Connect with us

Champions League

Transfer window preview: Top 50 players who could move in January

With the January transfer window set to open on Saturday, we’re teeing up the wheeling and dealing by presenting 50 high-profile players who could be on the move in the coming weeks.

Note: Estimated transfer values provided by

Premier League

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal)

Age: 32 | Position: Forward | Estimated value: €15M

Having been stripped of the captaincy and routinely left out of the squad for disciplinary breaches, Aubameyang’s time at Arsenal appears to be nearing its end, barring a surprise revival of his relationship with manager Mikel Arteta.

Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea)

Age: 28 | Position: Center-back | Estimated value: €35M

One of many on this list on an expiring contract, Rudiger is in high demand amid an apparent contract standoff with Chelsea. The impending free agent, a stalwart of the Blues’ backline, is drawing serious interest from Real Madrid.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton)

Age: 24 | Position: Striker | Estimated value: €45M

Arsenal are monitoring Calvert-Lewin, who enjoyed the best year of his career last season when he scored 16 league goals. Injuries have derailed his 2021-22 campaign, but when fit, he provides a dominant aerial presence.

Paul Pogba (Manchester United)

Jonathan Moscrop / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Age: 28 | Position: Central midfielder | Estimated value: €55M

Another transfer window with Pogba in the spotlight, and at some point, something has to give. The Frenchman’s contract expires in the summer, and he’s given no indication yet that he’ll renew with the Red Devils.

Anthony Martial (Manchester United)

Age: 26 | Position: Forward | Estimated value: €32M

Navigating the murky transfer waters can be extremely tiring. Speculation is rife, and it can sometimes be difficult to track the lineage – and veracity – of certain rumors. Not this one, though. Martial has told Manchester United he wants out.

Edinson Cavani (Manchester United)

Age: 34 | Position: Striker | Estimated value: €4M

Unlike the splashy signings we get in the summer window, this would represent a more typical January deal. An impending free agent who can still produce is exactly the kind of short-term solution many clubs are eyeing.

Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)

Age: 27 | Position: Winger | Estimated value: €85M

Sterling’s influence at Manchester City has waned somewhat in light of Jack Grealish’s arrival and the irresistible form of Bernardo Silva. The departure of Ferran Torres creates space, but the Englishman is no longer untouchable.

Raphinha (Leeds United)

Nick Potts – PA Images / PA Images / Getty

Age: 25 | Position: Winger | Estimated value: €40M

One of the lone bright spots during an otherwise miserable season for Leeds, the electric Brazilian is again garnering attention across Europe, with the likes of Liverpool and Bayern Munich apparently leading the queue.

Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur)

Age: 25 | Position: Attacking midfielder | Estimated value: €25M

It might be time for a change of scenery for Alli. Despite his obvious skills, the Englishman’s career has stagnated badly since 2018, when he looked set for stardom. Perhaps Antonio Conte can reignite the 25-year-old?

La Liga

Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid)

Age: 22 | Position: Forward | Estimated value: €70M

Ever since Felix joined Atletico Madrid for €126 million in 2019, his fit there just hasn’t seemed right. That still rings true; the Portuguese phenom has started four league games this season under defensive-minded boss Diego Simeone.

Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid)

Age: 31 | Position: Right-back | Estimated value: €20M

A return to England could be in the cards for Trippier, who, despite retaining his place as Atletico’s starting right-back, has engaged in the holy grail of transfer speculation: liking social media posts involving other clubs.

Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona)

Age: 29 | Position: Attacking midfielder | Estimated value: €20M

Barcelona would love to rid themselves of Coutinho, who has become an albatross at the Camp Nou. Of all the questionable signings that have plunged the club into financial ruin in recent years, his is among the most glaring.

Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona)

Eric Alonso / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Age: 24 | Position: Central midfielder | Estimated value: €90M

Once viewed as a cornerstone for the future, de Jong’s untouchable status has deteriorated through no real fault of his own. He’s yet to fully settle under Xavi, and suddenly has lots of young, Spanish competition in midfield.

Gareth Bale (Real Madrid)

Age: 32 | Position: Winger | Estimated value: €10M

Your semi-annual reminder that, yes, Bale is still technically on the books at Real Madrid. At this point, it’s in name only. The Welsh veteran has made only three appearances in La Liga this season.

Eden Hazard (Real Madrid)

Age: 30 | Position: Winger | Estimated value: €25M

Few transfers have failed as spectacularly as Hazard’s move to Real Madrid. Since arriving in Spain, the former Chelsea star has spent more time on the treatment table than on the pitch and has quickly fallen down the pecking order.

