The summer transfer window is looming ever closer, which causes speculation to increase by the day.
Herein are seven of the best holding midfielders in the world today that look set for a move once their respective footballing seasons end.
Whilst some of these players don't have a target club linked to them, the argument for their departure is evident.
Seydou Keita was almost converted from a holding midfielder to a box-to-box midfielder by Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola.
At the age of 32, Keita is becoming more of a fringe player at the Catalan club with Liverpool the hot favourites to land his signature in the summer.
The Mail claims that Liverpool are also chasing Javi Martinez of Athletic Bilbao.
Martinez is a bit more flexible than Seydou Keita in that he can also play central defense if required.
The Spanish international has seven caps to his name and is just 23 years of age.
Manchester City have an abundance of midfield talent, so it's unsurprising that Nigel De Jong finds it hard to get first team football.
Come the summer, De Jong will have just 12 months left on his contract and he reportedly refused a new offer from the Citizens in January.
City will likely sell him rather than risk losing him for nothing a year down the line.
Back in November, Alex Song was the subject of speculation linking him with a move to Barcelona.
With the Catalan giants struggling to keep up with Real Madrid in La Liga, and Seydou Keita seemingly ready to depart in the summer, Song may become Guardiola's first port of call in the summer.
Arsenal's below par season won't do much to keep him at the Emirates Stadium, with Juventus and Paris St Germain the latest clubs rumoured to be taking an interest for the summer.
January saw Daniele De Rossi linked with a move to Manchester City, but the move never materialized.
With Nigel De Jong set to depart in the summer, Roberto Mancini may rekindle his supposed interest in the Italian international who currently plies his trade in Serie A.
De Rossi recently extended his contract with Roma to 2017, but Roberto Mancini won't give up that easily for a player he has stated his public admiration for.
Mark Van Bommel is considering his options due to his AC Milan contract being set to expire at the end of the season.
Van Bommel is reportedly considering a move back to former club PSV Eindhoven where the player would likely see out his career, but he is not keen to play under Louis Van Gaal who he had a bust up with at Bayern Munich some years ago.
Perhaps one of the more interestingly named players in this list, but certainly not less talented.
Axel Witsel is a 23 year old defensive midfielder who has forged his career at Benfica.
With Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea all rumoured to be interested, Benfica are reportedly holding out for €35 million.
Witsel is part of the Belgian national team.
I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest if every single one of these players were at a new club come the summer.
Daniele De Rossi might be the only exception following his recent decision to extend his contract, but nothing is certain in football these days.
The defensive midfield role is one that has become critical to a clubs success in modern day football, and all these players are capable of improving a team.
It will be interesting to watch the chain reaction of events unfurl over the coming months.
Thanks for reading and be sure to check out Carlos Tevez and The 15 Most Annoying Transfer Sagas.
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