Sportsmail's best XI of players now available as free agents

Serge Aurier, Jack Wilshere and David Luiz lead a long list of players STILL searching for a new club after being let go this summer… here’s the best XI of free agents available for your club to sign

  • The summer transfer window slammed shut for most clubs on Tuesday night
  • While plenty of players have made moves, some have been left without a club
  • Serge Aurier mutually terminated his contract at Tottenham a year early 
  • But now he, and other out-of-contract stars, are free to sign with new clubs 
  • Sportsmail has put together an XI of the very best stars all available for nothing 

The summer transfer window slammed shut on Tuesday night – bringing the curtain down on what has been one of the craziest windows in recent memory.

While Manchester City broke the British transfer record by signing Jack Grealish for £100million, city rivals Manchester United made a late dash to bring Cristiano Ronaldo back to Old Trafford.

Former free agent Lionel Messi was snapped up by PSG after leaving Barcelona in what was another internet-breaking move. However, not every player was as fortunate in finding a new club.

Many players across Europe saw their contracts expire or mutually terminated, leaving them in no-man’s land with the new season well underway. But even with deadline day over, these players can still sign with new clubs even outside the transfer window.

So, with this in mind, Sportsmail has put together a team of the best players who are now free agents and revealed what the future may hold for them…

The transfer window slammed shut on Tuesday – but there are still players without clubs 


While there’s been plenty of excitement coming out of Old Trafford in recent weeks, one player that won’t be a part of it is Sergio Romero.

The Argentine goalkeeper was released by the Red Devils earlier this summer and hasn’t found a new club yet.

With Dean Henderson now at the club challenging David de Gea for the No 1 jersey, Romero found himself fall below Lee Grant in the pecking order and was surplus to requirements by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Sergio Romero was released by Manchester United earlier this summer and is without a club

Romero also saw a deadline day move to Everton blocked last summer, which now seems bizarre given he has been allowed to leave for free just a year on. 

The 34-year-old didn’t make a single appearance in his final three seasons at United but has shown he’s a more than capable keeper when on international duty with Argentina. 


One of the high-profile names in this XI, Serge Aurier will likely not take long to find a new home, with France his most likely destination.

The right back told Spurs he wanted to leave the club this summer, which saw the Premier League side frantically try and offload him before Tuesday’s deadline but to no avail.

The 28-year-old even had a year left to run on his Spurs contract but with the arrival of Emerson Royal, Nuno Espirito Santo would’ve had four right backs at his disposal for the coming season.

Serge Aurier has been released on a free transfer by Tottenham after mutual termination

This saw Spurs and Aurier come to the mutual decision to terminate his contract hours before deadline day ended, allowing the Ivorian to join the free agents list and continue his search for a new club.

Aurier arrived at White Hart Lane in 2017 for £23m from PSG but failed to really nail down the right back spot under four different managers. He made 77 Premier League appearances during his time at Tottenham.


Eliaqium Mangala was once the most expensive defender in British transfer history, after Manchester City shelled out £42m for the Frenchman.

However, the centre back struggled to live up to the billing and was subsequently shipped out on loan to Valencia and Everton before securing a permanent switch to the Spanish side in 2019.

Like at the Etihad, it didn’t quite work out at the Maestella and his two-year contract was allowed to run its course this summer, leaving him without a club for the start of this season.

At the age of 30, Mangala can expect to have a few more years of top-level football as his search for a new club continues.

Eliaqium Mangala was once the most expensive defender in British transfer history


David Luiz announced earlier this summer that his time at Arsenal would be coming to an end.

The £50m arrival of Ben White meant that minutes would be at a premium and he would no longer be needed by Mikel Arteta.

The 34-year-old has since been in talks over a move to Brazilian side Flemengo and even previously met with Flamengo’s vice president Marcos Braz and football director Bruno Spindel, with the Brazilian club pair said to be on a mission to bring in high-profile players.

Flamengo could still sign Luiz – who has been capped 57 times for Brazil’s national team – but the veteran defender is taking his time with reaching a decision over his next move as he wants to find a project that ‘touches his heart’. 

David Luiz is currently searching for his next club after leaving Arsenal earlier this summer


It just hasn’t happened for Javier Pastore in Italy.

The Argentine joined Roma in the summer of 2018 from PSG, arriving with plenty of promise but injury issues saw him make just 37 appearances across three seasons.

It saw Roma and Pastore come to the decision to mutally terminate his contract on deadline day, with the player free to join another club as a result.

