough decision for both parties when his departure from Juventus was globally announced. Dybala had denied so many offers from Elite European clubs in the past few years and was also aiming for a long stay in the heart of Italy. Juventus has initiated a squad overhauling by jumping on the new projection with an aim to bring back the glory days of domestic and continental football as the star attacking midfielder has to make way for the new faces.
Dybala who was scouted by Juventus during his Palermo stint went on to run riots in Italian football after joining them. He had a goal contribution of 163 from 293 fixtures across seven seasons and also clinched five Scudetto in his first five years at the club.
Despite leaving his beloved club, Dybala still wants to spend the rest of his career in Italy as his love for the country is unconditional and he also holds Italian citizenship. Among the available options in the Serie A roster at the moment, only Inter Milan is capable enough to land him at their camp. While the Nerazzurri side is also chasing him with serious interests and may announce the contract agreement very soon.
1. Paul Pogba
After the speculation of this was running high for a couple of years, it is finally confirmed that the French midfielder will depart from Old Trafford. It is the second time in his career that the 2018 World Cup winner and Manchester United Academy product will leave the red devils as a free agent.
Pogba’s relationship with Manchester United saw many ups and downs as the central midfielder was heavily targeted by other European clubs to stage a move for a couple of years. At the time, it seemed that he would continue to don the Manchester red jersey but the final twist in the tale turned off the odds of his renewal with MUFC. Erik ten Hag arrived at the Old Trafford with different plans which made a way for Pogba’s exit as the Dutch gaffer had already chosen his targets to bolster the United midfield.
The Frenchman who won two trophies, the EFL Cup and UEFA Europa League in his very first season of the second stint unfortunately couldn’t add furthermore. He was included in the 2018-19 PFA Team of the Season where he achieved the feat of scoring double-digit goals and assists in a single season.
Pogba’s current situation is monitored by many European heavyweights like Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid but Juventus are the frontrunner in the race. He may head back to Italian football where he touched the peak of his club career with the Bianconeri. Many Italian outlets have reported that mutual terms have already been agreed upon by both parties and the transfer is just an official announcement away from completion.