Argentinian winger Angel Di Maria was once again crucial and scored the winning goal on Thursday for Juventus against Freiburg in a 1-0 victory in the Europa League round of 16 first leg. Di Maria arrived at the Italian club last summer after his contract with Paris Saint-Germain expired and signed a one-year deal with the Bianconeri. Juventus want him to stay for at least another season and already started to talk with his agents over a potential new deal. Di Maria has eight goals so far this season for Juve and has been red hot after winning the World Cup with Argentina, scoring five of them in the last five games.
Let's go around Europe to discover who will be the potential best free agents in the summer of 2023. Inter defender Milan Skriniar is not included in this list as he has already signed a pre-agreement with PSG starting from this summer, and we've left Karim Benzema off the list as he's expected to do as he has always done, sign a short term deal to remain at Real Madrid.
Here are the top five potential free agents ranked:
5. FWD Roberto Firmino
- Age: 31
- Current club: Liverpool
- Potential suitors: Inter, Real Madrid
Roberto Firmino and Liverpool have officially decided to terminate their relationship after eight successful years at the club. The Brazilian striker will definitely be one of those to watch this summer as he might end up in many different leagues. There are in fact already a lot of rumors about his next destination, including Inter and Real Madrid, who will likely sign a new striker this summer.
4. MID N'Golo Kante
- Age: 31
- Current club: Chelsea
- Potential suitors: Chelsea, PSG
The French midfielder is running out his contract with Chelsea after he arrived at the club in the summer of 2016 from Leicester. Kante is still thinking about his future and he might also decide to stay in the end if he finds an agreement with the English club. If he decides to leave, it's likely that many clubs will try to sign him and PSG were always interested in him in the past years.
3. FWD, Angel Di Maria
- Age: 34
- Current club: Juventus
- Potential suitors: Juventus, Rosario Central
The Argentinian is entering the final weeks of his deal with the Italian club and his future will mainly depend on his personal decision. Di Maria decided to stay in Europe for one more year to play the 2022 World Cup as he won later in Qatar with Argentina. His decision in the summer of 2022 when he joined Juventus was between the Italian side and Rosario Central, his childhood club. It's still a possibility that he might decide to go back to Argentina to play his last years as a professional soccer player.
2. MID Ilkay Gundogan
- Age: 32
- Current club: Manchester City
- Potential suitors: Manchester City, FC Barcelona
The German midfielder might decide to leave the English club in the summer after he played seven years at Manchester City. It's not clear yet if the two sides will decide to extend the deal or not but in case he doesn't clubs such as FC Barcelona are reportedly ready to sign him for the upcoming years. However, a final decision is expected to take place in the coming weeks.
1. FWD Lionel Messi
- Age: 35
- Current club: PSG
- Potential suitors: PSG, FC Barcelona, Inter Miami, Newell's Old Boys
Lionel Messi comes from another disappointing result in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 as PSG were knocked out by Bayern Munich on Wednesday. After winning the 2022 World Cup with Argentina, he will now be called to make another decision about his future. As always, there are many rumors about him as PSG continue to talk with his representatives about a new deal but there were no updates in the recent weeks. FC Barcelona are dreaming of a comeback but will have to deal with the club's financial situation, while Inter Miami are reportedly also in the race to sign the Argentinian star. Last but not least, Argentinian side Newell's Old Boys are always on the radar when it comes to Messi as he never played for his childhood team.