With the 2023/24 season well underway, some clubs could potentially be having one eye on the January transfer window, as they look to potentially strengthen their squads in the hope of firing themselves up their respective domestic tables. However, it’s worth remembering that there are still plenty of free agents which clubs could turn to in the near future, and it’s somewhat surprising to see certain players without clubs.
Based on market values from Transfermarkt, we’ll take you through the top-five most expensive free agents that are currently available.
1. David De Gea – £6.9m
De Gea has been without a club since the summer, when his contract with Manchester United reached a conclusion. The Spanish international didn’t endure the best of seasons with the Red Devils last term, but it is a surprise to not see a club signing him early into this year’s campaign.
The 33-year-old burst onto the scene with Atletico Madrid, before making the move to Old Trafford in 2011, where he spent 12 years with the club, winning eight trophies in total, which includes a Europa League title in the 2016/17 season. De Gea has a considerable amount of experience at a high level, and you’d imagine that he’ll be snapped up sooner or later by a club, and with calls from some Manchester United fans for him to return, it’ll be an interesting few months ahead for his future.
It’s been revealed to us by MyBettingSites that De Gea is priced at ½ on Sky Bet to return to Manchester United as his next club. You’ll find the rest of the betting odds for De Gea’s potential next destination below.
- Any Saudi Pro League club @ 3/1
- Real Madrid @ 8/1
- Bayern Munich @ 10/1
- Real Betis @ 10/1
- Sevilla @ 12/1
2. Jesse Lingard – £5.2m
Lingard is a player that has shown glimpses of his quality in recent years, but has lacked consistency within those showings. The midfielder is now 30, and has been out of contract since leaving Nottingham Forest last season, which brought to an end a forgetful spell with the Reds at the City Ground.
It’s worth remembering that Lingard has previously caught the eye with West Ham United in a loan spell away from Manchester United, and recently was training with Saudi Arabian side Al-Ettifaq, but a permanent move to Steven Gerrard’s side failed to materialise for one reason or another. He could be a smart addition to plenty of teams, although his wage demands could potentially put off some suitors for his signature.
3. Xeka – £4.4m
Xeka has spent the last few years of his career in France, and made over 100 appearances for Lille in Ligue 1. His most notable achievement with Lille was scoring the winner in the 2021 Trophée des Champions final against PSG, which saw them lift that particular trophy for the first time in their history.
Xeka’s career has been hit with multiple injury problems, and he departed Lille in 2022. He wasted no time in finding a new club though, and signed a two-year deal with Rennes. That spell with Rennes didn’t last long though, as his contract was brought to an early conclusion in 2023. If he can stay injury free, then he’d be another strong addition to clubs playing in the top-flight of their domestic leagues.
4. Anwar El Ghazi – £2.6m
El Ghazi has been on the books with the likes of Ajax, Everton, Lille, PSV, and Aston Villa over the years, but was most recently with Germans side Mainz 05. He only signed for the club in September 2023, but the club terminated his contract due to a social media post, which brought an end to a brief spell with Mainz 05.
The winger has impressed with Aston Villa and PSV in particular, and it’ll be interesting to see if there are any potential suitors for his signature heading towards the New Year. The quality is there with El Ghazi, and he could be a smart signing for a club competing in European competitions.
5. Helder Costa – £2.4m
Costa has had an unsettled few years, having last been with Leeds United, before the club mutually agreed to terminate his contract. The winger played a key role for the Yorkshire-based side in their promotion-winning season, but failed to force himself into the starting XI on a regular basis whilst they were in the top-flight. This resulted in Costa heading out on loan to Valencia during the 2021/22 season, before signing for Saudi Arabian side Al-Ittihad on a temporary basis in last year’s campaign.
At the age of 29, you’d like to feel as though he could be a strong addition to some Championship teams, although it remains to be seen as to what Costa’s next move will be, as he looks to take the next step in his footballing career.