Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Gini Wijnaldum: Which players are out of contract in 2021?

  • Kobe Tong

The January transfer window is now only days away.

As the turkey settles in your stomach and the Premier League fixtures come rolling in every other second, you know that you’re never far away from the transfer run mill making a comeback.

However, for all the Fernando Torres to Chelsea and Alexis Sanchez to Manchester United deals, there’s always that voice in your head telling you that January windows tend to be quiet.

Free agents in 2021

It’s notoriously difficult to get good value for players in the middle of the season and if anything, things will only be trickier when you consider everything that’s gone on across 2020.

But even if £100 million deals won’t be going through the cash register, you can at least reassure yourself with the drama of players who are approaching the end of their contracts.

It’s always tense when a player with no interest in renewing their deal moves towards a feeding frenzy of clubs clamouring for their signature – and 2021 is set to be absolute carnage.


Messi out of contract in 2021

When even Lionel Messi – some guy who plays for Barcelona, apparently – is out of contract in the summer of 2021, you can expect there to be plenty of drama when it comes to expiring deals.

And you can expect proceedings to ramp up during the January window as players with a deal ending in 2021 having the option to speak to European clubs about a pre-contract agreement.

It’s a fascinating situation that got us thinking here at GIVEMESPORT, turning to Transfermarkt to look at the reams and reams of world-class players who could be on the move next summer.


XI of 2021 free agents

In fact, such is the abundance of quality that we couldn’t resist imagining how they’d line up together in a starting XI and it’s fair to say they’d do pretty decently at a Champions League level.

If you think we’re exaggerating, bear in mind that over half of the players in the line-up were nominated for the 2020 FIFA FIFPro World XI. Yeh, seriously, so check out the team below:

GK: Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan)

RB: Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich)

CB: Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)

CB: David Alaba (Bayern Munich)


LB: Juan Bernat (Paris Saint-Germain)

CM: Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool)

CM: Mesut Ozil (Arsenal)

CAM: Angel Di Maria (Paris Saint-Germain)

RF: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

ST: Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)

LF: Memphis Depay (Lyon)


World-class quality everywhere

Wowsers. Aside from the full-back positions, where we’re having to play Boateng out of position, there’s hardly a chink in the team’s armour, which is crazy considering they could all move for free.

Donnarumma is one of the world’s best goalkeepers, Ramos and Alaba have been two of the best centre-backs in the business this year and Ozil and Di Maria would be a devastating creative duo.

Marry that to the deadly combination of Messi and Aguero with a sprinkling of youthfulness from Depay and you have yourselves the ultimate footballing Supermarket Sweep ready to be had.


Sadly, the wage demands of some of these juggernauts would prevent our imaginary Free Agent FC, but I don’t think I’m alone in being fascinating to see where all 11 players wind up in 2021.

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