Free agents: The best players available on a Bosman Transfer

Martin Macdonald
Martin Macdonald
  • 23 Feb 2024 15:43 GMT
  • 2 min read
David de Gea, Man Utd, 2023

The 2023 summer transfer window saw a host of big-name stars move on free transfers.

Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets moved to Inter Miami, Milan Skriniar signed for PSG, Roberto Firmino and N'Golo Kante went to Saudi Arabia, joining Al-Ahli and Al-Ittihad respectively, and Angel Di Maria returned to Benfica for one last dance.

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Those are just the most high-profile ones. In the Bundesliga alone, Raphael Guerreiro and Konrad Laimer joined Bayern, Ramy Bensebaini signed for Borussia Dortmund and Marcus Thuram departed for Inter.

Joining Thuram in Italy was ex-Lyon star Houssem Aouar, who signed for Roma. The Algerian's former Lyon teammate Moussa Dembele also headed for the exit after running down his contract, joining Steven Gerrard's Saudi club Al-Ettifaq.

In Spain, Inigo Martinez and Manchester City legend Ilkay Gundogan signed for Barcelona. Furthermore, former Real Madrid men Isco and James Rodriguez found clubs after being released during the past season, joining Real Betis and Sao Paulo, respectively.

Then, Real Madrid legend Sergio Ramos became another notable star to join a new club as a free agent - he returned to Sevilla on 4 September.

However, this summer promises to be just as intriguing in regards to free agent moves as Kylian Mbappe could join Real Madrid. While we have to wait until the summer to resolve that transfer saga, there are several big-name stars still available on a free transfer right now.

Who are the best free transfers in soccer?

Every year on 1 July, players whose contracts expire at their clubs become free agents.

Even when the transfer window is closed from September to December and February to July, clubs around Europe and the world can still sign them outside of the regular transfer windows.

The biggest name who was a free agent until recently was Eden Hazard, but the Chelsea legend has now officially retired after leaving Real Madrid in June.

Long-time Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea is still unattached after seeing his contract at Old Trafford expire. He had been linked with a move to Real Madrid following Thibaut Courtois's ACL injury, but they opted to sign Kepa Arrizabalaga instead.

In late 2023, De Gea has been touted as a potential injury replacement for Nick Pope at Newcastle, but links quickly died down and Eddie Howe opted to promote Martin Dubravka to the number one spot.

Below are the best free agents unattached and available to be signed for nothing.

Out of contract players

PlayerAgeCountryPositionLast Club
David de Gea33SpainGKMan Utd
Anwar El-Ghazi28NetherlandsFWMainz
Santi Mina28SpainSTCelta Vigo
Helder Costa30PortugalRWLeeds
Mamadou Sakho33FranceCBMontpellier
Josh Onomah26EnglandCMPreston
Karim Bellarabi33GermanyRWBayer Leverkusen
Phil Jones31EnglandCBMan Utd
Shkodran Mustafi31GermanyCBLevante

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