From Bale to Di Maria. Stars without contracts and at a crossroads
The summer transfer window is in full swing, and soccer fans traditionally have many points of interest to follow. Mostly, of course, it is some high-profile deals, transfer sagas. Against this background, a bit lost are those who leave their current clubs “for nothing”, even though they have star status. I’m talking about those stars who become free agents this summer, but either have not yet decided on a new club, or you somehow missed that moment. Synchronize your watch.
The Welshman spent nine years in the Spanish capital, but the last years are unlikely to be remembered by anyone. More often than not, Bale’s name has only popped up in the news feed because of another comment from his brash and wordy agent. And on the soccer planet Gareth reminded himself by exploits in the Welsh national team. But Bale leaves Real Madrid as a five-time UEFA Champions League winner and three-time champion of Spain.
The 32-year-old Welshman is unlikely to be able to count on a very generous contract at his new club. But he has already stated that his family’s interests and preparation for the World Cup will be his priorities when choosing a new team. And the options, as we can see, are radically different, but in each case there is a different reason.
Who even as a free agent left with noise and rumbling, it is Pogba. The Frenchman spent six years at Old Trafford in his second stint and left a mixed impression. The 29-year-old midfielder helped the French national team win the 2018 World Cup, but was a pale and scandalous shadow at MJ. But Paul seemed to enjoy coming back and is already aiming for Juventus, where he shined, forcing United to pay £89 million in 2016.
The 30-year-old Dane’s fate took a sharp turn at Euro 2020. Right now, his contract with Inter would be unshakable. But Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest that changed the trajectory of his career dramatically. Few believed he would return to soccer at all. But it happened at Brentford, albeit on a short-term contract. This humble club is now trying to keep Eriksen, but the top teams have already seen that Christian has not lost his skills, so the Dane is in no hurry to sign a new deal with his current club.
In total, the 29-year-old player has spent an incredible two decades in the MJ system. But now he is leaving the club where he went through all the stages of development. United hasn’t counted on him lately. Although his previous rental experience at West Ham showed that Lingard could still be useful to a very strong club. In a World Cup year, he will clearly want to sign with a team that can bet on him and give him regular practice.
Things haven’t exactly gone according to plan for Dembele since he decided to move to Barcelona from Borussia Dortmund in 2017 for an impressive sum of money. He is only 25 years old, but constant injuries and form problems have hampered the development of the French forward, who, while gaining conditioning, has shown what the Catalans once chose him for. He is still a very capable and fairly versatile attacking player, but Barcelona have financial problems and Dembele lacks stability. Perhaps a change of scenery would do him good. Although there is an option to stay.
The 35-year-old Uruguayan spent two years at Manchester City. By the way, he also moved there as a free agent when his contract with PSG expired. So he is no stranger to changing clubs for free. And the top clubs. In his first season for United, Cavani scored 17 goals in all competitions. But his second season with the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo and the epidemic of injuries at Edinson himself did not go well for him. The Uruguayan sensed this and asked to let him go, but MJ held out until the end of his contract. The veteran’s experience and skill can still be useful to strong clubs.
The 37-year-old Brazilian played 19 games for Manchester City in the Premier League last season, helping them win their fourth title in five seasons. But he has already expressed a desire to return to Brazil. Hence this list of contenders. Fernandinho can safely choose the option he likes – he has already proved everything to everyone.
At 35 years old, Suarez is still solidifying his veteran status, which is unlikely to stick with Atletico. He scored 13 goals for Madrid last season. He may no longer have enough momentum, but Suarez carries his sharpness with him everywhere he goes. And probably even decent clubs can offer him a contract, albeit short term. The options are interesting, from top-flight to an interesting experience with a return to England or a finish in the United States.
Isco has a rather complicated relationship with Real Madrid. But the 30-year-old midfielder has spent a lot of time in Madrid, managing to win the Champions League five times and three times the Spanish championship. He is not old yet, he is not among the veterans. Therefore, he can restart his career and show that Real Madrid gave up on him early. In addition, he should try to return to the Spanish national team.
Angel Di Maria
PSG fans can have a lot of complaints about almost any star from their team. But Di Maria is an exception. The 34-year-old Argentine has always given his all and left only the warmest of memories, which would be difficult to say about the other current Parisian stars. Di Maria scored 93 goals in 295 games for PSG. He has become less sharp, but he can still be useful even to a very strong team.