Out-of-contract XI

We have scoured the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A, Ligue 1 and the Championship to build an XI from players with deals now expired

Last Updated: 03/08/20 2:59pm

Who makes our out-of-contract squad?
Who makes our out-of-contract squad?

Time’s up on the contracts of some of Europe’s biggest stars and brightest prospects. Which bargains could be available for Premier League clubs this summer?

With the help of Transfermarkt, we delved into the list of players from the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A, Ligue 1 and the Championship with contracts have either expired or will do ahead of the new season – and whittled that list down to a fully formed squad.

Goalkeeper

Joe Hart has struggled for game time in the Premier League since Pep Guardiola axed the former England ‘keeper, leading to loan moves with Torino and West Ham, before signing a permanent deal at Burnley for the start of 2018/19.

Joe Hart has been a peripheral figure under Sean Dyche at Burnley
Joe Hart has been a peripheral figure under Sean Dyche at Burnley

The 33-year-old made 19 league appearances for the Clarets in his first season after Tom Heaton and Nick Pope were both sidelined through injury but has not made a single appearance this term.

Defence

Tottenham centre-back Jan Vertonghen, also 33, was let go at the end of July after an eight-year stint in north London and is the first defender on our team sheet.

Alongside Vertonghen, we are going with more experience in the shape of much-decorated Brazilian defender Thiago Silva. While he may not provide the paciest option to complement Vertonghen, with 89 international caps under his belt and seven Ligue 1 titles, he has developed the skill and guile to make up for it, and will leave PSG at the end of August, following the conclusion of their 2019/20 Champions League campaign.

Nathaniel Clyne (29) was once an integral part of the Liverpool team but has failed to clock one minute during their title-winning campaign and was released by the club following their Premier League win – and slots into our XI at right-back.

Nathaniel Clyne will leave Liverpool when his contract expires at the end of the month
Nathaniel Clyne will leave Liverpool when his contract expires at the end of the month

France U21 defender Malang Sarr completes the back four as a shoehorned left-back but primarily plays as a central defender. The 21-year-old has left Nice on a free after starting only 16 league games this term.

Midfield

Our midfield trio comprises two World Cup winners and a perhaps under-appreciated Irishman to complete the trio.

David Silva has bowed out from Manchester City this summer after 10 years’ service, but still offers an unrivalled touch of class on the ball. Even at 34, the midfielder oozes class and is in demand despite his advancing years.

Mario Gotze is also available for nothing only six years after scoring the winning goal in a World Cup final. He joins the midfield mettle having burst onto the world stage 10 years ago for Germany at the age of just 18 – but fell out of favour in his second stint with boyhood club Borussia Dortmund before being released last month.

Gotze's World Cup final winner in 2014 underlined the excitement about his potential
Gotze’s World Cup final winner in 2014 underlined the excitement about his potential

Alongside the world champions is ex-Burnley midfielder Jeff Hendrick, whose versatility and creativity was missed by the Clarets in the final weeks of the campaign after turning down an extension to stay at Turf Moor. A move to AC Milan had reportedly been on the cards for the 28-year-old but was thwarted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Attack

Two top-drawer Premier League wingers land starting berths down the flanks, with Willian still set to leave Chelsea – although rumours suggest he may perform a surprise about-turn – and Bournemouth’s Ryan Fraser available for free after turning down an extension to see out the Cherries’ relegation battle and leaving the club in June.

Up top? Who else but Edinson Cavani. The seasoned striker has racked up 216 league goals over the past 10 seasons, a tally bettered only by Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski in Europe’s top leagues during that period.

The 33-year-old Uruguay international rejected a contract extension at Paris Saint-Germain in favour of pastures new and is likely to attract a raft of powerhouse suitors.

On the bench

In goal, remember ex-Fulham loanee Sergio Rico? Having spent the last year playing back-up to Keylor Navas on loan at Paris Saint-Germain, the Sevilla goalkeeper will become a free agent 14 years after first joining his boyhood club later this summer, at the end of PSG’s Champions League campaign.

Former Tottenham defender Benjamin Stambouli, 29, has been in contract discussions with Schalke 04 over a new deal but is reportedly set to leave the Bundesliga side. An injury-hit season has done few favours for the centre-back, but he was a major part of the side which finished second in the league two years ago.

Covering the flanks at the back is Omar Elabdellaoui, who spent time with Hull City in 2017 and was a regular for Olympiakos until leaving the club this summer. Earlier this year, he was reportedly being chased by both Leicester and Southampton.

Fourteen-cap Italy midfielder Giacomo Bonaventura is another to provide some quality in midfield from the bench. At 30 years old, he still has a few good years left in him after leaving AC Milan, and can chip in with a goal or two as well.

After a seven-year stint in Naples, Jose Callejon looks set to leave Napoli at the end of his briefly extended contract to see out the Serie A season and conclusion of the club’s Champions League campaign. With 64 goals in 254 league games for the club, he’s got plenty in his locker to offer any hopeful suitors.

Jose Callejon looks set to leave Napoli
Jose Callejon looks set to leave Napoli

Adding a useful number 10 option from the sidelines is ex-Fenerbache forward Max Kruse, better known for his three-year stint with Werder Bremen. In Germany he showed his goalscoring instincts with 15 Bundesliga goals in 2016/17, and can provide another useful option.

His injury record may not be on his side but Daniel Sturridge, another who has recently spent time in Turkey, is a prospect who can add goals to any front line if he can stay fit. Seven in 16 goals for eventual Turkish champions Trabzonspor was a solid return in 2019/20 before he received a four-month worldwide ban, which has now been served.

Have you opted into Sky Bet Club?

Opt in and bet £25 or more before 23:59 on Sunday to earn a free £5. Free bets will credited by 7pm on Monday.

Source : Sky Sports