While rich clubs spend hundreds of millions on players every transfer window, trying to lure the best talents, there are hundreds of free agents who do not cost a dollar, waiting for offers. They are normally players in their thirties who are past their best years but some of them have fantastic experience and could improve many teams. So who are the best free agents available on the market this summer?
It’s quite inexplicable how a 22-year-old midfielder who has been a permanent presence in Schalke 04 lineup for the past five years remains without a club this summer. During his spell with the Bundesliga club Meyer made 191 appearances and scored 22 goals. Besides, he featured for all Germany youth teams since 2009 and won the European U21 Championship in 2017. Besides, he has earned 4 caps for the senior team and managed to score a goal. The player’s contract with Schalke 04 expired this summer but Meyer and his agent Roger Wittmann believed the player was worth a pay raise and were reluctant to sign an extension. As a result, their relationship with the board deteriorated and the club chose not to offer a new deal. There is much interest to the 22-year-old on the market but his demanded wages in the region of €100k a week ward off potential suitors.
The imposing Ivorian is already 35 but his experience could certainly help many clubs. Toure has had an illustrious career with many teams but Barcelona and Manchester City are the highlights. With these two clubs Yaya won all possible trophies, including the UEFA Champions League, La Liga title, Copa del Rey, three Premier League titles, FA Cup and two League Cups. He also helped Cote D’Ivoire win Africa Cup of Nations in 2015 and was named African player of the year four times. Toure was a key player at Manchester City during 8 years but his age took the toll when Pep Guardiola arrived and built a whole new team. Yet Yaya expressed the wish to continue playing professional football and is looking for a new club.
The little Brazilian winger Bernard spent the last five years with the Ukrainian outfit Shakhtar Donetsk after arriving from Atletico Mineiro in 2013. The player featured 157 times for the club, scored 28 goals and won three national titles, three Ukrainian Cups and three Super Cups. During his time with Atletico Mineiro Bernard won Campeonato Mineiro and Copa Libertadores. Besides, he earned 14 caps for Brazil national team and won FIFA Confederations Cup in 2013. The player complained a number of times about political situation in Ukraine and refused to extend his contract. The 25-year-old is currently recovering from a shoulder injury but could be a good free signing for his next club.
The man who became Serie A top assistant in 2014 with Torino and has AC Milan and Atletico Madrid on his resume is looking fro a club after failing to prevent Hellas Verona from being relegated to Serie B last season. Cerci played for various Italian clubs but his best spells were with Fiorentina and Torino. He attracted attention of Atletico Madrid in 2014 and signed for the club. However, he spent most of his contract on loan at Milan and Genoa, as well as on the bench at Vicente Calderon. Following impressive performance with Torino, Cerci received a call-up to the Italy national team and played 14 games. He might be past his best years but he will certainly help some Serie A team next season.
Anyone fancy the talented Frenchman who is about to be available following a 6-month doping ban? Jokes aside, Nasri is a great player who earned 41 caps for the France national team and scored 5 goals. He enjoyed successful careers with Marseille, Arsenal and Manchester City before being loaned to Sevilla and finally moving to Turkey last year. However, Nasri did not stay there long as he failed to pass a drug test and was kicked out of the club. Still, a player of his talent could be useful if he manages to show professional attitude again.