Lionel Messi among 20 best footballers out of contract in July 2023 and available as free transfers

·4-min read
Lionel Messi and Karim Benzema among players free this summer. Credit: Alamy
Lionel Messi and Karim Benzema among players free this summer. Credit: Alamy

There are some brilliant footballers available on free transfers who are out of contract in the summer of 2023, though clubs have options on some of these players.

We have ranked by ‘value’ according to Transfermarkt but that’s just a guide.


1) Milan Skriniar (Inter Milan)
The Slovakian almost left for PSG on deadline day after Inter Milan reportedly accepted their offer but in the end, Skriniar will have to make do with joining in the summer on a free transfer after a serious back injury curtailed his season.


2) Lionel Messi (PSG)
Certain to leave Paris, maybe for Inter Miami but more likely for Saudi Arabia, which makes us a little bit sad. Winning the Ballon d’Or from the Middle East would be a flex.


3) Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)
Another La Liga legend set to swan off to Saudi Arabia after it was confirmed he’s done at Real Madrid. Leaves the 2023 highest scorers competition in second place behind only Erling Haaland.


4) Marcus Thuram (Borussia Mönchengladbach)
Juventus, Chelsea, Manchester United and Inter Milan are among the many, many clubs linked with the French striker.


5) Evan Ndicka (Eintracht Frankfurt)
Roma are said to have reached contract agreement with a centre-half who was strongly linked to Premier League clubs.


6) Adrien Rabiot (Juventus)
Manchester United don’t appear to have held a grudge towards Adrien Rabiot or his Mum since reports suggest the Red Devils are keen to try once more to sign the France midfielder.


7) Youri Tielemans (Leicester City)
Definitely one of the better players among the really sh*t sides at the bottom of the Premier League, but will that earn him a move to a better side in the Premier League? Or Roma?


8) Daichi Kamada (Eintracht Frankfurt)
There is now talk of a verbal agreement with AC Milan, though Liverpool are hoping to divert the Japan star to Anfield.


9) Konrad Laimer (RB Leipzig)
Chelsea, Liverpool and Bayern Munich have all been linked with the Austrian central midfielder who is considered something of a pressing machine. Of course he will join Bayern.


10) Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)
There is talk of him staying at Palace and signing a massive new contract rather than opting for Champions League football. Though there is also the offer of silly money from Qatar.


11) Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City)
Manchester City have opened talks about a new contract, presumably having realised that Kalvin Phillips is in no fit state to replace him. But he is reportedly talking to Barcelona. Lifting the Champions League trophy after scoring the FA Cup-winning race would be some way to sign off.


12) Marco Asensio (Real Madrid)
Another heading for the Real Madrid exit. The Spain international has been linked with Arsenal and Aston Villa but seems destined for PSG.


13) Roberto Firmino (Liverpool)
After eight years at Anfield, Firmino will ‘leave’ the club when his contract is up this summer. Barcelona, Atletico, Real Madrid and Inter Milan are among the clubs reportedly interested.


14) Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund)
The Portuguese international was Dortmund’s starting left-back but they have decided not to renew. There have been links to both Newcastle and Tottenham, as well as PSG.


15) N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)
Injury problems have dogged him over the last three seasons and then kept him out of the World Cup. He is still best in the business when fit, but is he fit often enough to merit a new deal at Chelsea or elsewhere? Barcelona have been inevitably linked.


16) Ramy Bensebaini (Borussia Monchengladbach)
Another full-back but this one is probably bound for Borussia Dortmund in the summer.


17) Jonathan Bamba (Lille)
Five years after joining on a free transfer, the winger could be on the move again. Has been linked with Fiorentina and Real Betis.


18) Toni Kroos (Real Madrid)
Has been in talks over a new contract extension until 2024 at the age of 33.


19) Inigo Martinez (Athletic Bilbao)
Martinez has a verbal agreement to join Barcelona after five-and-a-half years in Bilbao.


20) Naby Keita (Liverpool)
One of the greatest disappointments of Jurgen Klopp’s reign, playing just 129 games for the Reds in five years as form and fitness have often eluded him.


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