With the football season over, attention is now on the summer transfer market. As always, there is a selection of elite players who are now out of contract and this year, there is a huge pool of veterans who are on the move. Here are some of them.
1. Gianluigi Buffon
The Juventus legend is leaving the Serie A club after 17 years in Turin and he has been linked to PSG. Real Madrid are also rumoured to be keen on the 40-year-old, who is a free agent this summer.
Buffon had a trophy-laden career at Juventus and ended his Turin days with his ninth Serie A title, though he has never got his gloves on the Champions League. But the 2006 World Cup winner won’t rush into a decision, ensuring he has a clear head ahead of any announcement.
2. Patrice Evra
West Ham confirmed defender Patrice Evra will leave the club when his contract expire on June 30. Frenchman Evra, 37, signed a short-term deal in February and played five times as the Hammers survived relegation under former coach David Moyes.
The left-back is a vastly experienced figure who has played 731 times for Nice, Monaco, Manchester United, Juventus, Marseille and West Ham. He won five EPL titles and Champions League with United before lifting the Serie A crown twice with Juventus.
3. Iker Casillas
The 2010 World Cup-winner, 36, has left Portuguese giants Porto after his contract ended at the end of the campaign. Porto’s communications director, Francisco J. Marques said due to the club’s parlous financial situation there is a need to get players on big-money contracts off the club’s books, hence Casillas’ departure.
He leaves a winner after helping Porto to the Portuguese league title adding onto five La Liga, three Champions League and two Copa del Rey crowns won in his 25-year spell at Real Madrid that ended in 2015. Already, Liverpool are being linked with the goalkeeper.
4. Fernando Torres
It’s been a frustrating campaign for Torres, who has scored just eight goals for Atletico Madrid despite 44—predominantly substitute—appearances in all competitions.
With a real struggle for game-time on his hands, the 34-year-old former Liverpool star is leaving to pursue a fresh challenge. At least he ends his time at Atletico on a high note after making a late cameo in the Europa League final win over Marseille.
5. Yaya Toure
The Ivorian midfielder left a shining legacy at Manchester City as he bid farewell following seven seasons and three Premier League titles.
Though 35, there are many who believe Toure could still perform in the Premier League and there are certain to be offers. But with probably just a couple of years left in him, Toure could seek one final hurrah in Major League Soccer or the Chinese Super League.
6. Giorgio Chiellini
Regarded as one of the finest defenders of his generation, Chiellini is, at the age of 33, entering the twilight of his top-level career. Or is he? Though his Juventus contract has expired, he could yet remain at the Italian champions or could well find himself at another of Europe’s leading lights.
He has been linked to Chelsea. Chiellini, who has played 38 matches this season, shows little sign of slowing down and he will be hoping to sign a contract extension after 470 matches and 13 years at Juve.
7. Andrea Barzagli
The other half of Juve’s formidable central defensive partnership, 37-year-old Barzagli has been in talks over a new contract since January.
Though all likelihood is that he will sign in the end, Juve have been surprisingly content to allow his deal to tick down in such a way. Barzagli has been involved in 37 matches for Juventus this season, proving that his ageing legs aren’t much of a hindrance as yet.
8. Santi Carzola
The 33-year-old is leaving Arsenal after an injury-ravaged career that has seen him play next to no part in the last two seasons.
He made 180 appearances for the Gunners since signing from Malaga in 2012, scoring 29 goals in all competitions while winning three FA Cups. Former Spain international Cazorla has not appeared for Arsenal since sustaining an Achilles injury in October 2016.
9. Pepe Reina
The veteran Spanish goalkeeper kept 18 clean sheets in 36 league matches as Napoli mounted their most sustained crack at the Scudetto in several years.
Ultimately, it proved in vain as Juventus secured their seventh successive title, but Reina, 35, emerged with his personal reputation enhanced. It looks likely he’ll make the move to Milan but nothing has been confirmed as yet.
10. Nigel de Jong
Mainz pulled off one of the signings of the January transfer window in bolting down Dutch midfielder Nigel de Jong and it proved a masterstroke as he played a key role in the Bundesliga club’s survival.
The 33-year-old was an English Premier League champion with Manchester City as well as a FIFA FIFA World Cup finalist with the Netherlands. Now a free agent, Maiz are still mulling over offering him a new deal but there won’t be a shortage of suitors if they don’t.