The transfer window is open for business on January 1 and it could be a month of huge deals as a host of big stars move into the final six months of their contracts..
It offers players the chance to chat with foreign clubs to join them this summer, when they will be free – unless the clubs decide to cash in.
For many, an exit from their respective clubs is guaranteed, with players considering new challenges.
For others, their future is still not clear and their clubs will have time to tie them to agreements.
But, with offers flying out the window, could they be tempted by a big payday and move to new pastures?
talkSPORT.com takes a look at the top starting XI of players who are currently on the cusp of free agents next summer – and therefore up for grabs in January.
The veteran keeper has been a mainstay in Tottenham Hotspur since joining the club in 2012 from Lyon.
The 34-year-old has made more than 380 appearances for Spurs, the majority as captain and, although he didn’t win silver for the club, he won the World Cup and the League of Nations. UEFA nations with his country during his stay in North London.
Tottenham, who have been linked to Sam Johnstone and Dean Henderson as possible replacements, allowed the skipper’s contract to end, but the head coach Antonio Conté holds the French in high regard and talks are expected to intensify in the coming months over a possible contract extension.
The Brazilian star has made it clear his intention to leave Real Madrid next summer and return to Brazil after a successful career in Spain.
After more than 500 appearances and four Champions League trophies, five La Liga titles, two Spanish Cups, four FIFA Club World Cups and four Spanish Super Cups, the 33-year-old is expected to join Fluminense a once his contract expired in Santiago. Bernabéu.
Marcelo started his playing career with the Brazilian squad, where he joined the academy before establishing himself in the first team in the 2005/06 campaign.
Antonio Rudiger (CB)
Rudiger’s influence at the center of Chelsea’s defense has been evident this season, with the German revitalized under Thomas Tuchel.
But, his contractual situation has not changed despite his new importance for the Blues.
Barcelona have expressed interest in signing him in recent weeks but are unlikely to allow themselves to pay him what they want, with Chelsea also reluctant to pay up and offer him an exceptional new deal.
Andreas Christensen (CB)
The Danish defender struggled to cement a regular starting place under Tuchel in Chelsea’s final three setup.
AC Milan and Barcelona are both also assessing his situation, with clubs likely to melt for the 25-year-old when the window opens.
César Azpilicueta (RB)
The beloved captain has become a key figure at the rear of that of Chelsea success over the past decade.
Gareth Bale (AG)
The Welsh winger could leave Real Madrid for the last time, having struggled for consistency in recent seasons.
A potential return to Tottenham is possible after his successful loan to his former club last season, where he managed 16 goals and three assists in 34 games.
It’s clear the 32-year-old’s time at the Bernabeu is over, having made just three appearances in all competitions, scoring one goal, this season.
But, having previously been linked with trips to the Middle East and Major League Soccer, there is every chance that Bale could go for a final salary before ending his career, rather than a return to England.
Paul Pogba (CM)
However, the Frenchman’s future at Old Trafford is still unclear, with an outspoken agent Mino Raiola reveals he has received “many offers” – including an extension with the Red Devils.
Real Madrid could also lead the line by signing the Frenchman, with Raiola claiming Bayern Munich cannot afford to pay his salary.
Louka Modric (CM)
Both Manchester clubs are linked with Modric if he does not extend his stay at Real Madrid.
The Croatian international and Ballon d’Or winner is said to be keen to stay, which could potentially prevent the La Liga giants from signing Pogba.
Man City and Manchester United have been linked with an interest in the former Tottenham star, with a possible future transfer to the MLS champions in New York if he moves to the Etihad.
However, reports in Spain by Marca claim the real bosses want to keep him and the Croatia captain will likely sign new terms with Los Blancos.
You never know, however …
Jesse Lingard (AD)
Much was expected of Lingard this season after his six-month loan spell at West Ham last season, but he has found his playing opportunities limited at Old Trafford due to the arrivals of Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho.
With his contract at the end of the campaign, it is likely that the childhood United player will push to leave Old Trafford in search of the regular playing time he deserves.
But whether it will be a transfer in January or a free transfer in the summer, it is not known.
Kylian Mbappé (CF)
Mbappe has always dreamed of playing for Real Madrid, and he won’t have a better opportunity to make his dreams come true.
The LaLiga team saw two offers rejected for the French superstar this summer, with reports claiming the highest was € 200million. [£170m] on the deadline day, but even that was not deemed high enough for PSG.
But the French giants may regret not having cashed when they had the chance, with Real being free to negotiate a possible free transfer in January.
PSG’s round of 16 against Los Blancos in the Champions League could be decisive in Real’s final quest to sign him before next season.
Alexandre Lacazette (CF)
Contract negotiations are at a standstill for Lacazette until the end of the 2021/22 campaign, but by then it could be too late.
He has led the line for Arsenal in recent weeks and has taken on the captain’s armband, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang again in Mikel Arteta’s niche, but it is not known if he will stay in the Emirates this summer.
The Frenchman has made 14 appearances in all competitions but only managed four goals, and he has long been expected to leave the north London club when his contract expires.
But, with the new uncertainty over Aubameyang’s future, it could prompt Arsenal to act to keep Lacazette at the club.
Free agents in 2022 XI:
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