While the January transfer window is rarely considered a sensible time to invest in new players from a financial perspective, there are always bargains to be found for those who look hard enough.
The likes of Ashley Cole, Ryan Giggs and Theo Walcott will see their contracts expire at the end of this season, meaning they can walk away in the summer if they choose. If prospective buyers can't wait that long, they will be able to make cut-price offers to clubs desperate to cash in on stars who will leave for free otherwise.
Here are five players who have six months left with their current clubs, and who could prove to be tremendous value in the January sales...
When Andrei Arshavin arrived at Arsenal in the January window of 2009, the Gunners had introduced one of the most exciting players in the world to their lineup.
In the four years since, the Russian has gradually slipped out of favor with Arsene Wenger. Even though transfermarkt.co.uk estimates his value at £7.9 million, Arsenal are entertaining offers of as little as £2 million, say The Daily Mail.
Reading—owned by Russian oligarch Anton Zingarevich—were close to sealing a deal for the 31-year-old, but his £80,000 weekly wages have been a sticking point. Reports suggest the Royals are only willing to stump up £65,000 per week, but a player of Arshavin's calibre—and fame in Russia—will surely pay dividends on the extra weekly remuneration.
Rio Ferdinand has been a mainstay of the Manchester United defense since his record-breaking £30 million transfer from Leeds in July 2002.
With ten seasons on the clock since he arrived at Old Trafford, the England centre-back's value has depreciated to around £5.3 million. That's a bargain for a player with a wealth of experience and who continues to hold his own in a title-challenging side (albeit with a little less pace than ten years ago).
With his contract expiring in the summer, The Guardian believe there is a "big chance" of Rio following Didier Drogba to the Chinese Super League during this window. China is one of the few places where the 34-year-old would find some parity with his current £130,000 weekly wages.
Ever-present for Fulham since arriving in 2008, Brede Hangeland has only six months remaining on his contract, with no signs of resolving a dispute that has been ongoing since April.
According to The Express, Harry Redknapp is keen to exploit the dispute and bring the Norwegian international across West London to Loftus Road. QPR are said to be interested in five new players in this window, with the Fulham captain viewed as an ideal solution for a defence that has leaked 36 goals in 20 league games.
The centre-back is valued at a reasonable £7 million—around double his value when he joined Fulham—but given his contract situation and Redknapp's penchant for a good deal, this figure should come down.
Former Manchester City captain Kolo Toure appears to have lost a lot of stock after serving a six-month ban for failing a drug test in 2011. Since the Ivorian was linked with Turkish side Bursaspor in the summer, there has been little to suggest he will stay in Manchester.
Toure would have cost the Turks around £6 million, which is a considerable drop from the £16 million City paid for him in 2009. With a free summer transfer looming, City will undoubtedly take even less this month.
Florent Malouda may have a Champions League medal, five domestic league titles and six domestic cups to his name, but the 32-year-old French international has been completely frozen out of Chelsea's first team this season.
Malouda was linked with a move to Brazilian side Santos in October 2012, but his reported £80,000 weekly wages proved to be prohibitive.
In light of his contract situation, the left-sided midfielder will undoubtedly be in the shop window this January for a fraction of the £13 million he cost Chelsea in 2007.
Transfer valuations: transfermarkt.co.uk