Transfer Window

Messi to City? Pogba to Madrid? stars who can talk to foreign clubs in January

In just two-and-a-half months players whose contracts expire at the end of the season will be able to discuss free transfers with clubs in a foreign league to theirs.

That means Lionel Messi can talk to Manchester City, Paul Pogba can talk to Real Madrid, David Alaba and Gianluigi Donnarumma will be on the market and Sergio Aguero’s time at City could be coming to an end. Barcelona, meanwhile, have three targets lined up whose contracts expire next summer.

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With the coronavirus crisis wreaking havoc with club’s finances and causing uncertainty for players, contract negotiations are being left even later than usual, meaning there is plethora of world class talent who will be available to discuss a move in January if their futures are not sorted before then.

Here, Sportsmail runs through the best players who will be able to talk to other clubs about a free transfer in January…



Amazingly still only 21 despite having over 200 first-team appearances under his belt. Time is clearly on his side but if Milan have yet another poor season he could be tempted by a move abroad, with Chelsea at the front of the queue.

Chances of leaving: 2/5


DAVID ALABA (Bayern Munich)

Every transfer window Alaba is linked with a move for Bayern but every time he stays. The one club man has been at Bayern for 12 years and at 28 he’d have to leave soon if he fancies a crack at the Premier League or LaLiga in his prime.

Chances of leaving: 2/5

JUAN BERNAT (Paris Saint-Germain)

A marauding performer at left back for PSG and Bayern Munich since leaving Valencia in 2014, Bernat could be tempted by a return to Spain or even a reunion with the man who brought him to Bayern, Pep Guardiola, at Manchester City.

Chances of leaving: 3/5

JEROME BOATENG (Bayern Munich)

Like his centre back partner Alaba, Boateng is consistently linked with a move away from Bayern. The 32-year-old will complete a decade in Munich at the end of the season following his move from Man City in 2011. With the clock ticking on his career, he may fancy one final challenge.

Chances of leaving: 3/5

ERIC GARCIA (Manchester City)

Garcia has made no secret of his desire to return to Barcelona, who he left for City in 2017, despite breaking into the first-team under Guardiola aged just 19. As it stands that move looks set to happen next summer, unless City can persuade him to stay.

Chances of leaving: 4/5


The centre back has struggled to live up to his £35m price tag since joining from Valencia in 2016 and is not likely to be offered a new deal. A move to Bundesliga, where Mustafi has never played despite 20 German caps, looks most likely.

Chances of leaving: 4/5

SERGIO RAMOS (Real Madrid)

Still going strong at 34, it would be a surprise if the Real Madrid captain did not extend his contract at the Bernabeu. There will be no shortage of admirers should he become available to speak in January though, including his first club Sevilla.

Chances of leaving: 2/5


ANGEL DI MARIA (Paris Saint-Germain)

The Argentine will turn 33 this season but is still one of Europe’s best attacking midfielders on his day. A player who has played in five different countries wouldn’t be shy to a new challenge, however, while a return home is a tempting option too.

Chances of leaving: 3/5

JULIAN DRAXLER (Paris Saint-Germain)

One of Europe’s most soughtafter talents in his early years at Schalke, Draxler’s career has stalled in recent seasons and a move could reignite it. Still only 27, Europe’s top clubs would all be interested along with plenty of Bundesliga teams.

Chances of leaving: 3/5

JESSE LINGARD (Manchester United)

After an impressive first few seasons in the Manchester United first-team, Lingard has lost his way under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and slipped out of England reckoning. Approaching his 28th birthday, a move abroad could be what he needs.

Chances of leaving: 3/5

JAVI MARTINEZ (Bayern Munich)

Injuries and competition for places have limited the World Cup winner’s appearances at Bayern in recent years, but the 32-year-old remains a class performer in defensive midfield or at centre back. A return to Athletic Bilbao could be on the cards.

Chances of leaving: 4/5

LUKA MODRIC (Real Madrid)

The Ballon d’Or winner is set to be offered a new one-year deal by Real but he would prefer a longer contract. If no agreement is reached, the 35-year-old could be tempted by a return to the Premier League, with a move back to Croatia a year or two down the line still ideally.

Chances of leaving: 2/5

MESUT OZIL (Arsenal)

Exiled from the first-team, Arsenal would take Ozil off their books today if they could, but his £350,000-a-week wages are a huge stumbling block to a severance or transfer. Instead, a Bosman at the end of the season beckons, with a move to Germany or Turkey most likely.

Chances of leaving: 4/5

PAUL POGBA (Manchester United)

Right now, it is hard to envisage Pogba signing a new deal at Manchester United, though his affection for the club changes with their form. He would love a move to Real Madrid and Zinedine Zidane would love to sign him. Watch this space.

Chances of leaving: 3/5

RIQUI PUIG (Barcelona)

One of few positives from a miserable season for Barcelona, the promising young midfielder was surprisingly told he was surplus to requirements this summer. He has since appeared on the bench and it would be a surprise if he didn’t sign a new deal, even if Ronald Koeman doesn’t fancy him.

Chances of leaving: 2/5

GIOVANNI REYNA (Borussia Dortmund)

The latest star of the Dortmund production line, 17-year-old Giovanni is the son of former Man City and Sunderland midfielder Claudio. Already a key part of Dortmund’s plans but they won’t be afraid to sell in January if no new contract is signed, with Real Madrid interested in the playmaker.

Chances of leaving: 3/5


Looks set to leave Anfield for Barcelona, with Liverpool happy to let his contract run down or pick up a fee for him in January. If the Barca move doesn’t materialise there will be plenty of interest elsewhere in the 29-year-old Dutchman.

Chances of leaving: 4/5


SERGIO AGUERO (Manchester City)

All signs indicate that this is Aguero’s last season in the Premier League. The City legend completes 10 years at the club at the end of the campaign, when he will be 33. He has made no secret of his desire to return to his first club Independiente – and that looks his most likely destination.

Chances of leaving: 4/5


There is a common theme to cash-strapped Barcelona’s transfer targets – and Depay falls into the same category as Wijnaldum and Garcia. They will try to negotiate a cut-price deal for the former Manchester United man in January, but will line up a summer free transfer if not.

Chances of leaving: 4/5

LIONEL MESSI (Barcelona)

The six-time Ballon d’Or winner’s protracted summer transfer saga ended with an uncomfortable truce, with Messi knowing he can leave next summer for nothing as Pep and Man City lurk. Only a brilliant season for Barca it seems will stop him from leaving, but this is Messi and this is Barca, so it’s still hard to see him going.

Chances of leaving: 2/5


The 26-year-old Polish striker has fallen out of favour under Gennaro Gattuso despite a decent goalscoring record. Left out of their Serie A squad, they will try and sell him in January, but if not a summer exit is definitely on the cards.

Chances of leaving: 4/5

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