I’ve been perusing the Internet to find out players who could potentially leave on a free at the end of the season. Pre-contract discussions can commence in January so many of these players will be on the radar of managers all over Europe. Having assembled their market value, I will be evaluating their chances of leaving in January or for free at the end of the 2012/13 season.
Theo Walcott: Arsenal
Much has been debated over Theo Walcott’s position at Arsenal but the winger is still yet to commit his future to the Gunners. Walcott is seeking to play as a central striker much like his idol Thierry Henry. Despite this no deal has been reached between player and club; potentially opening the door to possible clubs who may want to prize the England international away from the Emirates.
Chances of leaving: Very much dependent on his role at the club, if preferred as a central striker then the likelihood is that he will remain an Arsenal player. If not, then a move away from the emirates may suit him better.
Market Value: £10 million
Daniel Sturridge: Chelsea
Having only played a peripheral role for Chelsea so far this season, Daniel Sturridge could be making his way out of Stamford Bridge. With Fernando Torres becoming the central striker, Sturridge doesn’t seem to be getting a look in. The possibility of Sturridge signing a new contract seems slim and this could result in Chelsea offloading him in January or face losing him for a free in June.
Chances of leaving: With only one recognised striker at Stamford Bridge, I find it hard to see the England international leaving the blues. Saying that, if Chelsea are indeed lining up a move for Athletic Madrid star Falcao then Sturridge may be offloaded.
Market Value: £10 million
Kevin Doyle: Wolves
After failing to secure a move away from the relegated Wolves in the summer, Kevin Doyle is a talented front man and so far, hasn’t signed a new long-term deal with the club. If the Irish international hasn’t put pen to paper by the new-year, Wolves manager Stole Solbakken may have to sell the player for a cut price.
Chances of leaving: This deal is very much depends on where Wolves are by January in the Championship. If they are challenging for promotion, Doyle could elect to stay and sign a new deal in the hope of reaching the Premier League at the first attempt. If the midlands club aren’t competing, Doyle will surely choose to move in the new-year with many top-flight suitors interested.
Market Value: £4.5 million
Fernando Llorente: Athletic Bilbao
Potentially one of the most expensive players who could be making a move away for free, Fernando Llorente will no doubt be on the radar of all the big clubs in Europe. With his beloved Athletic Bilbao struggling in La Liga, the man valued at just over £25 million could either be offloaded for a cut price in January, or for free in June. Either way it’s looking very unlikely that Llorente will be a Bilbao player for next season.
Chances of leaving: Bilbao are unlikely to be competing for Champions League positions this season, Llorente could leave in January for a cut price. However, it is more likely that the player will be leaving for a free at the end of the season, as the Basque club look unwilling to sell the player in the new-year.
Market Value: £26 million
Moussa Sissoko: Toulouse
Maybe not the most talked about footballer that could be leaving for a free at the end of the season but the talented box-to-box midfielder will no doubt be a valuable asset to many of the big teams. The 23 year-old French international has spent his entire career at Toulouse and could be looking for a new challenge in another league. If so, the versatile midfielder will be in high demand.
Chances of leaving: The talented midfielder is likely to see out the season with his boyhood team. This is mainly down to Toulouse being in the frame for winning Ligue 1. If the French team do succeed in winning the French title then Sissoko may opt to put pen to paper with the team he’s spent his whole career at.
Market Value: £8.5 million
Lewis Holtby: Schalke 04
A talented German from the Bundesliga club Schalke has a promising career ahead of him. At just 22 years of age, Holtby has already made his International bow. Once more, if Schalke fail to deliver success, the midfield maestro could be tempted away from the Veltins Arena in the new-year. Currently Arsenal and Everton have been looking at Holtby but if the German fulfills potential, then a whole host of European teams will be ready to pounce.
Chances of leaving: The talented midfielder is most likely going to stay at the third best team in Germany. However, if Schalke flatter to deceive in the Bundesliga or Champions League, Holtby may move away.
Market Value: £7 million
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar: Schalke 04
One of the pricier players who could be leaving is Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. Another player from Schalke, the Dutch striker has been influential since his move two years ago. 40 league goals in 62 appearances is a phenomenal record and if the striker chooses not to sign a new deal, Huntelaar will have no shortage in other clubs to join. His current value isn’t likely to be matched with such little time left on his contract.
Chances of leaving: Similar to his team mate Holtby, Schalke’s performance in the league and Europe will determine whether Huntelaar signs a new deal. If I was a betting man, I could see the Dutch international make a move away from Schalke. At 29, Huntelaar may want one last chance at one of the biggest teams in Europe after mediocre spells at Madrid and AC Milan.
Market Value: £17 million