Jules Kounde (Sevilla)

Age: 23 | Position: Center-back | Estimated value: €60M

Kounde’s a perennial presence on lists just like this and has long been a target for Chelsea, who could finally make a definitive move for the French defender to insure themselves against the potential departure of Rudiger.

Serie A

Franck Kessie (AC Milan)


Age: 25 | Position: Central midfielder | Estimated value: €48M

Until he puts pen to paper on a new contract with AC Milan, Kessie will continue to be a central figure in the January window. After watching Gianluigi Donnarumma leave for free last summer, the Rossoneri can’t afford a repeat.

Dusan Vlahovic (Fiorentina)

Age: 21 | Position: Striker | Estimated value: €70M

Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe probably aren’t moving in January, which makes Vlahovic the prize of the upcoming window. But Fiorentina won’t allow their crown jewel to leave for anything less than a small fortune, if at all.

Arturo Vidal (Inter Milan)

Age: 34 | Position: Central midfielder | Estimated value: €2.5M

Once an all-conquering midfield dynamo, Vidal’s influence has understandably diminished as he approaches the twilight of his career. The Chilean seems primed for a return to South America at some point.

Arthur Melo (Juventus)

Age: 25 | Position: Central midfielder | Estimated value: €25M

Arthur has never quite established himself since arriving in Turin as part of the dubious – and potentially illegal – swap involving Miralem Pjanic. The Brazilian midfielder could seek a loan to garner more playing time.

Dejan Kulusevski (Juventus)

NurPhoto / NurPhoto / Getty

Age: 21 | Position: Winger | Estimated value: €30M

Another player who hasn’t consistently hit the heights expected since his celebrated move to Juventus, the precocious Swede is apparently a transfer candidate should a suitable offer arrive. At only 21, he still has time to grow.

Aaron Ramsey (Juventus)

Age: 31 | Position: Central midfielder | Estimated value: €5M

Whether Juventus find a buyer or ultimately have to terminate Ramsey’s contract, it seems almost certain that the Welshman won’t be with the club come February. Injuries have completely torpedoed his time in Italy.

Luis Alberto (Lazio)

Age: 29 | Position: Central midfielder | Estimated value: €32M

Despite Maurizio Sarri’s insistence to the contrary, rumors of a disconnect between the manager and Spanish playmaker persist. The crafty midfielder continues to be one of Europe’s most underrated creative forces.

Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli)

Age: 30 | Position: Winger | Estimated value: €35M

Another soon-to-be free agent, Insigne wants a new contract, but the pint-sized star and Napoli are at odds over his valuation. Toronto FC are reportedly keeping tabs on the Italian, who’s still more than capable of dazzling.

Andrea Belotti (Torino)

Mondadori Portfolio / Mondadori Portfolio / Getty

Age: 28 | Position: Striker | Estimated value: €28M

Torino mismanaged this one; the club missed its big chance to cash in after Belotti’s monstrous 2016-17 season. The 28-year-old is now an impending free agent who hasn’t scored more than 16 league goals since that campaign.

Gianluca Scamacca (Sassuolo)

Age: 22 | Position: Striker | Estimated value: €20M

One of Italy’s rising young stars, the unorthodox Scamacca combines a tall, powerful frame with good ball skills and a penchant for spectacular goals. His feisty demeanor and ability to rile opposing defenders doesn’t hurt, either.


Florian Wirtz (Bayer Leverkusen)

Age: 18 | Position: Attacking midfielder | Estimated value: €70M

Any move for Wirtz is likely to materialize in the summer, but Europe’s heavy hitters would be wise to get an early jump on their peers. Competition for the teen sensation’s signature is going to be extremely fierce.

Niklas Sule (Bayern Munich)

Age: 26 | Position: Center-back | Estimated value: €35M

Bayern Munich director Hasan Salihamidzic said in November that talks over Sule’s new contract are “not easy.” That must have been music to the ears of every club in the market for a dominant center-back in his prime.

Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund)


Age: 21 | Position: Striker | Estimated value: €150M

The mystical €75-million release clause, which reportedly becomes valid in June, is hanging over Dortmund. Sell now for twice that amount, or fight to convince notorious agent Mino Raiola that Haaland should stay long term?

Axel Witsel (Borussia Dortmund)

Age: 32 | Position: Defensive midfielder | Estimated value: €6M

Similar to Cavani, who we mentioned above, Witsel would likely be a stopgap solution for any January suitors. Dortmund are seemingly willing to part with the veteran midfielder should an offer come in.

