To become a successful soccer club, it is crucial to plan ahead. This is why the suits in big offices spend months and months charting the course their club would take, the deals they would do when the transfer windows are open for business.
It has been just over two weeks since the 2023-24 summer transfer window closed for most of the big European leagues, and we are sure that plans are already being made for next year’s summer window. With that in mind, let us look at the top five would-be free agents (contract expiring in June 2024) the clubs could go after in the 2024-25 summer transfer window.
#5 Piotr Zielinski – Napoli
Napoli’s dependable central midfielder, Piotr Zielinski will be free the leave the club after his contract expires in June 2024. The Poland international, who has been in Naples since July 2016, is valued at $37.33 million by Transfermarkt.
Zielinski scored thrice and claimed nine assists in 37 games as Napoli won the Serie A title last season. Overall, he has taken part in 333 games for Napoli in all competitions, scoring 48 times and providing 45 assists. According to reports, Napoli are close to tying him down to a long-term contract, but until that is finalized, European top dogs will continue to knock on Zielinski’s doors.
#4 Tomas Soucek – West Ham United
West Ham United’s defensive midfielder, Tomas Soucek will become a free agent on June 30, 2024. The 28-year-old midfielder is currently valued at $37.33 million by Transfermarkt.
Soucek, who joined the club from Slavia Prague in 2020, has always been a regular. Now, following Declan Rice’s departure to Arsenal, he has become an indispensable part of the squad. It is believed that West Ham United has offered him a new long-term deal, which he is prepared to accept. It will be interesting to see if it actually goes through in the coming weeks.
The Czech midfielder has appeared in 159 matches for West Ham in all competitions so far, scoring 22 times and providing nine assists. He won the UEFA Europa Conference League With West Ham United last season.
#3 Adrien Rabiot – Juventus
Juventus ace Adrien Rabiot is one of the most gifted central midfielders in the business. He is an excellent distributor, possesses impressive vision, and has proven himself to be quite an opportunistic scorer. He has been starting almost every single game for Juventus since joining from Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in 2019, and we do not think it will change any time soon.
The 28-year-old sees his Juventus contract expire on June 30, 2024. However, it will be quite surprising if the Bianconeri do not extend his stay before January. Rabiot, whose market value stands at $42.66 million (via Transfermarkt), has played 181 games for Juve, scoring 18 times and providing 13 assists.
#2 Alejandro Balde – Barcelona
Alejandro Balde has emerged as one of the first names on Xavi’s team sheet at Barcelona. The left-back is an excellent reader of the game, passes the ball around with ease, and is a gifted crosser as well. It is not easy to follow in Jordi Alba’s footsteps, but Balde has done an excellent job so far.
Unfortunately, the Blaugrana have not yet been able to tie him down to a long-term contract due to their ongoing financial troubles. His current deal with the club expires in June 2024 and the Catalans must do everything in their power to get him a new contract before time runs out.
The La Masia graduate, whose current market value stands at $53.33 million (via Transfermarkt), has played 55 matches for the Spanish champions so far, scoring once and providing seven assists. He won the Copa del Rey trophy and the La Liga title with Barca last season.
#1 Kylian Mbappe – PSG
PSG’s poster boy, Kylian Mbappe seemed destined to leave the Parisians in the 2023-24 transfer window, with him announcing he would not be extending his stay beyond June 2024. Things have improved since then, with renowned journalist Fabrizio Romano reporting that the two parties are holding talks over a possible renewal. Real Madrid, who have long been interested in Mbappe, are reportedly keeping an eye on the situation and are expected to make a move if the Frenchman refuses to renew his deal with PSG.
The $191.97 million-rated (via Transfermarkt) superstar has been at Parc des Princes since 2017, emerging as the club’s all-time leading scorer with 219 goals in 264 appearances across competitions. The 24-year-old has won 13 trophies with the Parisians, including five Ligue 1 titles and three Coupe de France trophies.