Transfer update: Ozil, Alli and Lamptey latest
Premier League clubs across the country are currently hard at work behind the scenes in preparation for the upcoming January transfer window. Managers and owners will have the entirety of next month to add to their squads, with the business end of the campaign rapidly approaching.
A number of top players from all over Europe could be available for nothing next season with their contracts set to expire, leaving them able to agree terms with new suitors without needing a bid to be accepted.
Transfer window rules allow affected players to speak to other sides from foreign leagues from January 1.
Barcelona great Lionel Messi, who has been linked with a move to the Premier League for much of this year, falls into this category.
His deal with the Catalan club will run out in the summer, and the 33-year-old is widely expected to move on having attempted to depart in search of pastures new back in August.
Manchester City appear to be Messi’s most likely destination, with the prospect of a reunion with former Barca boss Pep Guardiola on the cards, but Manchester United and Chelsea have also been tipped to sign the forward.
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Diego Costa is another that could be in line to agree terms with a Premier League club next month, with Atletico Madrid reportedly having turned down the option to offer him a new deal.
Arsenal have been heavily linked with his services in recent weeks as Mikel Arteta looks to add some much-needed cutting edge to his struggling side.
Lyon hotshot Memphis Depay and United target David Alaba are two others that look set to run down their current contracts, while Paris Saint-Germain pair Angel Di Maria and Julian Draxler are in line to join them.
Napoli striker Arkaduisz Milik, who was being courted by Tottenham and Everton during pre-season, could have the opportunity to join either side on a free transfer in the summer if he is not sold by the Serie A outfit next month.
A Premier League move for Real Madrid stalwart Sergio Ramos may also come to fruition, with United and Spurs both being tipped as potential destinations for the 34-year-old in the event of an exit from the Spanish capital.
Former Newcastle United winger Florian Thauvin, now of Marseille, could be on the move as well with the Frenchman set to become a free agent if the Ligue 1 outfit decide against extending his stay.
Finally, talented goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnaruma could be making the switch to England with his deal at AC Milan expiring in the summer.
Despite his tender years, the 21-year-old has been the club’s first choice between the sticks for some time, and looks set to fill the role of the Italian national team’s long-term successor to Gianluigi Buffon.
It remains to be seen which, if any, of these players could be tempted to sign for a Premier League club next month.
However, given the calibre of those available, it seems as if many of them will be in high demand.
Full list: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid), Memphis Depay (Lyon), David Alaba (Bayern Munich), Angel Di Maria (PSG), Julian Draxler (PSG), Arkaduisz Milik (Napoli), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Florian Thauvin (Marseille), Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan)
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