Denis Zakaria (Borussia Monchengladbach)

Age: 25 | Position: Defensive midfielder | Estimated value: €27M

Zakaria’s name is one of the hottest in the buildup to the transfer window. If the Swiss international desires a move away from Borussia Monchengladbach in the coming weeks, he has several enticing options across Europe.

Amadou Haidara (RB Leipzig)

Age: 23 | Position: Central midfielder | Estimated value: €24M

This one is a matter of connecting the dots. Manchester United need help in midfield – the time for giving Nemanja Matic important minutes is over – and Ralf Rangnick knows Haidara from his Red Bull days. Hence, the speculation.

Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig)

Age: 24 | Position: Attacking midfielder/winger | Estimated value: €55M

One of the star performers in the Champions League group stage – even if RB Leipzig were underwhelming as a whole – Nkunku catapulted himself into contention for a January move. United and Liverpool are in the mix.

Ligue 1

Aurelien Tchouameni (AS Monaco)

TF-Images / DeFodi Images / Getty

Age: 21 | Position: Central midfielder | Estimated value: €40M

The next great product of AS Monaco’s famed talent incubator? Tchouameni is perhaps the most desired young midfielder in Europe at the moment, with suitors throughout the continent ready to battle for his signature.

Sven Botman (Lille)

Age: 21 | Position: Center-back | Estimated value: €30M

It’s just a matter of when, not if, Botman departs Lille at this point. In the wake of Simon Kjaer’s knee injury, AC Milan are being heavily tipped with a January move for the impressive Dutch defender, who is also of interest to Newcastle United.

Jonathan Ikone (Lille)

Age: 23 | Position: Winger | Estimated value: €22M

Fiorentina are reportedly on the verge of closing a deal for Ikone that will net Lille an initial €15 million. If finalized, the Frenchman would provide another exciting attacking piece in support of Vlahovic – should the latter stick around.

Renato Sanches (Lille)

Age: 24 | Position: Central midfielder | Estimated value: €30M

Sanches has done well to revitalize his career after a tough spell at Bayern Munich temporarily derailed his rise. In a hilarious twist, the Bavarian giants are apparently considering re-signing the energetic Portuguese midfielder.

Boubacar Kamara (Marseille)

Age: 22 | Position: Defensive midfielder/center-back | Estimated value: €25M

Versatility within your squad, especially in the COVID-19 world of congested schedules and overworked players, is crucial. That’s partly why Kamara, who can play both in midfield and at center-back, is so enticing.

Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)

John Berry / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Age: 23 | Position: Forward | Estimated value: €160M

Should it get to that point this summer, Mbappe would arguably be the most exciting free agent in the history of the sport. Real Madrid appear to be the inevitable landing spot, so it’s just a matter of when and for how much.

Mauro Icardi (Paris Saint-Germain)

Age: 28 | Position: Striker | Estimated value: €28M

Paris Saint-Germain look destined to take a significant loss on Icardi eventually, but the uber-rich club is one of the few that can likely withstand the financial hit – even if the pandemic has lightened the coffers.

Georginio Wijnaldum (Paris Saint-Germain)

Age: 31 | Position: Central midfielder | Estimated value: €25M

Wijnaldum has made 16 appearances in Ligue 1, but he’s only started nine of those matches. He also went public earlier in the season with his disappointment over a lack of action since joining the club from Liverpool as a free agent.

Elsewhere in Europe (and beyond)

Noussair Mazraoui (Ajax)

Age: 24 | Position: Right-back | Estimated value: €18M

Mazraoui is in an interesting position going into January. A free agent this summer, he needs to weigh a potential move now against the prospect of finishing the season with an Ajax side capable of winning multiple titles.

Darwin Nunez (Benfica)

Gualter Fatia / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Age: 22 | Position: Striker | Estimated value: €32M

All the usual suspects are being linked to Nunez, a combative Uruguayan striker who has an alluring combination of top-line speed and strength that can cause all kinds of problems for defenders.

Ben Brereton Diaz (Blackburn Rovers)

Age: 22 | Position: Striker | Estimated value: €10M

Mid-table Premier League clubs are on high alert right now watching Blackburn. The blossoming Chilean striker has been on fire in the Championship this season, registering 19 goals in 23 matches.

