The list of players whose contract runs out in summer 2018 is extraordinary.
Sadly, Liverpool own one of them in Emre Can, with the German so far refusing to extend because we’re not including a release-clause in our terms.
But if he does choose to exit for free, there’s a number of stars we could bring to Anfield for nothing to ease the pain.
Below is a list of players with less than 12 months on their current deals. Obviously, we’re not saying all are realistically attainable, but technically, we could approach all of them in January if they don’t sign new terms.
Note: We’ve not included Premier League stars, as Liverpool can only approach players from January who play abroad. Come next summer, the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Ross Barkley could be approached.
Contract lengths by Transfermarkt.
10) Arjen Robben – Bayern Munich
At 33, Robben’s not a long-term option and in all likelihood, will either extend in Germany or head to the States.
9) Alassane Plea – Nice
Nice’s 24-year-old wing-forward notched 14 goals in all competitions last term and if it wasn’t for the ridiculous depth in attacking French talent, he’d be knocking on Didier Deschamps’ door for a chance with the national team. Would be a very good squad option.
8) Max Meyer – Schalke
The wonderkid German isn’t renewing his terms and could follow Joel Matip from Schalke to Liverpool on a free transfer. He wouldn’t start for Liverpool, but is an interesting option.
7) Faouzi Ghoulam – Napoli
Napoli’s marauding left-back was linked heavily to Liverpool in the summer, but we opted for Andrew Robertson instead. The Algerian is very offensive and in terms of attributes, would suit Jurgen Klopp perfectly.
6) Andres Iniesta – Barcelona
Obviously, Iniesta isn’t heading to Liverpool, but the fact we could freely approach him in less than four months’ time is pretty exciting!
5) Leon Goretzka – Schalke
If Emre Can leaves on a free, Goretzka could be the perfect replacement. He’s physical and shines in a box-to-box role for his club. At 22, he’s got plenty of time to improve, too.
4) Stefan de Vrij – Lazio
Heavily linked to Liverpool, de Vrij is a Dutch centre-back, but not the one we’re after! Virgil van Dijk isn’t available on a free though and we’d have to make him the world’s most expensive defender, while de Vrij could boost our backline for an enormous bargain.
3) Jose Gimenez – Atletico Madrid
The excellent young Uruguayan was rated as the world’s best young centre-back a few years back, but has fallen down Diego Simeone’s la Liga pecking order. On a free, it’s a no-brainer, mind.
2) Isco – Real Madrid
Isco is practically certain to extend his terms with Real Madrid. At the moment, he’s probably the best no.10 on the planet, beginning this season in the scintillating form he began the last. There’s no way Zinedine Zidane will lose his special Spaniard.
1) Lionel Messi – Barcelona
In our opinion, Messi is the greatest footballer to have ever graced a pitch. But the Argentine is unhappy at Barcelona due to their foolish summer transfer plans and the manner in which Real Madrid are running away from them. We think he’ll probably extend his contract to protect his legacy, but wouldn’t it be nice if following the Coutinho saga, Messi ended up at Anfield instead?! We can dream!