Monday, February 6, 2023

Best free agents available after transfer window: Marcelo, Ross Barkley and Josip Ilicic lead the way

The 2022 summer transfer window might be over, but not for some players that are still looking for their new clubs. In fact, there are some players that, despite the fact that their contracts expired more than two months ago, are still without a new club. Some of them failed to agree to deals with their former teams, some of them failed to find a new club and others are in talks for a new contract. Let’s go around and see who are the most interesting names out there that are still without a deal:

LB Marcelo, 34 years old

The former Real Madrid player agreed with the Spanish club to not extend his agreement after winning the last edition of the UEFA Champions League against Liverpool in Paris, his first one as captain of the club. After arriving at the club in 2007, he played with Real Madrid for the last fifteen seasons but then decided to leave, and he’s now without a club. Despite multiple offers from Europe and South America, the player is currently still waiting to pick his next destination, and he can be an interesting name for clubs that are looking for an experienced left-back. 

ST Diego Costa, 33 years old

The Brazilian striker is still without a club despite the fact he parted company with Atletico Mineiro last January. Multiple European clubs approached him in the past weeks, but as of now, he’s still without a contract. Italian side Salernitana pushed to sign him in the summer, but the player refused. On the other hand, Spanish side Rayo Vallecano are still trying to sign him as free agent but talks have slowed down in the past week. Let’s see now what will happen in the coming days, but he’s definitely a name to watch out in the free agent market after the end of the transfer window. 

ST Simone Zaza, 31 years old

The Italian striker left Torino, and he’s now available. Several Serie A clubs might try to sign him, especially the ones that are fighting to avoid relegation such as Monza and Cremonese, but there are also some European clubs interested in the former Juventus player. Zaza will now look for a new challenge after some difficult seasons, despite the fact he was also close to joining Inter Milan in 2021 but then the deal didn’t go through. Torino have made a lot of moves, such as getting rid of former captain of the club Andrea Belotti, who became a new AS Roma player after he didn’t extend his deal with Ivan Juric’ side. 

MID Ross Barkley, 28 years old

Ross Barkley left Chelsea a few days before the end of the transfer window, and he’s now on the market. The former Everton player can be an interesting signing for many English clubs, considering his experience and what he can bring to a new team. He’s still 28 years old, and despite some injuries he had in the past years, his quality can be an important factor to finding a new club. There were rumors also of multiple MLS clubs interested in signing him, but as things stand European soccer is the most likely destination. 

MID Juan Mata, 34 years old

Talking about quality players, Juan Mata is definitely one of the most interesting names out there. Reports suggested that he has refused one MLS club this summer after his contract with Manchester United ended. Let’s see now that the transfer market closed if he will decide to join another European side (Spain and England are the most likely destinations) or if he will decide to try a different kind of soccer in the coming season. Mata, despite his age, can be an important addition to many clubs around.

ST Josip Ilicic, 34 years old

After five outstanding seasons at Atalanta, Josip Ilicic decided to part company with the Italian side, and he’s now looking for a new adventure. As he stated, Serie A soccer is the most likely destination with Bologna, which showed interest in the past weeks, but he’s open for a new adventure. The Slovenian player had some ups and downs in the last two years, but he definitely can improve the quality of the roster of the club that will sign him in the coming days or weeks. Sinisa Mihajlovic and Bologna will try everything to sign him to keep his talent in the same country where he showed what kind of player he is. 

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