Vitaliy Mykolenko (Dynamo Kyiv)

Age: 22 | Position: Left-back | Estimated value: €17M

With Lucas Digne seemingly falling out of favor with manager Rafa Benitez, Everton have been on the hunt for a new left-back. They appear to be closing in on Mykolenko, who profiles as a better defensive fit than the Frenchman.

Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas)

Age: 18 | Position: Striker | Estimated value: €8M

After a breakthrough year for club and country, Pepi and FC Dallas are reportedly in talks with Wolfsburg over a transfer. If it materializes, the teenager would be the latest young American to make the leap to Germany.

Luis Diaz (FC Porto)

Quality Sport Images / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Age: 24 | Position: Winger/wide midfielder | Estimated value: €40M

Watching the dynamic Colombian wreak havoc on opposing defenders, it’s no wonder the likes of Liverpool are intrigued at the prospect of signing the Porto winger. If he does move, rival full-backs will be in danger of getting posterized.

Karim Adeyemi (Red Bull Salzburg)

Age: 19 | Position: Forward | Estimated value: €35M

A breakout showing in the Champions League rocketed Adeyemi to the top of many wishlists across Europe. The latest explosive German teenager to come through Red Bull’s vaunted pipeline will soon generate a bidding war.

Julian Alvarez (River Plate)

Age: 21 | Position: Striker | Estimated value: €20M

Billed as the next star to come out of Argentina, Alvarez has already made waves at home; Europe is next. He could wait until the summer, though, to avoid sitting on the bench and putting his place in Argentina’s squad at risk.

Christian Eriksen (free agent)

Age: 29 | Position: Central midfielder | Estimated value: N/A

Unable to play in Italy due to the implantable cardioverter defibrillator placed in his chest after Euro 2020, Eriksen was released by Inter Milan. It was a mutual move that allows him to hopefully continue his career elsewhere.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Champions League

1 player Europe's top clubs should sign before transfer window closes

Time is running out for teams to make a splash in the January transfer window. With the shopping period set to close next week and a flurry of late activity expected in the coming days, we highlight one player that Europe’s top clubs should be targeting at the 11th hour, even if it means getting creative to get the deal over the line.

Note: Estimated transfer values provided by

Premier League

Arsenal: Alexander Isak

Club: Real Sociedad | Position: Striker | Value: €40M

With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the outs and Alexandre Lacazette floundering, Arsenal have mustered one goal in their last five matches – the Gunners badly need an influx of scoring punch. Seemingly set to miss out on primary target Dusan Vlahovic, the north London outfit would be wise to put all their efforts into convincing Real Sociedad to part with Isak, the 22-year-old Swedish gem who would become the focal point of Arsenal’s attack.

Chelsea: Jules Kounde

Club: Sevilla | Position: Center-back | Value: €60M

Chelsea’s interest in Kounde is longstanding – and with good reason. The Frenchman is a prototypical modern defender: He reads the game well, has excellent mobility, and, crucially, is comfortable on the ball. With Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, and Cesar Azpilicueta all impending free agents, the Blues need to be proactive to ensure they aren’t left frantically competing for signatures this coming summer.

Liverpool: Christopher Nkunku

picture alliance / picture alliance / Getty

Club: RB Leipzig | Position: Attacking midfielder/winger | Value: €55M

Nkunku is ready for the next step. An electric talent who offers positional versatility, his familiarity with a high-octane system at Leipzig would help make the acclimation process at Liverpool a little easier. Rumors of interest in Nkunku suggest the club’s scouting and analytics departments have already done their homework and identified the Frenchman as an ideal signing. The Reds hit a home run with Diogo Jota, and Nkunku could have the same impact.

Manchester City: Julian Alvarez

Club: River Plate | Position: Striker | Value: €20M

What do you get for the team that has just about everything? One of the most exciting young forwards in South America, apparently. Manchester City are on the verge of sealing a deal for the 21-year-old Argentine international, moving to ensure their recent run of Premier League dominance continues long into the future. City don’t need Alvarez right away – the title race is just about sorted already – and can start thinking about the coming years.

Manchester United: Bruno Guimaraes

Club: Lyon | Position: Midfielder | Value: €30M

Few sides can compete with Newcastle United’s newfound riches, but Manchester United, one of the sport’s established powers, are certainly one of them. The Red Devils, like Newcastle, happen to be in the market for a central midfielder and could aim to hijack their peers’ reported €40-million move for Brazilian standout Guimaraes. It would address a glaring need and send a message that at least some power still resides at Old Trafford.

