Premier League Out Of Contract XI: The Manchester United, Liverpool And Chelsea Stars Who Could Leave For Free
Like a Back Friday sale, the doors to the January transfer window have creaked open and anxious buyers have barged their way in, desperate to snap up any remaining bargains.
A few potential sale deals have been taken off the shelves as Manchester United triggered extension clauses in the contracts of David de Gea and Anthony Martial, who were both set to be out of contract at the end of the season before the club intervened, and Tottenham have done likewise with Toby Alderweireld.
However, there are deals to be had as players enter the final six months of their contracts. Barcelona have agreed a pre-contract deal with Adrien Rabiot from Paris St- Germain and he will head to the Camp Nou at the end of the season, Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey appears set to join Juventus and Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas is on his way out of Stamford Bridge.
We take a look at a Premier League XI of players who could leave for nothing at the end of the 2018/19 season, selecting them in a bold 5-3-2 formation with wing-backs...
Petr Cech (Arsenal)
The powers of the Arsenal goalkeeper appear to be on the wane as he conceded nine goals in seven league games before injury caused him to lose his place to Bernd Leno. Despite his replacement's own shaky form, Cech hasn't been able to force his way back in and the end appears to be nigh.
Gary Cahill (Chelsea)
Another former Premier League star who appears to be on a gradual decline. Gary Cahill has found himself out of favour under Maurizio Sarri and an exit from Chelsea seems likely, although it remains to be seen who takes a chance on him.
David Luiz (Chelsea)
Chelsea's David Luiz could also leave for nothing in the summer. The defender divides opinion like very few in the top-flight, despite being a first-team regular under Sarri.
Eliaquim Mangala (Manchester City)
The imposing figure of Eliaquim Mangala has struggled to convince Pep Guardiola of his worth, spent last season on loan at Everton and looks set for an Etihad exit after spending much of this campaign with the reserves.
Ashley Young (Manchester United)
An unlikely star of England's World Cup campaign, Ashley Young rarely convinces as a full-back and he has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford, with foreign clubs able to discuss a pre-contract deal with him this month.
Leighton Baines (Everton)
The 34-year-old has made just four league appearances for Everton after being usurped by Lucas Digne at left-back, with Baines not playing a single minute of top-flight football since September.
Juan Mata (Manchester United)
The popular Juan Mata has yet to sign a new deal at Manchester United and he wouldn't be short of suitors, at home or abroad, if he were allowed to leave.
James Milner (Liverpool)
Like Mata at Manchester United, it would be a huge surprise if Liverpool allowed the versatile James Milner to depart, although he is still waiting to sign a new contract.
Ander Herrera (Manchester United)
Arguably the best player in our XI who could leave for nothing in the summer, Ander Herrera has scored two goals and laid on three assists in fourteen league games this term. The Spaniard has had problems with injury and is 29 years of age now though.
Olivier Giroud (Chelsea)
Olivier Giroud has struggled to find his feet at Chelsea since signing from Arsenal last January and the 32-year-old is likely to be allowed to leave Stamford Bridge, particularly if the Blues are able to add to their striking options during this transfer window.
Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool)
Daniel Sturridge's electric form during pre-season raised hopes that he could be a central figure for Liverpool this season. However, the campaign has followed a familiar path as he has failed to take his opportunities and has fallen to the fringes of the Liverpool squad.