The Champions League is wrapping up this week (on Paramount+) and there isn't much time left before 2021 is over, and consequently we're in an important moment in the world of the transfer market. Starting from January, all players with contracts expiring next June will be allowed to sign with other clubs. This could mean that big deals are on the horizon as some of soccer's most important stars look to fulfill dream moves. Let's look at the situations of the five biggest potential free agents?
1. Kylian Mbappé, PSG
The Paris Saint-Germain star remains Real Madrid's biggest wish. Club president Florentino Perez wants Mbappé at all costs. He already proved it last summer and hasn't changed his mind. Real will continue to make a strong push for Mbappé as a signing in June 2022 when he's a free agent, but it's a work in progress. Perez knows very well that PSG will try in every way to change Mbappé's mind, likely with a very big contract renewal offer of their own. Those attempts will continue until the end of May. Everything remains undecided, and Real Madrid remain prepared to pursue Mbappé to the fullest. Mbappé is their only, big priority, and the French player is still understood to be attracted by Real Madrid project.
2. Ousmane Dembélé, Barcelona
Barca president Joan Laporta has been working for months on convincing the Frenchman to sign a new contract. The negotiations have actually been going on for more than a year, and now that Xavi is back with the club as manager, he is also trying to convince Dembélé to stay. There is still no economic agreement, but club sources remain optimistic and willing to keep Dembélé at any cost. Several calls have come from the Premier League to his agent. Barcelona remain hopeful that when sometime in December, when Dembélé is expected to decide on his future, he will choose to remain with the Catalan club.
3. Paulo Dybala, Juventus
Club and player are at the final stages of the negotiations over Dybala's new contract with Juventus. Paulo's signing will soon arrive until June 2026, for a salary that will reach €10 million net per season. Dybala has received different approaches but has always shown that he is very attached to Juventus. Announcements are expected in the coming weeks, when there will also be signatures on the paper works after the verbal agreement. All signs point to Dybala staying in Serie A for years to come (you can catch every Serie A match on Paramount+).
4. Paul Pogba, Manchester United
Manchester United's managerial change will make Pogba take extra time to decide his future. A final decision should be expected in a few days or weeks, Pogba's choice, when he eventually makes it, will involve many factors, from personal to economic. Manchester United have had a renewal proposal on the table since July, but so far there is still no agreement, nor a decision by Pogba one way or the other. The performance with Ralf Rangnick in these months will be an important indicator.
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5. Antonio Rüdiger, Chelsea
The situation remains stuck. The German defender would be happy to stay at Chelsea as he loves the club and the city, and his relationship with Thomas Tuchel is also excellent. But Rüdiger wants an economic proposal that matches his extraordinary performances, and so far Chelsea's offer has not fully convinced him. If the club offers him what he wants, Rüdiger will be open to sign the renewal, otherwise Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and FC Bayern are already interested.