Tottenham Hotspur: Adama Traore

Jack Thomas – WWFC / Wolverhampton Wanderers FC / Getty

Club: Wolverhampton Wanderers | Position: Winger | Value: €28M

The prospect of Antonio Conte working with Traore is tantalizing. For some time, discussions surrounding the strapping 26-year-old have focused too much on what he can’t do on the pitch – namely, his final product is sometimes lacking. But Traore brings so much to the table with his elite dribbling ability, and one of Conte’s best traits as a manager is amplifying the specific skills that his players do have. Together, the two could make magic at Tottenham.

La Liga

Atletico Madrid: Darwin Nunez

Club: Benfica | Position: Striker | Value: €32M

With Luis Suarez expected to depart this summer and Joao Felix potentially joining him in search of a better stylistic fit, Atletico Madrid should be in the market for another forward. Luckily, Nunez fits the bill. The 22-year-old is exactly the type of robust presence you associate with Diego Simeone’s side. Wildly athletic, the Uruguayan forward’s blend of top-line speed and physicality would be welcomed at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Barcelona: Alvaro Morata

Club: Juventus (on loan) | Position: Striker | Value: €35M

Despite relying on bank loans and magic beans to sign new players, Barcelona remain active in the transfer market. The rebuilding Blaugrana have a lot of issues to rectify, and additional scoring prowess is near the top of the list. Xavi’s admiration of Morata could help push a deal over the line, but any move is complicated because the Spaniard is on loan at Juventus from Atletico Madrid, adding another layer of complexity to negotiations.

Real Madrid: Noussair Mazraoui

DeFodi Images / DeFodi Images / Getty

Club: Ajax | Position: Right-back | Value: €18M

Real Madrid have a few players who can operate at right-back, but outside of Dani Carvajal, there aren’t any natural options. The Spaniard is now 30, though, and he endured an injury-plagued 2021 – the decline is on its way for the decorated veteran. Mazraoui is due to become a free agent in the summer, but Los Blancos could jump the line and pay a nominal fee to secure the services of the 24-year-old Ajax star, who provides oodles of attacking impetus.

Serie A

AC Milan: Andreas Christensen

Club: Chelsea | Position: Center-back | Value: €35M

With Simon Kjaer shelved for the campaign and Fikayo Tomori sidelined for at least one month with a knee injury, AC Milan would be wise to strengthen their backline if they hope to overtake city rivals Inter Milan in the race for this season’s Scudetto. Christensen, who’s on an expiring deal, represents an opportunity to add someone who can improve the squad immediately but also offers a long-term solution should Alessio Romagnoli depart.

Inter Milan: Paulo Dybala

Club: Juventus | Position: Forward | Value: €50M

Dybala’s contract kerfuffle presents an alluring opportunity for Inter to make a huge statement, and frankly, stick it to a direct rival in an extremely satisfying way. The Argentine forward is Juventus’ vice-captain and has been a longstanding pillar of the squad. Beppe Marotta, the former Juve CEO now at Inter, could bolster his attacking ranks and kick his former club while it’s down. Inter already ended Juventus’ title run – now it’s time to take things up a notch.

Juventus: Denis Zakaria

Matthias Hangst / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Club: Borussia Monchengladbach | Position: Defensive midfielder | Value: €27M

Juventus are nearing a deal for prolific Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic, which will certainly help the club’s anemic attack. The Serbian’s addition, though a huge boon, doesn’t rectify the glaring weakness in midfield that continues to plague Max Allegri’s team. Zakaria would instantly improve a positional group that lacks mobility and a trustworthy shield for the defense while simultaneously freeing up Manuel Locatelli to get forward more often.


Bayern Munich: Josko Gvardiol

Club: RB Leipzig | Position: Center-back | Value: €25M

With hulking defender Niklas Sule on his way out at campaign’s end, Bayern Munich have been tabbed as players in the impending Antonio Rudiger sweepstakes. But bidding wars for stars in their late 20s isn’t this team’s modus operandi – snapping up exciting young talent has become the Bayern way. Gvardiol, the 20-year-old Croatian who can play both center- and full-back, would help replace the versatility and physicality that Sule provided.

Borussia Dortmund: Karim Adeyemi

Club: Red Bull Salzburg | Position: Forward | Value: €35M

Beating everyone to the punch and procuring a rising young star’s services is quintessential Borussia Dortmund fare. That’s partly why it almost makes too much sense for Adeyemi to end up at the Westfalenstadion. The German forward, who just turned 20 last week, would add to Dortmund’s celebrated crop of youngsters while also helping to soften the blow should Erling Haaland make his anticipated move elsewhere this summer.

