While the fate of the 2019/20 football season, along with sport across the globe, remains in limbo, so does the future of a number of top names in the world of football, with their contracts due to expire at the end of June with no conclusion to the current season in the foreseeable future.
There are a number of top stars from the Premier League and wider world of football who will be looking for a new club when their current deals expire in a matter of months, and we at Grosvenor Sport taking a look at the top 10 players who are set to be out-of-contract at the end of the season.
Willian, Winger, Chelsea
Willian has been a mainstay in the Chelsea side since his £30m transfer to Stamford Bridge back in August 2013, helping the Blues win five major honours in the process, including two Premier League titles.
Now 31, Willian has been linked with a move away from Chelsea for the last couple of seasons, with Jose Mourinho having reportedly made checks to bring him to both Manchester United and Tottenham, while Barcelona have also been rebuffed in their efforts too.
The Brazilian has seen his minutes diminish in each of the last three seasons and now Chelsea are ready to move forward with Christian Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi in the wide areas. Given Chelsea’s policy about rewarding older players longer term contracts, Willian’s seven-year stay in London could be coming to an end.
Thomas Meunier, Right-Back, PSG
Since his 2016 move to PSG, Meunier has never really been able to establish himself as the preferred option at right-back for his employers, competing with the likes of Dani Alves, Colin Dagba and others for minutes at the position.
The 28-year-old has 40 caps for Belgium but has a keen eye for a goal for a defender, netting 55 times to date in his career.
Able to operate in a more advanced role on the right side of midfield also, Meunier offers some great versatility to any potential suitor, with the likes of Tottenham, Borussia Dortmund and Chelsea all reportedly showing interest in him.
Dries Mertens, Striker, Napoli
Mertens is widely regarded as one of the best forwards around that isn’t currently plying his trade at one of Europe’s elite clubs. The 32-year-old has 90 caps for Belgium and was named his national player of the year for 2016.
The veteran striker has been long overdue a move to a top club given his exploits at Napoli, bagging 121 goals in 309 appearances across all competitions since his 2013 move from PSV.
While Mertens isn’t getting any younger, his goal return and ability to play across the forward line does offer clubs a high-quality short-term option leading the line. Chelsea reportedly failed with a bid for the player in January.
Edinson Cavani, Striker, PSV
Like Mertens, Cavani is one of the leading strikers in Europe without ever really receiving the praise that his performances have merited.
After a stellar spell at Napoli where he scored over 30 goals in three successive Serie A campaigns, the Uruguayan signed for PSG in a deal worth a reported €64m – a record for French football at the time.
Now 33, Cavani still has a lot to offer, with 200 goals in 300 games for PSG since 2013, but has been phased out of the side of late with the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Neymar to compete with.
Ryan Fraser, Winger, Bournemouth
The diminutive winger had a breakout campaign for Bournemouth in 2018/19, scoring seven goals and laying on 14 assists in the Premier League, the second-most in the division behind Eden Hazard, but has struggled to replicate it this term, with just one goal and four assists in 28 appearances.
Fraser’s performances last season earned himself links with a big money move to Arsenal and at just 26, he certainly has room for improvement if given a platform to do so.
He will likely have a list of suitors when his contract with the Cherries does come to an end, but Fraser’s inconsistent production at this level will concern some.
David Silva, Midfielder, Manchester City
Silva is closing in on a decade of service at Manchester City, who, along with Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany and Yaya Toure, helped catapult City to the top table of Europe’s elite clubs.
The 34-year-old is nothing short of a Premier League legend, scoring 57 goals and laying on 90 assists since his 2010 arrival from Valencia, an assists total that ranks seventh all-time in the Premier League and is the most among all current players.
Rumours are flying about that are linking Silva with a return to Spain when his contract with City ends in June after he confirmed last summer that this would be his final year at the Etihad.
Mario Gotze, Attacking Midfielder, Borussia Dortmund
Gotze will always be remembered in German football folklore as the man who scored the winning goal in extra time in the 2014 World Cup final, but a career that once promised so much has been blighted with injuries.
During his career across two spells with Borussia Dortmund either side of a three-year stint with rivals Bayern Munich, Gotze has missed 107 games since 2010 due to various injuries, and hasn’t played more than 30 games in a league season since the 2014/15 campaign.
Still only 27, Gotze’s talent cannot be questioned and when available, is a quality addition to nearly any squad in Europe, but will always remain a risk-reward option.
Adam Lallana, Midfielder, Liverpool
Lallana was a mainstay in the Liverpool eleven for the first three seasons following his £25m move from Southampton in 2014, but injuries have limited him to just 40 Premier League appearances since the start of the 2017/18 season.
The 31-year-old can play in midfield or in a more advanced role, and is viewed as one of Jurgen Klopp’s most trusted squad members, but the Reds are unable to afford the England international the playing time he wants given the wealth of options they have at their disposal.
With 34 caps to his name to date, Lallana will be looking to find a new home next season where he can play regular football and put himself back in the frame for a call-up for Euro 2021, having not played for his country since 2018.
Olivier Giroud, Striker, Chelsea
Giroud has had to be content with being a bit-part player for Chelsea following his £15m arrival from London rivals Arsenal in January 2018, but has proved his worth in that time, netting 21 goals and providing 13 assists in just 76 appearances.
Now 33, Giroud is entering the Autumn of his career but still has value as a role player in any squad. With Tammy Abraham’s emergence this season at Stamford Bridge and the Blues’ reported interest in adding a striker this summer, it would seem as if Giroud will be on the move when his deal runs out.
In January, Giroud saw a move to Serie A and Lazio break down as Chelsea failed to bring a replacement in, so it would not be a surprise to see those links return in the near future.
Layvin Kurzawa, Left-Back, PSG
Kurzawa was part of the breakthrough Monaco squad that won Ligue 1 in 2012/13 and became a mainstay in the side, earning a £20m move to PSG in 2015.
The 27-year-old, who has 13 caps for France to his name, has been a regular for PSG during their dominant spell in Ligue 1, making 123 appearances for the club since his arrival across all competitions.
With Juan Bernat and Mitchel Bakker both also options at left-back for PSG, it seems as if they are ready to let Kurzawa walk, with Arsenal said to be interested in him.
Are there any players we missed out, or would you like your team to sign any of the players listed here in the summer? Let us know in the comments below!
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