Football’s biggest free agents in 2021

In football, free agency isn’t really a concept. Players either sign 1 year extensions, leave before the contract runs out or just renew the contract with the club. Unlike NBA, where plays go into free agency looking for teams, footballers make a decision prior to when their contract ends more often that not.

Here are some of Football’s biggest players on the last year of their contracts:


Lionel Messi (Barcelona

Ever since reports came out that the Argentinian showed his intent to leave his boyhood club FC Barcelona via a fax, it sent shocks around the footballing world. This news broke out just days after Barcelona’s 8-2 humiliation at the hands of Bayern Munich. Messi later confirmed that he wanted to leave but due to family reasons and the clauses in his contract, he ended up staying at the Catalan club.

The 33 year old had a release clause of 700 million euros, which no club would realistically pay, no matter ow good the man is. But this contract expires in June 2021. That makes him a free agent. With Manchester City one of the club’s after his signature, it would be astonishing to see the great man leave on a free.

Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)

The 34 year Spanish centre back has proven himself to be one of the world’s best defenders and also an integral part of Real Madrid’s success in the past few years. No one really sees this dragging out, expecting Ramos to sign a new contract and stay in Madrid, unless he fancies a new challenge in 2021.

Mesut Ozil (Arsenal)

The German playmaker’s career at Arsenal is a bittersweet story. He was one of their best players when he was playing (probably could still do a job) but the relationship with the club has gone sour in the past few months. With issues like Ozil not taking a pay cut during a pandemic or speaking out on the Uyghurs issue in China, the club have decided to distance himself from the 32 year old. Ozil is most probably never going to play a game for the Gunners again.

It’s very clear that the decision has come from the board members and not the people from the team management like the manager Mikel Arteta. The German’s contract runs out in 2021, so unless he decides to leave in January, he will most likely be a free agent next summer.

Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)

The Argentinian striker has proven himself to be one of Premier League’s most prolific goalscorers, scoring 255 goals in 373 games for Manchester City. Aguero, whose contract runs out in 2021, has always expressed his desire to play for his boyhood club Independiente.

I always try [to get back to Argentina]. I know what the fans [of Independiente] want, but I have a contract with City, and I try to focus on these two years I’ve got left. Then I’ll see what I’ll do but of course, the Rojo [Independiente] is my priority,” said Aguero in an interview. 

The 32 year old’s agent has said that he is set to honour his contract at the Etihad, but added that the striker will “see what happens” after his deal expires in 2021.

Paul Pogba (Manchester United)

The French midfielder has never really won over the fans in Manchester, as he has always flirted with Spanish giants Real Madrid. Whenever Pogba is with the French National Team, he always speaks of the Los Blancos leading to people often questioning his commitment at Manchester United.

The 27 year old’s contract expires in 2021, and it would a massive disappointment for the English club to not get a fee for him, considering he was at one time the world’s most expensive player.

Pogba has spoken of his desire to play for Real Madrid and idol Zinedine Zidane, stating, “Of course, every footballer would love to play for Real Madrid and would dream about that. It’s a dream of mine, so why not one day? But I’m at Manchester United and I love my club. I play for Manchester United, I want to perform well for them and do everything to get them back to where they deserve to be.”

Didier Deschamps, the manager of France, has also shed some light on Pogba’s situation in Manchester. He said, “He’s not in his best form, of course. I knew that before the game,’ Deschamps said on Friday ahead of the international football week. ‘This match was meant to give him some rhythm. He knew that he would only play for an hour. It’s hard to remember to be positive. Obviously, he’s not in one of his better periods.”

Manchester United will be looking to extend his contract, to either get a solid fee for the Frenchman or to keep him at the club for the considerable future.