Ligue 1

Paris Saint-Germain: Tanguy Ndombele

Tottenham Hotspur FC / Tottenham Hotspur FC / Getty

Club: Tottenham | Position: Midfielder | Value: €38M

For the good of both the player and club, Ndombele’s time at Tottenham appears to be nearing its end. The partnership simply never worked out the way it should have. But the Frenchman remains a supremely skilled midfielder, and reuniting with former boss Mauricio Pochettino at Paris Saint-Germain could reignite his career. Would a midfield with Ndombele and Marco Verratti be functional? Maybe not, but it would be a wild ride that we deserve to see.

Continue Reading

Champions League

FIFA awards: Live coverage as Lewandowski, Putellas eye top honors

World football’s top players and managers of 2021 are being recognized at The Best FIFA Football Awards show on Monday. Below, theScore is tracking all the winners of the various trophies being handed out in Zurich.

Best Women’s Goalkeeper

Masashi Hara / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Christiane Endler (Lyon and Chile)

After finishing second in each of the last two years – to Sari van Veenendaal in 2019 and Sarah Bouhaddi in 2020 – Chilean netminder Endler finally landed the award at the third time of asking. Endler backstopped Paris Saint-Germain to the Division 1 Feminine title last season, posting 19 clean sheets while allowing just four goals the entire campaign.

Best Men’s Goalkeeper

Edouard Mendy (Chelsea and Senegal)

Mendy has been vital to Chelsea’s success since joining the club in 2020, solidifying what was a problematic position for the Blues prior to his arrival. The Senegalese shot-stopper, 29, backstopped Chelsea to the Champions League title in 2021, and finished the calendar year with more clean sheets (29) than goals conceded (27). After his shocking omission from the Ballon d’Or shortlist, Mendy’s spectacular season has finally garnered the respect it deserves.

Puskas Award winner

Erik Lamela – Tottenham Hotspur vs. Arsenal (March 14, 2021)

Lamela stunned the world with an outrageous rabona in the north London derby. It was the second of its kind that he had scored for Tottenham Hotspur. Already named the goal of the season in the Premier League, the Argentine’s spontaneous strike rightly has now received recognition on a global scale.

FIFA Fair Play Award winner

Denmark national team, medics, and coaching staff

Best Women’s Coach

Emma Hayes (Chelsea)

Hayes was speechless when she was revealed as this year’s award winner on Monday. The longtime Chelsea coach shouldn’t have been, though, after leading her side to a domestic treble in 2020-21. In capturing the Women’s Super League, FA Cup, and League Cup crowns, the 45-year-old tactician became the first Chelsea manager to win all three domestic titles on offer in the same season.

Best Men’s Coach

Catherine Ivill / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Thomas Tuchel (Chelsea)

The following awards are still to come today …

Best Men’s Player finalists

Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski is aiming to retain the honor he captured last year. The Polish striker was pipped to the Ballon d’Or by Lionel Messi in November but is the favorite to hoist FIFA’s top individual accolade after yet another goal-laden year.

  • Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich and Poland)
  • Lionel Messi (Paris Saint-Germain and Argentina)
  • Mohamed Salah (Liverpool and Egypt)

Best Women’s Player finalists

A pair of Barcelona superstars are in the running here, with Ballon d’Or holder Alexia Putellas headlining a field comprised of first-time nominees. After English right-back Lucy Bronze broke the trend and took home the silverware last year, the 2021 honor will go to an attacking player once more.

  • Jennifer Hermoso (Barcelona and Spain)
  • Sam Kerr (Chelsea and Australia)
  • Alexia Putellas (Barcelona and Spain)

Men’s FIFA FIFPro World11

To be announced.

Women’s FIFA FIFPro World11

To be announced.

Continue Reading

Champions League

Ranking the top 30 players set to become free agents this summer

With the January transfer window open, players on expiring contracts are able to negotiate with any club. There has arguably never been a more loaded crop of impending free agents, with some of football’s biggest names entering the final six months of their respective deals. “Free” may be a misnomer – agent fees and signing bonuses have never been so grand – but the absence of a transfer fee makes these 30 stars hugely desirable. Below, we rank the best players who will be out of contract this summer.

Note: Lorenzo Insigne has reportedly signed a contract with Toronto FC.

