That time of year is rapidly approaching. With just a month to go until the summer transfer window in Europe opens, clubs are already planning their reinforcements for next season; or conversely, deciding which players will be expendable for the upcoming campaign.
Today, we take a look at one of the most important positions on the football field, that of the defensive midfielder. Call it pivot, anchorman, deep-lying playmaker, whatever you like; there is no doubt that in recent years, and especially given the rising popularity of formations such as 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-3, the role of the men in the middle guarding the defence is crucial to a team's success.
So who are the men who will be coveted by every coach come June? And who will be the players looking for new homes after falling out of favour in the last six or 12 months?
We have compiled a list of 10 of the top defensive midfielders who could start the 2013-14 campaign in a new home...