Messi out of contract for first time – Free agents with market values from €5m to €80m

FPL360
FPL360
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Without a club on July 1 

It is July 1, 2021 – and Lionel Messi’s contract with FC Barcelona has expired. With a market value of €80 million, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner is therefore the most valuable free agent in TM history. Even if, as reported by Catalunya Ràdio among others, it looks as if the 34-year-old Argentine will ultimately remain with his youth club after uncertainty lasting for several months, it is still possible, at least in theory, that Messi will switch clubs on a free transfer after all.

Journalist Alfredo Martínez of Onda Cero, who is usually excellently informed in matters concerning Barça, had most recently reported that the negotiations between Messi’s father Jorge and the club management of the Catalans around returned president Joan Laporta were progressing well. The Argentine, who is currently with the Albiceleste at the Copa América in Brazil, had not yet made a final decision regarding his future. Especially PSG were repeatedly linked with a move for Messi.

Ramos, Messi & Co. – The most valuable free agents in 2021

23 Stefan Jovetic | AS Monaco | Market value: €5M

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21 Diego Costa | Free agent since Jan. 1 | Market value: €6M

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21 Mamadou Sakho | Crystal Palace | Market value: €6M

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20 Luis Abram | Vélez | Market value: €6.8M

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15 John Lundstram | Sheffield United | Market value: €7M

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15 Steve Cook | Bournemouth | Market value: €7M

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15 Andros Townsend | Crystal Palace | Market value: €7M

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15 Patrick van Aanholt | Crystal Palace | Market value: €7M

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15 Alex Teixeira | Free agent since Jan. 1 | Market value: €7M

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14 Robin Quaison | 1. FSV Mainz 05 | Market value: €7.5M

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11 Ryan Bertrad | Southampton | Market value: €8M

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11 Joshua King | Everton | Market value: €8M

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11 Marko Dmitrovic | Eibar | Market value: €8M

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10 Jérôme Boateng | Bayern Munich | Market value: €8.5M

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8 Jeffrey Schlupp | Crystal Palace | Market value: €9M

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8 Marcos Paulo | Fluminense | Market value: €9M

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7 Paulinho | Guangzhou FC | Market value: €9.5M

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5 Sergio Ramos | Real Madrid | Market value: €10M

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5 Nikola Maksimovic | SSC Napoli | Market value: €10M

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4 Elseid Hysaj | SSC Napoli | Market value: €13M

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3 Santos Borré | Club Atlético River Plate | Market value: €17M

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2 Gianluigi Donnarumma | AC Milan | Market value: €60M

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1 Lionel Messi | FC Barcelona | Market value: €80M

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The most likely option, however, is that Messi will remain in Barcelona for two more years – possibly to move to the MLS afterwards. This is supported, among other things, by the signing of his best friend Sergio Agüero from Manchester City on a free transfer, as well as other transfers such as Memphis Depay, which should make the recently struggling club more competitive again. Reinforcements were a demand last year when Messi declared his intention not to renew.

Real Madrid’s Ramos out of contract – Boateng officially left Bayern Munich

Even more open than Messi’s future is that of numerous other players with high market values in the millions who can sign with a new club on a free transfer immediately. This applies, for example, to one of Messi’s most frequent opponents, Sergio Ramos. The 35-year-old defender is leaving Real Madrid just as certainly as Jérôme Boateng is leaving Bayern Munich – the destination for both is still unclear.

More obvious is what will happen to the second most valuable player after Messi, whose contract has expired – Gianluigi Donnarumma. The goalkeeper (market value of €60 million), leaves AC Milan and in all likelihood joins PSG as soon as the European Championship is over for the Italian national team. The number three in the ranking, Colombian striker Santos Borré, is reportedly closing in on a move from River Plate to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Messi, Ramos & Co. - The most valuable free agent XI

Messi, Ramos & Co. – The most valuable free agent XI



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