Honorable mentions: Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal), Luis Suarez (Atletico Madrid), Florian Grillitsch (Hoffenheim), Dries Mertens (Napoli), Todd Cantwell (Norwich City), Isco (Real Madrid), Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Roma)

30. Jesse Lingard ?gbeng

Club: Manchester United | Age: 29 | Position: Attacking midfielder

Lingard proved in his loan spell at West Ham United he’s still more than capable of contributing at the top level. Manchester United clearly have no intention of utilizing him, but another club – maybe the Hammers – surely will.

29. Hugo Lloris ??

Club: Tottenham Hotspur | Age: 35 | Position: Goalkeeper

Tottenham manager Antonio Conte wants the club captain to remain in north London and recently said the veteran netminder “loves” Spurs. Is that fondness enough for him to sign a new deal?

28. Andrea Belotti ??

Quality Sport Images / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Club: Torino | Age: 28 | Position: Striker

Somehow, Belotti is still at Torino despite rumors about a potential transfer swirling for years. The Italian striker will soon be free to decide his own future, and that likely won’t involve a return to the Granata.

27. Cesar Azpilicueta ??

Club: Chelsea | Age: 32 | Position: Full-back

It’s a little strange considering he’s the captain, but talk over Azpilicueta’s status has been muted. A return to Spain could be in the cards, especially if other high-profile defenders renew their deals with Chelsea.

26. James Tarkowski ?gbeng

Club: Burnley | Age: 29 | Position: Center-back

Tarkowski’s presence at the heart of Burnley’s defense has been a given for some time – he’s started over 30 matches in each of the last four seasons – but that union is in its final stages, with Newcastle United a likely destination.

25. Axel Witsel ??

Alexandre Simoes / Borussia Dortmund / Getty

Club: Borussia Dortmund | Age: 32 | Position: Midfielder

Witsel has been a midfield mainstay since arriving at Borussia Dortmund in 2018, but an Achilles rupture last year was a turning point. The Belgian veteran has struggled since his return and is unlikely to be retained.

24. Sardar Azmoun ??

Club: Zenit St. Petersburg | Age: 27 | Position: Forward

Azmoun has never made a senior appearance for a club outside of Russia. That’s about to change. The Iranian international, a consistent scorer for Zenit, is the subject of interest from England and France.

23. Divock Origi ??

Club: Liverpool | Age: 26 | Position: Forward

Can Origi, now entering the prime years of his career, be a bonafide scoring option if given consistent minutes? He’s delivered big goals for Liverpool, but his ability to extrapolate that will decide whether a top club makes a move.

22. Luka Modric ??

Quality Sport Images / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Club: Real Madrid | Age: 36 | Position: Midfielder

Modric isn’t the all-conquering midfield force of his Ballon d’Or days, but he continues to be relied upon by Carlo Ancelotti and Real Madrid. Another one-year contract extension seems the likeliest endgame for the Croatian icon.

21. Ivan Perisic ??

Club: Inter Milan | Age: 32 | Position: Winger/wing-back

Perisic has been a key contributor for the Serie A leaders this season. There’s a mutual desire to ink a new contract, but time’s running out. The prospect of one final payday elsewhere could push the Croatian toward the exit.

20. Jesus Corona ??

Club: FC Porto | Age: 28 | Position: Right-back/wide midfielder/forward

There’s a reason “Tecatito has made over 200 appearances for Porto – the Mexican’s adaptability is exemplary. That kind of positional versatility is attractive to any club, especially when there’s no transfer fee involved.

19. Alessio Romagnoli ??

Alessandro Sabattini / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Club: AC Milan | Age: 26 | Position: Center-back

Depending on who you believe, AC Milan captain Romagnoli is either close to a contract renewal, looking for a fresh start elsewhere in the summer, or being used as bait in a potential January swap. Isn’t the transfer window great?

18. Andre Onana ??

Club: Ajax | Age: 25 | Position: Goalkeeper

Having served a ninth-month doping ban that threatened to derail his hugely promising career, Onana is back and looking for a fresh start. All signs suggest the Cameroonian shot-stopper is on the verge of joining Inter.

17. Juan Cuadrado ??

Club: Juventus | Age: 33 | Position: Winger/right-back

Cuadrado’s reinvention as a flying full-back has added longevity to his career, and Juventus are working to keep the Colombian. A contract extension is believed to be close, but things can change quickly in the window.

16. Alexandre Lacazette ??

Stuart MacFarlane / Arsenal FC / Getty

Club: Arsenal | Age: 30 | Position: Striker

Similar to other players in his age bracket, Lacazette is looking for one more long-term contract. Arsenal appear unwilling to meet that demand, though things could change if the disgruntled Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang departs.

