The summer of 2023 is set to be a defining moment for football. According to a SportingPost.com report, several elite players will be out of contract then and free to sign for any team. Among those is arguably the greatest footballer of all time, Lionel Messi, who currently plays for Paris Saint-Germain.
SportingPost CEO, Freddie Smith, reckons this situation presents an incredibly unique opportunity for many clubs. Clubs have the opportunity to recruit world-class talent to their ranks without breaking the bank in transfer fees.
Teams may determine that hiring any of these players is worth the expense, as they can offer their expertise in football which justifies higher wages. He suggests:
Messi and the other stars whose contracts are winding down would bring huge benefits for whichever teams that sign them. Their experience in winning trophies both domestically and internationally could make them invaluable for any team looking for success. Besides, they can serve as role models for younger players coming through any side.
SportingPost CEO, Freddie Smith
Other Soon-To-Be Free Agents
Also set to become free agents in the summer of 2023 are Real Madrid veterans Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos, and Luka Modric. All three retain some of their best attributes despite their advanced age and would undoubtedly prove a significant asset for any team that can afford them.
Moving away from Los Blancos, yet another trio with expiring contracts includes Chelsea’s midfield duo of N’Golo Kante and Jorginho. They are always solid performers for the Premier League outfit; should these two not get new deals, they may choose to look elsewhere too. Likewise, Crystal Palace talisman Wilfried Zaha is also going into his final year at the club.
Zaha and Inter Milan defensive kingpin Milan Skriniar Zaha could be tempted by new challenges elsewhere. The Palace crowd favourite has openly spoken of his desire to play in the European Champions League, and this might be his chance at that. Meanwhile, Skriniar is the subject of a rumoured move to PSG.
Will They Stay Put or Move On?
It remains unclear where each of these elite players will be plying their trade come the 2023/24 season. However, it could prove an exciting time should they decide to move on from their current clubs. Many teams globally are now likely watching this situation very closely. So we might get an idea soon enough regarding who’ll be staying put and who’ll become part of new footballing projects elsewhere.
One thing is for sure; all are subjects of intense transfer speculation. For instance, Messi is either staying with PSG or leaving, depending on who you listen to. According to a pro-FC Barcelona site, barcablaugranes.com, the Argentine wizard will be joining the Catalan side after his PSG exit. Meanwhile, RMC Sport’s Arthur Perrot appears dismissive of such reports.
Another often touted destination for him is Al-Hilal in the Saudi Arabian Pro League. Such a move would set the stage for the renewal of rivalries with his arch-competitor Christiano Ronaldo, who recently signed for Al-Nassr in the same league.