The seven best free agents who can still be signed
The transfer market is closed in most of the big leagues, but there are still players who are out of contract and looking for a club - they are the only ones that can be signed with the window closed.
The transfer market has already closed its window in all of Europe’s major leagues with several deals going through on the final day. However, many top-level players remain without a club and as they are out of contract, can still be signed even though the window is closed. Diario AS looks at the pick of the bunch - the best footballers who are free agents and who could sign for any club in the coming days, weeks or months.
An old acquaintance of the Spanish league, the Italian striker remains without a club. Zaza, who spent two seasons at Valencia, scoring 20 goals in 58 games, could return to LaLiga. After coming to the end of a four-year contract with Torino, the 31-year-old has attracted the attention of Rayo Vallecano, who desperately need a number 9, and Espanyol, as a possible replacement for Raúl de Tomás who is out of favour with the coach.
The Asturian recently ended his contract after nine years in the Premier League with Manchester United. Highly regarded at Old Trafford, the 35-year-old midfielder has a brilliant track record (he has rejected several proposals from MLS franchises and is keen to continue competing at the highest level). Back home in Spain, Betis and Valencia have expressed an interest in recent weeks, but to date, Mata has yet to decide on his next destination.
Hatem Ben Arfa
Undeniably gifted, but with discipline issues. After passing through Lille where he has played in last season’s Champions League, the 35-year-old French striker has left the club through the back door following his troubles off the pitch with his then coach, Jocelyn Gourvennec. His career has always been a mystery and now he is looking for a new challenge where he can find the kind of regularity that he has always lacked. Without a doubt, a misunderstood genius.
Joined Villarreal from Spurs last season and played a total of 24 games for the club, but jut 11 in the starting XI. As the season wore on it became clear that Unai Emery was not entirely convinced by the Ivorian right-back. While it turned out to be an historic season for the Submarine, reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League, the 29-year-old defender failed to carve out a niche for himself with Emery preferring Juan Foyth. Despite having been strongly tipped as a replacement for Héctor Bellerín at Betis in the recent transfer window, the defender is still without a club and looking for a new challenge.
The Belgian player was released after ending his contractual relationship with Olympique Lyon. After four seasons with the Ligue 1 club, Denayer has been a free agent since July and reported interest from Valencia and Wolves - both in need of defenders, the 27-year-old is still on the market in spite of being a player with guarantees.
The Portuguese forward decided to end his adventure back in his homeland after spending two seasons at Vitória de Guimarães - and despite having the option of an extra season. Characterized for being an extrovert player with a characteristic, outside-of-the-boot kick, Quaresma is not considering the option of retirement and is one of the highest quality players on the market. “It’s not time to hang up my boots yet, I still know how to play football and I want to continue doing what makes me happy,” he said recently.
Linked to Rayo and it seems that he is close to joining Wolves, but a problem with his work permit means he is still without a club. His last club was Atlético Mineiro, in Brazil, who he left after one season. His physical condition is unknown, but remembering Diego Costa from his Chelsea days and his first couple of seasons at Atlético Madrid invites us to give him another chance. A striker who leaves no one indifferent.
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