Out-of-contract XI: Best free agents still available including David de Gea and Jesse Lingard

The heavy spending in the summer transfer window is over and done with, but Premier League clubs and beyond can still sign up free agents to bolster their squads

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Transfer Deadline Day deals completed by deadline

The summer transfer window is over and teams will now have to work with what they have got until January, but there are still some deals to be done.

A whopping £2.36billion was spent just in the Premier League during the window as transfer fees continued on their upward trajectory. Yet there may be some bargains out there, because while conventional transfers are not permitted, clubs can still sign free agents.

It could, quite reasonably, be argued that there is a reason why the leftover players are without clubs after the transfer window closed. They may have been struggling with injuries, could be approaching the end of their careers, or could have unpalatable wage demands.

Nevertheless, there are sure to be some free agent deals on the horizon in the coming weeks. Here Mirror Football runs the rule over the best free agents available and works them into a good old fashioned 4-4-2 formation.


David de Gea

Undoubtedly the most high-profile free agent out there. De Gea left Manchester United over the summer following the expiry of his contract. He was replaced by Andre Onana and is yet to find a new club, despite links with Real Madrid (who eventually opted for Kepa Arrizabalaga instead).

De Gea is still only 32 years old, although his £375,000-a-week wages at United may prove a stumbling block to finding a new deal. Nevertheless, he is out there, training by himself and posting clips on his Instagram account with the caption “Work hard. Push yourself” in an effort to woo a new suitor. The message is clear: he is single and ready to mingle.

David de Gea David de Gea is without a club after being released by Manchester United (


Getty Images)


Danny Rose

The former Tottenham left-back is 33 years old but has been without a club since Watford terminated his contract last year. He has since moved into the media, working for Sky Sports and talkSPORT, but is yet to retire officially.

Speaking on Sky Sports in April, he revealed: “It’s obviously no secret I’ve been away from football and I’ve deliberately not watched any football. I didn’t watch any of the World Cup.

“It was only until the other night I watched City in the Champions League - and watching it, listening to the music, I started to think ‘OK I miss it’.”

Jerome Boateng

Jerome Boateng looks on as he attends the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco Jerome Boateng is without a club (


Peter Fox/Getty Images)

The former Germany international is without a club after leaving Lyon earlier in the summer. Now 35, the towering central defender may struggle to find a new club due to his wage demands, which were a significant bugbear for Lyon, who only got eight appearances for their money last season.

Phil Jones

Sergio Ramos would have filled this space if he were not on the brink of a move back to Sevilla (sorry Phil). Jones was released by United earlier in the summer following a few difficult years behind the scenes trying to regain full fitness.

“I’ve missed playing football. I missed it,” he said in May when his departure was announced. “You grow up playing football and all you want to do is play football. It’s all I’ve known, from such a young age, is to do what you love doing for a living.” He is still only 31 years old and surely has another club in him.

Axel Tuanzebe

Another former United player, Tuanzebe spent last season on loan with Stoke but remains without a team for now. The 25-year-old has been strongly linked with Ipswich Town of late.


Morgan Schneiderlin

Morgan Schneiderlin Morgan Schneiderlin backed out of a move to Turkey (


Jeremy Ng/Getty Images)

The Frenchman, who has played for Southampton, Manchester United and Everton, secured a move to Turkish side Konyaspor in August, only to back out of it after just nine days.

Schneiderlin signed a two-year deal only to ask to cancel it for family reasons. The 33-year-old defensive midfielder is therefore available, but unlikely to move to a far flung country. He most recently played for Nice and on loan at Western Sydney Wanderers.

Yann M’Vila

The midfielder has been a familiar name on transfer gossip columns for some time – and he was back recently, linked with a move to Fulham, who were scouring Europe for a midfielder in the event that Joao Palhinha joined Bayern Munich.

The 33-year-old M’Vila most recently turned out for Olympiakos and could move to Marseille, according to reports in France.

Jesse Lingard

Jesse Lingard is a free agent Jesse Lingard is a free agent (


Getty Images)

Lingard remains a free agent after a potential move to DC United in MLS has fallen through.

Lingard was released by Nottingham Forest at the end of last season and is looking for a new club. A move to West Ham – where he enjoyed a good loan spell in 2021 – hasn’t materialised and another door closed. According to the Washington Post, MLS salary cap rules prevented Wayne Rooney from landing Lingard before the roster deadline on September 13.

Eden Hazard

Oh what could have been. Hazard was on the top of the world at Chelsea before a huge-money move to Real Madrid became his undoing.

Still only 32 years old, the Belgian has plenty of money in his back pocket but will surely be on the radar of Saudi Arabian sides.


Andre Gray

Andre Gray of PAE Aris Thessaloniki Andre Gray had been playing for Aris Thessaloniki (


Patrick Ahlborn/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

The former Watford striker is available after terminating his contract at Aris Thessaloniki by mutual consent. The 32-year-old has a good record in the Championship, with 56 goals in 146 appearances, and is reportedly catching the eye of lots of sides in the division.

Alfredo Morelos

The Colombian striker left Rangers earlier in the summer and has been in limbo ever since. The 27-year-old came close to joining Fenerbahce but now looks set to move to Santos in Brazil. With 124 goals in 269 games under his belt for Rangers, he will be a good signing for whoever he joins.

Best free agent XI: De Gea; Rose, Boateng, Jones, Tuanzebe; Schneiderlin, M’Vila, Lingard, Hazard; Gray, Morelos.

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