Thursday marks the 20th anniversary of the Bosman ruling which changed transfers in football forever.
Belgian Jean-Marc Bosman’s victory in the European Court of Justice in 1995 meant that players could move clubs without a transfer fee when they reached the end of their contracts.
Here are the top 10 players whose contracts are winding down and could move on Bosmans next summer…
10. Nicolas Nkoulou
Marseille lost Andre Ayew and Andre-Pierre Gignac for nothing in the summer and haven’t learned their lesson, with Nkoulou’s contract set to expire next summer. A 25-year-old defender who has bags of experience and yet can still improve; the Cameroonian would be a shrewd signing for any club.
9. Steve Mandanda
Seriously, who is in charge of Marseille’s contract renewals? The Ligue 1 outfit need to act fast otherwise they could also lose Mandanda – an athletic goalkeeper who is number two behind Tottenham Hotspur’s Hugo Lloris for the French national team. He would be number one at many Premier League clubs.
8. Gregory van der Wiel
The Netherlands international right-back has seen his regular place at Paris Saint-Germain go to Serge Aurier and is unlikely to be handed an extension in 2016. He was linked with a move to England last summer by The Express, and could finally make the switch across the Channel next year.
7. Charlie Austin
It was surprising that the Queens Park Rangers forward was not picked up by a Premier League club in the summer, but there is no way that he will still be at Loftus Road this time next year. Either somebody will swoop for him in January or Austin will get his choice of clubs at the end of this season.
6. Emmanuel Emenike
Plenty of clubs across Europe could do with a striker of Emenike’s ilk. He is a powerhouse with an eye for goal, scoring 15 in 44 starts for Fenerbahce. But a loan spell to United Arab Emirates outfit Al Ain suggests where his career is heading. A pity because, at 28, he has several good years left in him.
5. Aleksandr Kokorin
By the sounds of it, this one could already be tied up. According to The Telegraph, the CSKA Moscow forward is heading to Arsenal in January in a deal worth £4.3m. The Gunners better hope that they wrap up a move for the Russian because otherwise there will be a queue of rivals suitors.
4. Sofiane Feghouli
An integral part of the Algerian side which lit up the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Feghouli has since raised his game to the next level. Manchester United has been touted with an interest, according to Spanish publication Fichajes, via the Metro. The midfielder has rejected a new contract at Valencia.
3. Branislav Ivanovic
Six months ago, it would have been difficult to imagine Ivanovic leaving Chelsea. He was a key cog in the Blues’ title-winning machine and had just been appointed vice-captain. However, a dramatic dip in form means that the Serbian’s future is less secure and Chelsea may choose to let him move on.
2. Ezequiel Lavezzi
The Argentine forward has been linked with a move to England for years, with the Metro claiming long-term interest from Liverpool and Arsenal. However, the same publication reports that Lavezzi turned down a move to the Gunners in favour of a switch to Serie A, where he first made his name with Napoli.
1. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Undoubtedly, the prize Bosman signing of 2016 would be the enigmatic Swede. Ibrahimovic may be 34, but he is showing no signs of slowing down, scoring 14 goals in 13 league games for PSG this season. We would love to see him in the Premier League. Could it be at Arsenal? The Mirror reckons so.