Pastore admitted it ‘wasn’t easy to leave Roma’ but he may find it just as difficult to secure another move given his injury history.

That being said, he has plenty of ability and will be a welcome addition to many teams should he be able to stay fit on a regular basis. 

Roma and Javier Pastore mutually agreed to terminate his deal after his injury-hit stint


Like Pastore, Nabil Bentaleb has struggled with plenty of injuries that has left him without a club after failed stints at Tottenham, Newcastle and Schalke.

The 26-year-old burst onto the scene with Spurs under Tim Sherwood having graduated from the club’s academy but Mauricio Pochettino decided against keeping the Algerian around and sent him out on loan to Schalke.

His loan move turned into a permanent one in 2017 but struggled to make any real impact, which saw the Bundesliga side send him out on loan to the Magpies in 2020, where he would make 12 appearances.

Ex-Schalke and Tottenham midfielder Nabil Bentaleb is free to sign with a new club

His time at Schalke would eventually come to an end this summer and has now been left to find a new club.

Reports earlier this summer suggested that a move to Genoa was on the cards but a switch has failed to materialise as of yet.


It has been very much of the same old story for Jack Wilshere.

The former Arsenal and Bournemouth midfielder has been plagued by injuries that have robbed him of some of his best years as a professional.

After being let go by the Gunners, Wilshere made the move across London to join West Ham before joining the Cherries on a short-term deal.

That deal expired this summer and has left him searching for a new club once again.

There was hope that he was close to signing for Serie B side Como but passport issues has stopped that from materialising. 

Jack Wilshere cannot register in Serie B due to his non-EU passport despite training with Como


Robbie Brady has been a regular fixture in Sean Dyche’s Burnley side over the years and has played a pivotal role during their Premier League stay.

However, like many others on the lists, injuries have troubled the Manchester United academy graduate and is now another Premier League star left without a club to play for this summer.

The 27-year-old has been linked with a move to Turkey this summer but it remains to be seen if he will remain in England for this season.

Brady made 87 appearances for the Clarets during his four-year spell at Turf Moor, scoring six goals and providing nine assists in the process. 

Ex-Burnley winger and free agent Robbie Brady has been linked with a move to Turkey


Jordon Ibe walked away from Derby County at the beginning of this year after revealing that he is struggling with mental health issues.

The 25-year-old revealed he has been ‘suffering with depression’ and has found himself ‘in a dark place’, which saw him take a break from the game in order to recover.

After leaving Liverpool for Bournemouth in a £16m move in 2016, Ibe endured a difficult time on the south coast, scoring three goals in 44 Premier League appearances and his contract expired in July.

He then secured a move to the Rams in 2020 but his issues off the field sadly saw him make just one appearances before he took the decision to recover.

Once the winger is ready to return, a number of clubs will be keen to take the former England U21 international back on board.

Jordon Ibe walked away from a troubled spell at Derby after revealing he’s been struggling with his mental health


After just two seasons and five goals, Franck Ribery left Fiorentina earlier this summer and became a free agent. 

In that time, he played just 51 games, and it has been a testing time in the latest chapter of the 38-year-old’s stellar career.

It is said that the forward would have liked to have stayed, but the club decided not to offer him a new deal.

Franck Ribery, now 38, left Fiorentina after a two-year stint, following a mixed spell there

Ribery was typically used as a striker, and his poor goals return has led to a parting of the ways. 

Finding another elite team may prove a bridge too far for him, but the veteran is certainly worth taking a punt on, providing his wage demands are reasonable.   


It’s been 18 months since Daniel Sturridge last took part in a competitive football match. 

Sturridge was offered a trial with LaLiga club Real Mallorca last month, 16 months after he was handed a four-month ban from all football related activities for breaching betting rules.

The 32-year-old was banned for six weeks in July 2019 for providing his family with inside betting information on his own transfer negotiations. But following a successful appeal by the FA, his ban was increased in March 2020. 

Daniel Sturridge has not took part in a competitive football match in the last 18 months 

The striker has been working hard on the training pitch in order to get back to full fitness 

He left Turkish club Trabzonspor following the verdict and has been without a club since, despite links with a move to David Beckham’s MLS club Inter Miami last summer.

The ban was even more frustrating for Sturridge, given his career in Turkey had got off to a good start. He scored seven goals in 11 games and also added four assists after joining them on a three-year contract in August 2019.

But with the forward now seeking a return, it remains to be seen if he will be offered a route back in, given how long he’s been out of action. 

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