sport news Sportsmail's XI of the best big-name players available as free agents

sport news Sportsmail's XI of the best big-name players available as free agents
sport news Sportsmail's XI of the best big-name players available as free agents

July 1 marks that dramatic day of the year where players' contracts expire and clubs scramble to tie them down in a desperate attempt to stop them leaving for nothing.

For many, it's a mission taken in vain, with countless stars all too eager these days to publicly announce their desire to move on and chase a new challenge. For those heading for the exit door, the chaos begins now.

This summer is no different, and there is a star-studded array of world-class names currently set to be without a club next season. That will almost certainly change, of course, but for a little while at least, they will be free agents.

One of them, extraordinarily, is Lionel Messi. Talks between his entourage and Barcelona are continuing, but the situation as it stands sees the superstar leaving the club for absolutely nothing. 

So, with this in mind, Sportsmail has put together a team of the best players currently in no man's land and revealed what the future may hold for them...

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A host of big-name players, including Lionel Messi, will are set to become free agents today

A host of big-name players, including Lionel Messi, will are set to become free agents today

GOALKEEPER - GIANLUIGI DONNARUMMA

It will only be for a matter of hours, but Gianluigi Donnarumma has officially left AC Milan for no fee. 

Talks over an extension failed to reach an agreement and the 22-year-old, who made his debut for the club aged just 16, is understood to have attracted lots of attention.

PSG jumped to the front of the queue, though, and reports have indicated that he completed his medical ahead of joining on a five-year deal last week. 

He is currently with Italy at Euro 2020, and has caught the eye when called into action during his nation's run to the quarter-finals. 

There is no doubting his quality, and PSG will have a very talented stopper on their hands. 

Italy's talented goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma has left AC Milan and looks set to join PSG

Italy's talented goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma has left AC Milan and looks set to join PSG 

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RIGHT BACK - ELSEID HYSAJ

There are several players who have walked away from Napoli, and talented right back Elseid Hysaj is among them. 

His deal has run down and, with no prospect of a renewal in sight, work is already underway to secure him a new home. 

Lazio have been strongly tipped in Italy to swoop for Hysaj, and may even table a five-year contract in a bid to fend off competition from Napoli.  

Maurizio Sarri has taken the reins at the club, and he has past experience with Hysaj, having coached him during his days at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

Right back Elseid Hysaj will leave Napoli when his deal runs down, and Lazio may move for him

Right back Elseid Hysaj will leave Napoli when his deal runs down, and Lazio may move for him

CENTRE BACK - SERGIO RAMOS

The news that Sergio Ramos would leave Real Madrid quickly filtered through and came as a shock to all. Previously, that notion would have been unthinkable. 

The veteran centre back's demands were clear, but ultimately the club bid him an emotional farewell after fresh terms failed to materialise.

Now officially a free agent, Ramos has sparked a chase to sign him. 

Leading the way are PSG, who have reportedly stepped up their interest despite being reluctant to give him the two-year deal he wants. 

Manchester City and Bayern Munich have also been linked.

Sergio Ramos failed to agree an extension at Real Madrid and will be in demand this summer

Sergio Ramos failed to agree an extension at Real Madrid and will be in demand this summer

CENTRE BACK - JEROME BOATENG

It feels as though a new era is gradually being ushered in at Bayern Munich, and two of their old guard - Jerome Boateng and David Alaba - have now left. 

With an emotional open letter addressed to supporters, the curtain came down on Boateng's 10-year stint in Bavaria. 

As speculation swirls around his next move, Boateng has admitted that he has a 'clear idea' of where he wants to go.

The likes of Tottenham, AS Monaco and Roma have all been credited with interest.

The former Manchester United target is likely to impress wherever he goes, and his vast experience makes him a very attractive proposition indeed. 

Jerome Boateng is another veteran to have left their club, in his case Bayern Munich

Jerome Boateng is another veteran to have left their club, in his case Bayern Munich

LEFT BACK - RYAN BERTRAND

Another name to have joined the crazy carousel that is free agency is long-standing Southampton left back Ryan Bertrand.

The former Chelsea man's contract was up at the end of the month, and it was confirmed that he would leave St Mary's after five permanent years.

Sportsmail previously reported that Leicester have targeted Bertrand this summer, and various other outlets claim the deal

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