Big-Name Stars Free to Move Next Summer If They Don't Agree New Contracts
The transfer window is now closed, but Europe's top clubs still have some business deals to sort out over the coming weeks and months.
A host of top players are in the final year of their contracts, as this list from Transfermarkt details, and their bosses need to decide whether they are worthy of an extension.
Some will be tied up to secure their value in the market, some will earn bumper paydays to ensure they don't join a rival club, and some will be released.
Here, we take a run down at some of the biggest names who will be in the news as they attempt to sort out their future.
David De Gea
He's one of the best goalkeepers in the world, and David De Gea needs assurances that his club realise how lucky they are to have him.
There was plenty of scrutiny on him after he joined Manchester United in an £18.9 million transfer in 2011 from Atletico Madrid, but not only did he come through some tough times, he has also become one of the league's standout stars.
De Gea's contract expires next summer and although there is an option of one additional year, United want him to stay for the long term. They are trying to get him to agree a five-year deal and have been given signals he would be willing to stay—but they have to offer the right terms.
The 27-year-old wants to move on to similar terms to Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez to recognise his status within the side. And that means United are going to have to pay him around £350,000 per week to stay.
It will probably happen—because they would be in even worse shape without him.
Other United stars, including Luke Shaw, Anthony Martial and Juan Mata are also out of contract in 2019, but they are not deemed as important as the Spanish goalkeeper.
For a moment it looked like Adrien Rabiot would leave Paris Saint-Germain in the summer transfer window, but Barcelona and AC Milan both failed to conclude deals.
The good news for those two clubs is that the 23-year-old is likely to leave PSG next year. The bad news is that Premier League champions Manchester City are now being linked with a future offer to sign him.
Rabiot is being offered fresh terms in Paris, but sources suggest he is tempted to take up a new challenge instead.
Bleacher Report understands he has been recommended by agents to put off any further talks over a new PSG contract until the new year, to see which firm offers open up in other countries.
After a decade in Arsenal colours, there is genuine doubt about how much longer Aaron Ramsey will remain a Gunner.
The 27-year-old has been involved in all four games since the Unai Emery era began, but conversations over the conditions of his next contract have been dragging since last season.
It is suggested he wants a significant rise on his current £110,000-per-week terms, and while Arsenal are willing to boost his pay, they are not prepared to raise the offer as far as Ramsey's representatives have been pushing.
Mesut Ozil's £350,000-per-week deal completely changed the club's pay structure, but sources at Arsenal told B/R his terms are not relatable to most other first-team players because of the global status he holds.
Ideally, Ramsey will stay at Arsenal—but he does need to feel the club respect his value in the current market and will start looking more seriously at potential new clubs in the new year if nothing is signed.
A bid from Manchester United failed to materialise over the summer, and it was unclear how Toby Alderweireld would fit in at Tottenham Hotspur as a result. He had been hopeful of the switch and, according to sources in Belgium, was disappointed that no firm offer arrived.
Mauricio Pochettino clearly has no problem with the Belgian defender's performance level and professionalism, though, as he has started two matches in the Premier League since then.
However, the 29-year-old won't be leaving Spurs on a free transfer.
Tottenham can trigger a one-year extension which will mean Alderweireld has a £25 million clause—a figure that is almost certain to be met by a European giant next summer.
He already seems to have been fighting for his future at Chelsea for the past two years but now time really is ticking on whether Cesc Fabregas finally has to move on.
Blues head coach Maurizio Sarri has not called on him in the league this season as a knee problem has restricted the Spaniard's availability.
At the age of 31, the best he can hope for at Stamford Bridge is a one-year extension—but it is expected Fabregas will use this season to weigh up new options that open up for him around the world.
He was linked with a move to Napoli in the summer as part of the Jorginho transfer but wasn't interested in a move to Serie A.
Chelsea have other contract issues to contend with this season, as Gary Cahill, Olivier Giroud and David Luiz all face uncertain futures in west London.
Mousa Dembele has emerged as one of the most technically gifted midfield players in English football, but his time in a Spurs shirt is almost at an end.
Rumours over a summer exit came to nothing, but that does not mean he is going to feature heavily in their long-term strategy at the new-look White Hart Lane (when they eventually move in).
Dembele is considering various options and one of those becoming realistic is the chance to play in the Chinese Super League. He is able to sign a pre-contract with an overseas club in the new year, and sources close to the negotiations claim Beijing Gouan—who are currently top of the league—are willing to pay the player more than he earns at Spurs.
The 31-year-old is likely to see the offer as the most cash he could possibly earn at this stage. But he is thought to have concerns over the league and wants to sound out some of the players who have already made the jump.