Even in an era awash with ludicrous riches clubs can’t resist a good bargain, which is why this month they will be closely monitoring the availability of all of the best talent who have yet to sign contract extensions with their present employers. By law these players are now free to determine their own futures and sign for whoever they wish in January ahead of officially joining in the summer.
Some notable names whose contracts are ending include Yaya Toure and Zlatan Ibrahimovic but we’re concentrating on the strata below, at those who would undoubtedly improve any given Premier League squad without demanding a king’s ransom – or a ‘final pay day’ if we’re being kind – to do so.
There’s some exciting talent out there ready to be snapped up for a signing on fee alone. Will your club be heading the queue in the January sales?
Yes, him. The 23 year old may have found himself cast so far into the wilderness at West Brom that he could probably teach Bear Grylls a thing or two but he remains a rare and exhilarating forward capable of winning matches single-handedly.
Granted his almighty strop at being denied a dream move to Spurs in August 2015 was unseemly but it’s hardly shocking news that some footballers possess such character flaws. There is however no denying his ability and Pulis has recently admitted that his troubled star has ‘that sparkle back in his eyes’. Now is the time for Berahino to transfer that enthusiasm back onto the pitch.
A perfect fit for….Rangers
The two-time league winner came within a whisker of joining Inter Milan last August and Italy still looks the likeliest destination for a full-back who will always give his all for the cause.
Beloved by Manchester City fans after years of outstanding service it will be a bittersweet farewell for the Argentinian who knows age and injuries have made it extremely difficult to win foot-races against today’s younger and speedier wingers.
An impressive midfield cameo against Celtic in a Champions League dead-rubber earlier this season hints at a move inside to the position where he first made his name and should this happen don’t be surprised to see a couple more Indian Summers from the seasoned warrior yet.
A perfect fit for….Everton
The 14-cap Italian winger has not enjoyed the best of times at Atletico Madrid since his £13m in 2015 but his versatility and work ethic will surely appeal given his previous achievements in Serie A.
A failed medical ruled out a switch to Bologna last summer and while that is a concern we’re still talking about a 29 year old who was recently coveted by Europe’s elite.
Whoever can keep him fit and motivated has a jewel on their hands and Cerci, like the Betfred mobile app where you can claim a free £60 bet when you bet £10, is surely worth a closer look.
A perfect fit for….West Brom
The commanding Cameroonian centre-back has been a mainstay of Galatasaray’s back-line for three years having previously excelled in France with Lille.
A threat at set pieces the tall stopper has bags of Champions League experience and would be a huge asset to any side looking to strengthen their defensive options ahead of a relegation fight ahead.
A perfect fit for…Swansea City
The Villarreal left-back offers experienced assurance in a position that many clubs struggle to improve upon while his failed contract negotiations affords a six million pound player with five years of La Liga nous for next to nothing.
Tenacious in challenges and comfortable in possession Costa can easily slot into a midfield berth when asked and comes with a fierce shot that often finds the target.
A perfect fit for…Sunderland
The Bosnian full-back is in high demand with a number of top clubs linked but its Liverpool who are currently hot favourites to pry him from Schalke this summer. Jurgen Klopp is evidently a fan and though James Milner has excelled in the left of defence it remains a problem area for the Reds that demands a long-term solution. The always excellent Kolasinac fits the bill with the added bonus of reuniting him with former team-mate Matip to boot.
A perfect fit for…Liverpool
It’s no surprise that Newcastle and Crystal Palace are reportedly hot on the heels of this exciting left winger. For one thing the former Arsenal target has pace to burn and sufficient trickery and nous to force his way into France’s national side. For another his name encompasses half of the Beatles which suggests greatness in anyone’s book.
The 24 year old seems destined for our shores this summer with Rennes unable to retain their quick-footed diamond. It’s just a question of who wins out for his signature.
A perfect fit for…Southampton