Tuesday, March 9, 2021

The former Premier League stars who are still a free agent

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While a host of teams from across Europe might be scrabbling to get any January deals over the line before the window slams shut, there is no doubt that the current climate has wreaked havoc on their finances.

With AC Milan announcing on Tuesday morning that they have agreed on a six-month deal with veteran striker Mario Mandžukić, could managers be turning their attention to the free agents list?

So, with a string of big names still searching for a new club, we have taken a look at three former Premier League stars who still find themselves searching for a new adventure.

Diego Costa

With it announced by Atletico Madrid last month that they had mutually agreed to terminate Diego Costa’s contract in the Spanish capital, many across Europe would have expected the 32-year-old to have had a new adventure already lined up.

However, as the end of the January transfer window inches closer, the former Premier League champion still remains a lucrative free agent and there appears to be no sign of him putting pen to paper anytime soon.

Despite being heavily linked with an English return this month and reports suggesting that Wolves were the front runners to snap up Costa, a move failed to materialise.

With Marseille boss Andre Villas-Boas also announcing earlier in the week that he passed on a chance to snap up the former Chelsea star, Costa’s staggering wage demands do appear to be a massive issue.

The Metro reported on Tuesday afternoon that Costa is still demanding in the region on £14million-per-year, something that teams from across Europe are unwilling to match for a striker who bagged just 12 La Liga goals in his second stint with Atletico.

Max Meyer

While there might have been a huge excitement among fans around Selhurst Park when they announced Max Meyer’s arrival back in August 2018, many Eagles fans will agree that his two-and-a-half-year spell in the capital was nothing short of a disaster.

Really bursting onto the scene with German outfit Schalke as a highly-touted youngster, the four-cap German international drastically struggled to find his feet in South London and once again finds himself on the free agents list.

Not even part of the first-team picture under Roy Hodgson, it was announced last week that the Eagles made the decision to terminate Meyer’s contract in order to get his staggering £170,000-a-week deal off of their books.

Managing to muster just 56 appearances for Palace across all competitions during his torrid run at Selhurst Park, the 25-year-old midfielder almost appears destined for a return to his native Germany.

Along with reported interest from Koln, German broadcaster Sport1 suggested over the weekend that Hoffenheim have also thrown their hat in the ring in a bid to secure Meyer’s signature.

Ahmed Musa

While Ahmed Musa might have failed to live up to his high expectations when he made the move to Leicester in a £16million deal back in 2016, it appears that the Nigerian icon is a man attracting a long-list of admirers.

The pacey forward failed to establish himself with the Foxes scoring five goals in 33 matches, with the highlight coming on loan at CSKA where he scored six times in 10 appearances at the Russian club – three times more than he managed in his 21 Premier League appearances, before his move to Asia.

Certainly one of the biggest names to still be occupying a spot on football’s free agents list, the 95-cap international star parted ways with Saudi Arabian outfit Al Nassr back in October after helping them win the 2018/19 Saudi league and Super Cup.

Still just 28, Musa was linked with a move to Championship side Sheffield Wednesday back in November, before announcing he only has his sights set on a top-flight return.

“I don’t know where the story [potential move to Sheffield] is coming from because I don’t pay attention to rumours and gossip,” Musa told BBC Sport Africa.

“With due respect to the club, I left Saudi Arabia to continue my career at the top level in Europe and that’s the ambition.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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