2021 free agents XI: Messi, Modric, Aguero, Ramos, Others

One man has dominated the headlines with his current deal expiring with Barcelona come June 30. He stars in an impressive line-up of players out of contract in the summer.

June 30th is a significant date in the footballing calendar. It’s the date when the previous season in major European leagues is generally recognized to have finished and is also the expiry date for football contracts.

As of the beginning of 2021, any player whose deal expires at the end of June is in a position to talk with would-be suitors with this year’s out of contract players being dominated by Leo Messi. This year Messi is joined by some fine talent as we select the ideal XI of players who will be free agents come July.

Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan: goalkeeper)

AC Milan are desperate to retain their young keeper with Donnarumma still only 22-years-old. His agent Mino Riaola is demanding a wage of 10 million euro per season with the Milanese club offering the player 7.5 million over five seasons. The super-agent also wants to see a release clause of 40 million euro fixed according latest reports by Italian media with the clock ticking down for both sides as we move in to March 2021.

Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) defender

Following the long-standing impasse between Real Madrid and Sergio Ramos, it appears that the captain has moved one step closer to renewing his contract at the Bernabéu.

The apparent breakthrough between the two sides has come following informal and personal contact between the player and Madrid president Florentino Pérez. Ramos’s desire is to continue playing for Madrid. However, the 34-year-old defender has so far been reluctant to accept Madrid’s offer, which would see his salary cut by 10% in exchange for a two-year deal at the club.

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David Alaba (Bayern Munich) defender

Alaba, 28, has refused to sign a new contract at Bayern, where he has been in the first team for a decade – a move which will leave him in a position to pocket a larger signing-on fee and weekly wage at his next club. Real Madrid, who know they face competition for the defender’s signature – most notably from Premier League club Manchester City – are ready to hand him a salary of 11m euros after tax per year (22m gross).

Eric Garcia (Manchester City) defender

The defender is anxious to return to his native Barcelona and was linked with a move back to Camp Nou during the winter transfer window. Barça’s financial issues and presidential campaign saw the move failing to materialise and it’s more than likely that the 20-year-old defender will be pulling on the famous azul-grana shirt next season.

Aissa Mandi (Real Betis) defender

The French born, but Algerian international is a versatile defender that can play in a central role but is as equally as comfortable at right back. Capped 59 times for the ‘Desert Foxes’ , the 29-year-old was linked with Premier League champions Liverpool but is now embroiled in a re-negotiation process with Real Betis with Chilean coach Manuel Pellegrini anxious to retain his services at the heart of his defence.

Memphis Depay (Olympique Lyon) midfielder

Memphis Depay had made it clear that he wants to join Barça from Lyon and was close to making the move last summer following Ronald Koeman taking over at the Camp Nou club as head coach.

The signing of Depay was a specific request from Koeman with Depay also attracting interest from Juventus.

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Depay continues to stress his focus is still on Lyon and the Netherlands, though he did not shy away from a desire to play for Barça. “Who wouldn’t like to go to Barcelona? It’s a top club”.

Julian Draxler (PSG) midfielder

The German international has hinted that he will reveal his future club in March 2021 after he moved to PSG in 2017 on a 42 euro million move from Bundesliga side Wolfsburg. His Ligue 1 spell has been slightly underwhelming but the player has claimed three league titles and cup winners with the Parsian giants in his spell in the French capital.

Angel di Maria (PSG) midfielder

The veteran Argentine player may be poised for a return to the Premier League with Tottenham reported to be interested in securing his services this summer. Capped over 100 times for Argentina, ‘El Fideo’ has enjoyed a solid spell in Paris after his disappointing time with Old Trafford outfit Manchester United.

Luka Modric (Real Madrid) midfielder

The Croatian for many loyal Madridistas is the club’s most consistent player despite his age (35) is still one of the first players in Zidane’s first team selection. During a recent international break, the central player stated that renegotiation talks were’ going well’ with everything pointing to the Zadar born player pulling on the famous white shirt next season.

Lionel Messi (Barcelona) striker

The biggest question in world football surrounds the future of the Rosario born player. The outcome of the imminent FC Barcelona presidential elections may be instrumental in Messi’s decision process despite the financial disarray at the Catalan outfit. PSG and Manchester City are the two possible destinations with City looking at a spell for the Argentine in MLS with their sister club NYCFC.

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Sergio Aguero (Manchester City) striker

Despite the Argentine’s current deal expiring on June 30th, City are prepared to offer the striker a one year extension but only on the pretext that the player takes a considerable drop in his current wage packet. The forward currently pockets over 12 million euro per campaign with the Citizens.

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