15. Matthias Ginter ??

Club: Borussia Monchengladbach | Age: 27 | Position: Defender

Ginter announced last week he won’t renew his deal with Gladbach, adding he’s “decided to follow another path” in his career. It certainly sounds like the German international has already mapped out his next move.

14. Boubacar Kamara ??

Club: Marseille | Age: 22 | Position: Defensive midfielder/center-back

Kamara has been linked with a handful of Premier League clubs in recent weeks. Everybody from Manchester United to nouveau riche Newcastle are in the running for the young, versatile Frenchman.

13. Andreas Christensen ??

Soccrates Images / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Club: Chelsea | Age: 25 | Position: Center-back

Teammate Antonio Rudiger is the center-back getting more Bosman love, but at three years his junior, Christensen presents a rare opportunity for a club looking to sign a potential defensive anchor on a free transfer.

12. Denis Zakaria ??

Club: Borussia Monchengladbach | Age: 25 | Position: Defensive midfielder

It’s going to be a busy summer for Borussia Monchengladbach. In addition to Ginter, the club looks destined to lose Zakaria, the burgeoning Swiss international who is rapidly developing into a dominant all-around midfielder.

11. Noussair Mazraoui ??

Club: Ajax | Age: 24 | Position: Right-back

An exceptional dribbler who provides verve from his (nominally) defensive position, Mazraoui would be a key attacking cog at any club. With Mino Raiola as his agent, negotiations – either with Ajax or elsewhere – will be public.

10. Angel Di Maria ??


Club: Paris Saint-Germain | Age: 33 | Position: Winger

Di Maria’s expiring deal includes an option to extend for an additional year if both the club and player are in agreement. The Argentine has said his family is “very happy” in Paris – naturally – which suggests the option will be triggered.

9. Ousmane Dembele ??

Club: Barcelona | Age: 24 | Position: Winger

Barcelona manager Xavi wants Dembele to re-sign on reduced terms to help the debt-ridden club register new players. It’s not the Frenchman’s job to bail the club out of this mess, though, so that seems like a tough sell.

8. Zlatan Ibrahimovic ??

Club: AC Milan | Age: 40 | Position: Striker

The ageless wonder. Injuries are starting to hamper the veteran, but when he’s on the pitch, he finds the net; Ibrahimovic has delivered 0.89 goals per 90 minutes this season, third-best in Serie A. No wonder Milan want to keep him.

7. Marcelo Brozovic ??

Marco Canoniero / LightRocket / Getty

Club: Inter Milan | Age: 29 | Position: Midfielder

Inter are working hard to convince their velvety Croatian that he should renew, but they can’t wait around forever while he makes a decision. Brozovic, who dictates the tempo in midfield, would be a significant loss if he departs.

6. Niklas Sule ??

Club: Bayern Munich | Age: 26 | Position: Center-back

Defenders don’t come more imposing than Sule, but he’s no lead-footed brute; the German is consistently clocked as one of the club’s fastest players each year. That enticing combination has suitors ready to pounce.

5. Franck Kessie ??

Club: AC Milan | Age: 25 | Position: Midfielder

Paolo Maldini has a lot on his plate right now. AC Milan have been prominently featured on this list, and that’s before taking into account the situation with Kessie, who has been a cornerstone of the club’s recent revival.

4. Paulo Dybala ??

Nicolò Campo / LightRocket / Getty

Club: Juventus | Age: 28 | Position: Forward

A bureaucratic issue involving Dybala’s agent is apparently the only thing holding up an official announcement of his extension with Juve. Until he puts pen to paper, though, fans of the Old Lady will harbor some nerves.

3. Paul Pogba ??

Club: Manchester United | Age: 28 | Position: Midfielder

It’s easy to forget since he’s been out with injury for two months, but Pogba was on an absolute tear earlier this season, reminding detractors of his game-breaking skill and creativity. When he’s at his best, few can match it.

2. Antonio Rudiger ??

Club: Chelsea | Age: 28 | Position: Center-back

Everyone with the financial means wants a piece of Rudiger. Contract negotiations with Chelsea are at an impasse, and that has Real Madrid, among several others, on high alert.

1. Kylian Mbappe ??

Eurasia Sport Images / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Club: Paris Saint-Germain | Age: 23 | Position: Forward

There has never been a more desirable free agent in football history than Mbappe. Not even Lionel Messi. If the summer’s crown jewel leaves PSG – as is widely expected – it would alter the sport’s landscape for the next decade.

Copyright © 2022 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Continue Reading