Karim Benzema and Lionel Messi are out of contract in 2023

The 20 best non-contract footballers in summer 2023 by value

There are some brilliant footballers on free transfers in the summer of 2023, although clubs have options on some of these players. We’ve ranked by ‘value’ according to Transfermarkt, but that’s just an indication.

1) Milan Skriniar (Inter Milan)
Any club in Europe will be dying to sign Skriniar as experienced, fighting centre-backs in their prime are available for bastards, which is very, very rare. Real Madrid are interested in the Slovak But also Manchester United, PSG and any other club with ambitions and a realistic budget.

2) Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)
The club have a year-long option which they will certainly raise to protect its value but Erik ten Hag has made it clear he is in no rush at all to negotiate a new contract with either Rashford or David De Gea as he likes to would end the era of arbitrary procurement.

3) Lionel Messi (PSG)
“The rumors about Lionel Messi continue, but as I have mentioned many times before, he will not decide his future until 2023. He plans to speak to his family, his lawyers and everyone around him. He is currently not negotiating a new contract with either Barcelona or PSG,” says Fabrizio Romano.

4) Youri Tielemans (Leicester City)
We’re still puzzled that no one signed him for relatively pennies in the summer of 2022 and yet he remains at Leicester and is battling relegation. Arsenal, Tottenham and Barcelona are all being linked with a move in January for even fewer relative pennies.

5) Jorginho (Chelsea)
The Italian has been linked with a return to Italy since landing in west London. The theory is that Chelsea will only sign Jorginho or…

6) N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)
Injury troubles have dogged him for the past three seasons and will now keep him out of the World Cup. He’s still the best in the business when he’s fit, but is he often fit enough to earn a new contract at Chelsea or elsewhere?

7) Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)
“Wilfried knows what the club thinks about him and we know what he thinks about the club,” says Patrick Vieira. A big decision lies ahead: will he stay with the club that loves him or will he try Champions League football while he still can? Apparently he’s into Liverpool.

8) Thomas Lemar (Atletico Madrid)
The winger, who came close to joining Liverpool and Arsenal, is set to leave Atletico Madrid soon, despite talk over the summer of the Frenchman agreeing to a rather substantial drop in wages to remain in the capital.

9) Marco Ascensio (Real Madrid)
Newcastle United and AC Milan were the last two clubs linked with the Real Madrid winger, who appears to be low on Carlo Ancelotti’s list of favourites.

10) Roberto Firmino (Liverpool)
We backed his sale in the summer of 2022 as we hadn’t realized – like pretty much everyone but Jurgen Klopp – that they would still need and appreciate the Brazilian even after the arrival of Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez. Juventus will be top of the queue next summer if the Reds don’t blink first and offer him a new deal.

11) Evan Ndicka (Eintracht Frankfurt)
Arsenal have been linked with the Frenchman to pair him with William Saliba at the center of their defence. Helping keep a clean sheet against Spurs will help his cause.

12) Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)
The line for the Ballon d’Or winner will be long.

13) Luke Shaw (Manchester United)
Another Manchester United player is out of contract in 2023 but with a one-year extension that can be triggered by the club. Is he in Erik ten Hag’s long term plans? Or could he improve the ranks at Newcastle?

14) Ruslan Malinovsky (Atalanta)
The Ukraine attacking midfielder has been constantly linked with Tottenham among others, but his wife’s reluctance to leave Italy could see him join Atalanta instead.

15) Konrad Laimer (RB Leipzig)
Chelsea, Liverpool and Bayern Munich have all been linked with the Austrian central midfielder who is seen as something of a pressing machine.

16) Caglar Soyuncu (Leicester City)
He doesn’t even come close to a terrible Leicester side. “There’s a lot going on behind the scenes that people don’t know about. Cags is a good man and it’s been tough for him,” said Brendan Rodgers. No one would be surprised if he snuck back into Turkey.

17) Diogo Dalot (Manchester United)
Another Manchester United player is out of contract in 2023 but with a one-year extension that can be triggered by the club. Is he in Erik ten Hag’s long term plans?

18) Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City)
Juventus love a free Premier League transfer and appear to be leading the queue for the German. In theory, Kalvin Phillips will replace him, but that’s just a theory at the moment.

19) Leandro Trossard (Brighton)
The Belgian has the option to extend his contract for another year provided he thinks kindly enough of the Seagulls to do so and protect his value from a move to Chelsea to return to Graham Potter.

20) Memphis Depay (Barcelona)
So close, last summer to Juventus (who else?) Newcastle United were linked.

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