In recent years, every transfer window is now headlined by a big money signing, whether it is in the summer or in January.
In today's world we hardly see a free transfer that takes the world by storm. So, in this article we will show you the top ten players in world football that are available on a free transfer at the end of the season due to their contract expiring.
10) Nemanja Vidic
The current captain of the Premier League champions, Manchester United. Nemanja Vidic has been one of the most feared centre-backs for several years now, and still is well recognised.
Vidic has won many awards in his career, both individually and for Manchester United. One of these was winning the "Barclays Player of the season" award, not once, but twice.
The Serbian is a rock at the heart of the defence and even at the age of 32, is still very reliable at the highest level. A cracking free signing for anyone around the world.
9) Didier Drogba
The man who made his name at Chelsea, scoring over 150 goals in his time at Stamford Bridge. However, the Ivorian is nearing the end of his 18 month contract at current club Galatasaray and the 35-year-old still has plenty to offer at the highest level.
Drogba's goal ratio for the Turkish club is a goal in just over two games but his record at international level is absolutely sensational. Whilst he may not have played on the biggest stage regularly at international level, Drogba has over 60 goals inside 100 appearances.
Admired by many, a return to the Premier League for Drogba would be exciting for all to see.
8) Ashley Cole
Sticking with the Chelsea theme, Ashley Cole is still one of the best left-backs in the world. Even though he hasn't played a lot this season under Jose Mourinho, Cole is still the first choice left-back for England, ahead of Leighton Baines, Kieran Gibbs and even Luke Shaw now.
Despite not being the best role model off the field, there is no denying Cole's determination on the field.
For a player that has over 350 appearances in the Premier League and over 100 caps for England, there is no doubt that Cole would be a great asset for anyone to have.
7) Igor Akinfeev
Perhaps a lot of people may not have known that Igor Akinfeev's contract is running out in the summer of 2014.
The Russian goalkeeper was reportedly close to signing for Manchester United years ago following the retirement of Edwin van der Sar. However, that deal obviously failed to happen.
Akinfeev is only 27, which is young for a goalkeeper, and is someone who has a lot of leadership qualities, which is vital for someone in his position.
Having been club captain for CSKA Moscow for many years, Akinfeev would be an attractive addition for any side.
6) Victor Valdes
Another goalkeeper that can be bought for free. Victor Valdes has already confirmed that he will run down his contract to the end before deciding to move elsewhere.
The Spaniard has won every single title with Barcelona and Spain that there is to offer. Valdes has broken many records at Barcelona, including failing to concede a goal in 466 minutes in Europe.
Having amassed over 500 appearances for one of the best teams in the world, Valdes would be a huge signing for anyone, especially on a free.
5) Andrea Pirlo
Arguably one of the greatest players in the history of the game when it comes to passing the ball. Pirlo has been dominating games throughout his career by controlling games with his ability to split opposition defences apart with his deadly passing.
A demonstration of his passing qualities would be to show you some statistics from the whole of last season. His pass success rate was a stunning 87.3% and he averaged three key passes per game, the joint highest in Serie A last season.
Despite being 34 years of age, Pirlo is still one of the world's best playmakers, and is still capable of performing at the highest level.
4) Bacary Sagna
Maybe a surprise to some, that Arsenal's first choice right-back for six and a half seasons, Bacary Sagna, could leave for free at the end of the season.
Over the six seasons since joining Arsenal, Sagna has failed to play more than 29 games only twice, due to injury. The Frenchman has suffered horrific injuries in the past but has come back strongly to return as Arsenal's first choice right-back once again.
Sagna has been named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year twice in his Arsenal career and is recognised as one the best right-backs in the Premier League.
Having attracted interest in the past, it is quite certain that there will be plenty of suitors for the 30 year-old.
3) Blaise Matuidi
The PSG midfielder was one of the first ever signings after the French club were taken over and reportedly became the richest club in the world at that time.
Matuidi arrived with a host of other players, but has been one of few players that have remained there since. Having signed a three-year deal when joining, the Frenchman is a tasty option for many clubs at the end of the season.
Matuidi has already made over 100 appearances for PSG and is known for his work ethic and ability to win the ball. He made 35 starts in Ligue 1 last season and averaged over three tackles and interceptions per game.
He also chipped in with five goals for his team and had a very impressive pass success rate of 88.6%. Only 26, there is full expectation that the future is bright for Blaise Matuidi.
2) Xabi Alonso
Known by many in England, Spain and probably all around the world as one of the most complete midfielders in the world. Similar to Pirlo, but arguably playing in a better league during his career, those being the Premier League and La Liga compared to Serie A.
Alonso is well-known for his deadly passing, especially from long distances. Last season, despite only starting 22 times in the League, Alonso averaged over 65 passes per game, a stat that only Cesc Fabregas and Andreas Iniesta could better.
His long passing was not to be beaten though, with the Spaniard averaging over six long balls per game. Having created a great connection with Liverpool during his time at Merseyside, Alonso is reportedly interested in making a return to Anfield.
The 32 year-old has also been linked with Real Sociedad, the club he started his career with.
1) Robert Lewandowski
Last but not least, Robert Lewandowski. The Polish man, who plays for Borussia Dortmund is now one of the most deadliest strikers in world football. Lewandowski has scored 39 goals in 2013 so far and four of those goals came in a single game against, none other, than Real Madrid.
His record for Dortmund is extremely impressive, scoring 91 goals in only 163 games. One of the only strikers to not have a real weakness, Lewandowski has become one of the most feared strikers today, with his ability to score with either foot, with his head or even from range, showing just how good he is.
If he was under contract for many years, many would say even £50m would not be enough for his services. However, available for free at the end of the season, Lewandowski reportedly has his heart set on a move to rivals Bayern Munich at the end of the season, and will sign a pre-contract agreement to join the German champions in the summer of 2014.
Did you agree with the order of this list? Were you surprised? There are many other good players that are also coming up to the end of their contract, would you include someone else in the list? Leave your comments
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