Top Five: Free transfer bargains part II

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With a global recession raging and the introduction of UEFA's Financial Fair Play model just around the corner, the summer transfer window can be a depressing time for certain clubs looking to balance their books.

But, the credit crunch need not spoil all the fun because there are still plenty of bargains out there, with quality players reaching the end of their contracts, and with that, the possibility of making new signings without having to spend anything is reason enough to remain positive.

Following on from last week's special feature, GiveMeFootball brings you five more free transfer bargains available this summer...

Michael Owen

After it was announced that Manchester United will not be offering the 32-year-old striker a new contract upon the expiry of his current deal this summer, the news will have already grabbed the attention of a number of managers.

Owen has already revealed he has no intention of hanging up his boots, despite an injury ravaged three-year spell at Old Trafford, and would be reluctant to drop down into the Championship, meaning he will only consider offers from the Premier League or abroad.

After bursting onto the scene as a precocious teenager with Liverpool in 1997, Owen became a national hero with his performances at the 1998 World Cup. He left Anfield for Real Madrid in an £8million deal in 2004, but returned to England a year later with Newcastle.

The former Liverpool prodigy joined United on a free transfer in 2009 and scored 17 goals in 52 appearances for Sir Alex Ferguson's side, but only managed 18 starts after accepting his role as a squad player.

With an impressive international record that reads 40 goals in 89 appearances for England, Owen has not played for the Three Lions since 2008, but still has plenty more to offer.

Salomon Kalou

The 26-year-old Chelsea winger is one of a number of high profile names whose contract is set to expire at Stamford Bridge this summer.

Kalou has been linked with moves to Arsenal and Tottenham, but the Ivorian international recently revealed a preference to return to the Eredivisie with former club Feyenoord.

"Feyenoord can call me any time - they are the first name on my list," he said.

Kalou has featured more prominently in the Blues line-up under the interim management of Roberto Di Matteo, and is set to start in Saturday's Champions League final clash against Bayern Munich. Victory would provide a fitting end to his five year stay in west London.

The utility player has made over 150 Premier League appearances for Chelsea since being signed by Jose Mourinho in 2006, and although never quite establishing himself as a regular starter, he has often been looked upon as a core member of the squad, and could prove an astute signing for whoever moves for him this summer.

Ledley King

The Tottenham captain is set to have another operation on his troublesome knee before opening negotiations to prolong his 14-year stay at White Hart Lane.

King has been plagued by a chronic knee injury over the past few years, that has restricted him to just 23 starts for Spurs this season. However, that is a significant improvement on the previous campaign whereby the defender also suffered from a recurring groin problem.

Injury has prevented King from reaching his full potential, but in the past 12 months under the guidance of Harry Redknapp, he has discovered a fitness programme - which limits him to aerobic swimming pool workouts, and means he barely trains with his teammates - to maximise his playing time.

Speaking earlier this week, the Spurs stopper admitted he has no idea whether this season will have been his last for a club he first joined in 1998.

"Now the season is done I am sure there will be some talks," reflected King. "To be honest, I am not entirely sure what's going on (in terms of a contract offer). I have just wanted to concentrate on trying to play and get my knee right."

If no contract offer is forthcoming, then surely there will be a queue of clubs waiting to take a gamble on him.

Mohamed Diame

The 24-year-old Wigan midfielder is approaching the end of his contract at the DW Stadium, and there seem to be no shortage of offers for the combative Senegalese international.

Diame arrived in England in a £3million deal in 2009, and has impressed with his energetic box-to-box displays for the Latics under the guidance of Roberto Martinez.

Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham, Everton, Aston Villa and even Manchester United have been linked with a move for the African ace, who has been described by his agent Willie McKay as the biggest bargain currently available on the market.

"Momo is one of the best Bosmans around this summer and there are a lot of clubs at home and abroad keen on him, but Momo would like to stay in the Premier League and play for an ambitious club," he explained. "I have met with several Premier League clubs and we are considering all offers, but we have yet to make a decision on where Momo will be going.

"Momo is disappointed he did not play as much for Wigan in the second half of this season, but he enjoyed his time at Wigan, although he always saw it as a stepping stone to move to a bigger club."

Jussi Jaaskelainen

The veteran goalkeeper is in negotiations with recently relegated Bolton Wanderers to prolong his stay at the Reebok Stadium, but the Finnish international will likely want to remain in the Premier League.

At 37, Jaaskelainen boasts a wealth of experience, and is widely regarded as one of the most consistent stoppers in the top-flight. But, having lost his place in the Trotters team to 24-year-old Adam Bogdan in the latter part of the 2011-12 campaign, it might be time for him to move on to pastures new.

Jaaskelainen has attracted interest from a host of top clubs, both in this country and abroad, but has remained loyal to Bolton, whom he first joined in 1997.

"I haven't regretted anything although Manchester United, Arsenal, Real Madrid and AC Milan all wanted to sign me," he recently told Kepes Sport. "My team is Bolton Wanderers in the good times and in the bad times too. I feel at home at this club."

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