CLUBS hoping for a bargain in the final weeks of the transfer window still have multiple Premier League winners, full internationals, and Lionel Messi available for a freebie swoop.
A plethora of free agents are available on the eve of the new season and, here, SunSport have compiled a line-up of the best.
The headline name is undoubtedly Messi, who is still yet to sign on the dotted line with Barcelona.
It has now been over a month since arguably the world’s greatest-ever footballer left his club.
In a remarkable situation, the 34-year-old continues to go officially without a team although reports suggest an agreement in principle has been reached to stay at the Camp Nou.
Messi is currently on holiday with his family, plus pals Luis Suarez and Cesc Fabregas, in Ibiza after leading Argentina to Copa America glory.
Upon his return to Barcelona, the cash-strapped club hope to finally get his new deal, featuring a significant pay cut, over the line.
Joining Messi in this free agent XI are a number of experienced defenders.
David Luiz, 34, left Arsenal at the end of June and has been linked with Adana Demirspor, the Turkish club which recently signed Mario Balotelli.
Jerome Boateng, 32, reportedly hopes to join Manchester United having left Bayern Munich and Nikola Maksimovic is, at 29, a relatively youthful option following a number of years at Napoli.
EURO 2020 CHAMPION
On the flanks, Jetro Willems impressed in a loan spell at Newcastle a couple of seasons ago and the 27-year-old is linked with a return after a quiet final year at Eintracht Frankfurt.
And right-back Aleix Vidal, 31, is a double LaLiga winner who recently left Sevilla.
Few free agents have won as much as Salvatore Sirigu, the Italian goalkeeper sending clubs his CV which includes four Ligue 1 titles, 27 Italy caps, and a Euro 2020 winners’ medal.
In midfield, Jack Wilshere is once again looking for a club after his release from Bournemouth.
Derby recently took the 29-year-old playmaker on trial as the former England star looks to nail down a long stay with a team.
Olivier Ntcham and Matteo Ricci may not be the biggest of names but the midfielders are proven top-level performers.
Celtic let Ntcham, 25, go this week following a loan spell at Marseille while Ricci, 27, helped Spezia to an impressive debut season in Serie A last time out and has a number of top clubs chasing his signature.
Diego Costa rounds off the free agent XI having so far failed to complete a rumoured move to Benfica.
The 32-year-old struggled during his second stint with Atletico Madrid and last kicked a ball in competitive action eight months ago.
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