As the footballing world becomes saturated with more and more money, angling for free agents can be one of the most cost-efficient ways of completing major transfers.
Just look at Juventus. The Old Lady have completed the inspired signings of Paul Pogba, Andrea Pirlo, Dani Alves, Fabio Cannavaro, Aaron Ramsey and many more for absolutely nothing.
As a result, it's always important for major clubs to be monitoring which players are coming to the end of their contracts and the turn of a new year always offers a new perspective.
Here at GIVEMESPORT, we've already scanned over the potential freebies in 2020 with big names such as Luka Modric, Christian Eriksen and Edinson Cavani potentially moving for zilch.
However, we've now decided to look even further into the future and assess which players could be available on free transfers in 2021 if their clubs can't rustle up a new contract as soon as possible.
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Free agents in 2021
Therefore, we're talking about players who will be free to chat with other clubs in January and would be completely free to depart next summer.
We've used Transfermarkt to sift through all of the potential free transfers, ranking the 20 most valuable players for whom the clock is ticking below 12 months on their future.
And there's more than enough quality amongst the ranks to get football fans salivating about some potential future, cheap transfers. Check out the full list down below:
20. Wojciech Szczesny (Juventus) - £36.0 million
19. Luis Suarez (Barcelona) - £36.0 million
18. Angel Di Maria (Paris Saint-Germain) - £36.0 million
17. James Rodriguez (Real Madrid) - £36.0 million
16. Piotr Zielinski (Napoli) - £36.0 million
15. Florian Thauvin (Marseille) - £36.0 million
14. Arkadiusz Milik (Napoli) - £36.0 million
13. Alex Telles (Porto) - £36.0 million
12. Ferran Torres (Valencia) - £36.0 million
11. Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool) - £45.0 million
10. Dayot Upamecano (RB Leipzig) - £45.0 million
9. Memphis Depay (Lyon) - £49.5 million
8. Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan) - £49.5 million
7. Thiago Alcantara (Bayern Munich) - £54.0 million
6. Sergio Aguero (Manchester City) - £58.5 million
5. David Alaba (Bayern Munich) - £58.5 million
4. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal) - £63.0 million
3. Paul Pogba (Manchester United) - £90.0 million
2. Leroy Sane (Manchester City) - £90.0 million
1. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) - £126.0 million
GIVEMESPORT's Kobe Tong says
Ever heard of the bloke in first place? Me neither.
Barcelona are arguably the most notable team recurring on the list with both Suarez and Messi at risk of leaving over the next 18 months, especially now they're both in their thirties.
It looks as though Messi will be given a new deal considering his lucrative performances in 2019, although the situation is foggier with Suarez, who could be out injured until the summer.
There's similarly real doubts about Aubameyang's future at Arsenal considering their struggles and I'm inclined to think the appointment of Mikel Arteta won't inspire him enough to stick around.
And as for Pogba, it would surely be in everyone's interest for him to end the perpetual rumours at United by finally jumping ship when his contract is gobbled up by 2021's arrival.
Meanwhile, it seems as though 2021 would be a natural conclusion to Aguero's time at City, although the jury remains out on just how well they'd cope without him.
But individual cases aside, let it show that some of the world's best players could be on the move next year and for less than you and I have probably spent today already... I knew I should have bought Eriksen instead of that pint...News Now - Sport News