Out of contract in 2023: Ranking the top free agents with Lionel Messi and Angel Di Maria making the list
Argentine winger Ángel Di Maria once again played a decisive role when he scored the winning goal on Thursday for Juventus against Freiburg in a 1-0 win in the Europa League round of 16. Di Maria joined the Italian club last summer after his contract with Paris Saint-Germain expired and signed a one-year deal with the Bianconeri. Juventus want him to stay for at least one more season and have already started talks with their agents about a potential new deal. Di Maria has already scored eight goals this season for Juventus and has been red-hot since winning the World Cup with Argentina, scoring five of them in his last five games.
Let’s take a tour of Europe to see who will be the potential top free agents in the summer of 2023. Inter defender Milan Skrinjar is not included in this list as he has already signed a tentative agreement with PSG starting this summer and we removed Karim Benzema from the list as he was expected to do the same as Always: Will sign a short-term contract to stay at Real Madrid.
Here are the top five potential free agents:
5. FWD Roberto Firmino
- Age: 31
- Current club: Liverpool
- Potential suitors: Inter, Real Madrid
Roberto Firmino and Liverpool have officially decided to end their relationship after eight successful years at the club. The Brazilian striker will definitely be one to watch this summer as he could end up in different leagues. In fact, there are already many rumors about his next direction, including Inter and Real Madrid, who will likely sign a new striker this summer.
4. MFA N’Golo Kante
- Age: 31
- Current club: Chelsea
- Potential suitors: Chelsea, PSG
The French midfielder is ending his contract with Chelsea after joining the club in the summer of 2016 from Leicester. Kante is still thinking about his future and he may also decide to stay after all if he finds an agreement with the English club. If he decides to leave, it is likely that many clubs will try to sign him, and PSG have always been interested in him in recent years.
3. FWD, Angel Di Maria
- Age: 34
- Current club: juventus
- Potential suitors: Juventus, Rosario Central
The Argentine is entering the final weeks of his deal with the Italian club and his future will largely depend on his personal decision. Di Maria decided to stay in Europe for one more year to play in the 2022 World Cup as he later won in Qatar with Argentina. His decision in the summer of 2022 when he joined Juventus was between the Italian side and Rosario Central, his boyhood club. He may decide to return to Argentina to spend his final years as a professional footballer.
2. ONE Ilkay Gundogan
- Age: 32
- Current club: Manchester
- Potential suitors: Manchester City, FC Barcelona
The German midfielder may decide to leave the English club in the summer after seven years at Manchester City. It’s not yet clear if both sides decide to extend the deal or not, but in the event that he doesn’t, clubs like Barcelona are reportedly willing to sign him for the coming years. However, a final decision is expected to be made in the coming weeks.
1. Forward Lionel Messi
- Age: 35
- Current club: PSG
- Potential suitors: PSG, Barcelona, Inter Miami, Newell’s Old Boys
Lionel Messi got another disappointing result in the round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League when PSG were knocked out by Bayern Munich on Wednesday. After winning the 2022 World Cup with Argentina, he has yet another decision to make about his future. As always, there are a lot of rumors about him as PSG continue to talk with his representatives about a new deal, but there have been no updates in recent weeks. Barcelona are dreaming of a comeback but will have to deal with the club’s financial situation while Inter Miami are also reportedly battling to sign the Argentine star. Last but not least, the Newells Old Boys of Argentina are always in the spotlight when it comes to Messi as he never played for his childhood team.