David Alaba’s move to Real Madrid on a free transfer might just be the best deal to get done this summer. The Austrian ran down his contract with Bayern Munich, and that he was doing that had been clear for a long time, before leaving Bavaria for Spain at the end of his deal with the German champions.
With the market deflated since the coronavirus pandemic, more deals of this kind could be yet to come. Around Europe there are a lot of players whose contracts end next summer and who could follow Alaba‘s footsteps.
The ‘Alaba case’ sets a precedent that they’ll want to avoid in the future, but Niklas Sule, Leon Goretzka and Corentin Tolisso all see their deals expire next summer.
But 2023 is the bigger problem for Bayern as things stand, and Kingsley Coman is the highest profile player whose deal expires then.
Raphael Varane‘s future is up in the air, and he might even leave the club this summer. As well as him, Isco, Karim Benzema, Dani Carvajal and Nacho Fernandez will be available for free in a year’s time. Nacho and Varane, though, have been offered extensions.
Gareth Bale‘s contract also has a year left to run, but there have been reports that he could even retire after this summer’s European Championship.
Joan Laporta knows that Barcelona‘s squad needs rejuvenating and new signings have already come in this summer.
But Ousmane Dembele, Sergi Roberto, Ansu Fati, Pedri and Ilaix Moriba all see their current contracts expire in 2022.
It’s hard to imagine that anybody would walk away from the current Spanish champions at the moment, but things could change in a year. Felipe, Hector Herrera, Vitolo and Sime Vrsaljko‘s deals end then, as does Luis Suarez‘s.
Paul Pogba and Antonio Rudiger are the two standout names with expiring contracts in England, but they’re not alone.
Arsenal have Alexandre Lacazette‘s nearing an end, while Andreas Christensen, Emerson and Cesar Azpilicueta are in the same position at Chelsea. John Stones‘ stay at Manchester City could also end.
If Nasser Al-Khelaifi‘s promise that Kylian Mbappe “will never leave for free” is to come true, then he has a year to get the forward to sign an extension.
With Real Madrid sniffing around and his current deal up in 2022, that is at risk of happening.
Paulo Dybala is undoubtedly the big name in Serie A who could leave Juventus for free in a year, but Massimiliano Allegri‘s return has made his renewal a priority for the club. Cristiano Ronaldo and Juan Cuadrado are in the same position.
Beyond Juventus, Franck Kessie and Alessio Romagnoli are in their last year at AC Milan on their current deal, as is Lorenzo Pellegrini at Roma, Marcelo Brozovic and Ivan Perisic at Inter, Lorenzo Insigne at Napoli and Torino‘s Andrea Belotti.