Messi, Donnarumma and the best Bosman XI of the summer
This summer has seen an unprecedented amount of Bosman transfers, with the highest calibre of players moving for absolutely nothing in regards to a transfer fee.
Wages, of course, come into play, but there have been some steal this transfer window. While Jack Grealish and Romelu Lukaku have joined Manchester City and Chelsea respectively for large sums of money, other clubs have been far more astute with business, although it's often largely been down to the player wanting out.
That's certainly the case with several players on this list, who refused to sign a new deal at their old club. Either way, this XI of Bosman transfers is quite simply staggering, especially when you consider that seven of these players joined just two teams; Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona.
Those two clubs have utilised the free agent market better than anyone this summer, but who makes the best XI of Bosman transfers this 2021 summer window?
The best Bosman XI this summer
In between the sticks is new PSG 'keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma. The European Championship Player of the Tournament had been touted for a move away from Milan for several years, and this summer, he finally left the San Siro. After making 251 appearances for his boyhood club, despite still being just 22, Donnarumma is one of Europe's best goalkeepers, and PSG have themselves a gem.
Eric Garcia features at the back after making the move back to Barcelona from Manchester City. He, of course, was part of the Blaugrana's youth system before moving to England, and heavily pushed for a return. After failing to establish himself as a regular at the Etihad, Garcia has some work to do at the Camp Nou, but if he can carry on improving, he has an exciting future ahead of him.
The first centre-back is Jerome Boateng, another former Manchester City defender. Unlike Garcia, however, Boateng made his name at Bayern Munich, spending 10 years with the Bavarian club. After speaking to Franck Ribery, Boateng decided on Lyon after his Bayern contract expired in June.
His partner at the back is Sergio Ramos, one of the game's defining figures over the past decade. An icon at Real Madrid, Ramos departed the Santiago Bernabeu after 17 years this summer, and opted to move to PSG amid interest from several other European clubs.
David Alaba makes up the back-four, featuring at left-back, although he will play in the centre as the aforementioned Ramos' replacement. Like Boateng, he leaves Bayern after a long, and successful spell at the club, during which he won a total of 10 Bundesliga titles, as well as two Champions League's.
Georginio Wijnaldum and Hakan Calhanoglu provide a rather attacking double pivot, with the former swapping Liverpool for Paris, and the latter making the controversial switch from AC Milan to Inter Milan, although his home ground will of course stay the same.
Florian Thauvin has departed Marseille for Tigres in Mexico after scoring 61 goals and recorded 35 assists since re-joining the club ahead of the 2016/17 season. He reportedly turned down a move to Atletico Madrid this summer.
The, of course, Lionel Messi features. Arguably the greatest player in history was forced to leave Barcelona due to their dire financial situation, and chose PSG as his next destination. A one club man up until now, Messi scored a record 672 goals in 778 games for the club he joined as a 13-year-old.
Flying Dutchman Memphis Depay has already hit the ground running at Barcelona since his move from Lyon. Instrumental for the French club since leaving Manchester United, Depay will now be a pivotal part of Ronald Koeman's side as they recover from the loss of Messi.
Leading the line is Sergio Aguero. He may have suffered injury issues at Manchester City, but he's a legendary figure at the club. Having moved to Barcelona to play with Messi, the Argentine won't have that luxury, but once he recovers from injury, he will no doubt play a role for the Blaugrana.