With many of Europe’s top domestic leagues already concluded or edging toward their finale, many clubs have started casting an eye towards this summer’s transfer window.
With that in mind, we at Flashscore have highlighted some of the standout names with contracts due to expire at the end of this season - and predicted which clubs may look to sign them.
This is a sequel to an article where we highlighted the possible future for Lionel Messi, Roberto Firmino, Naby Keita and Daichi Kamada, which you can read here.
Just like Lionel Messi two years ago, former teammate Busquets finds himself in a similar position with the Catalan giants.
At 34, he remained a key figure for La Blaugrana this season. Not only is he captain but there are also only four Barcelona players who have made more starts than his 28 La Liga in the campaign.
The midfielder opted not to sign an extension though, despite boss Xavi publicly calling on him to do so on several occasions.
Instead, he announced earlier this month that he was to end his 15-year stay with the club in search of a new challenge.
Next possible club - Inter Miami
A marque move to Saudia Arabia or the MLS is most fancied for the Spanish star, and Inter Miami have been one of the clubs not shy about expressing their interest.
Former Manchester United and Everton star, Phil Neville, is the manager there and is eager to implement a possession-based dominant brand of football. While in the twilight of his career, Busquets could be a driving force in helping to deliver that.
When asked about the Busquets links in late February, Neville labelled the midfielder a “great player” who would still be a massive benefit to his club if they were able to strike up a deal to bring him stateside.
With Rabiot often comes controversy. In 2018 he was made to train with PSG’s reserves after failing to agree a new contract. That same year, after not being included in the France squad for the 2018 World Cup, he refused a place on Didier Deschamps' standby list, resulting in banishment from the national side for two years.
In 2019, he was suspended by PSG after going to a nightclub following his side's defeat to Manchester United in the Champions League. All of these episodes have been compounded by Rabiot's mother, Veronique, playing a significant but often quarrelsome role as her son’s agent.
This season, though, such episodes have been a rarity and it’s instead it’s been his performances on the pitch that have been making the headlines. At Juventus, he ranks second in terms of making the highest number of successful Serie A tackles (63) and top for completing the most carries into the final third (68).
Only Danilo has accumulated more Serie A minutes for the Old Lady (2,658), and despite operating in a midfield role, he boasts the joint-highest combined Serie A goals and assists tally for his team (12 - G8, A4).
Next possible club - Liverpool
Irrespective of that, neither Juventus nor Rabiot have struck up a new deal meaning as it stands, he will depart Turin in the summer.
An exit nearly came last summer when Rabiot looked to be on the cusp of joining Manchester United, however, the wage demands set by his aforementioned mother buried the deal dead in the water.
There’s a possibility that interest could be reignited this summer, with United looking for reinforcements in midfield. Yet, you’d imagine they will opt to prioritise making Marcel Sabitzer’s move permanent from Bayern Munch instead after his impressive loan spell at Old Trafford.
This could, then, open the door for Liverpool to swoop in. It’s no secret that’s a problem position on the pitch that Klopp will be eager to address. Liverpool have not only looked below par in their engine room, but they’re also going to lose midfield bodies in the summer with Keita and James Milner heading out the door.
Rabiot is a realistic transfer target who offers influence with and without the ball and there’s no doubt he could have a hugely positive impact at Liverpool if they opted to make a move.
In the space of just one season, Leicester City went from European hopefuls to a side heading into England’s second tier.
There’s going to be a firesale at the club this summer with a number of big earners offloaded, and one player certain to be within that departing party is midfielder Tielemans who confirmed his departure on social media earlier this week.
The Belgian has been one of the Foxes’ star assets since he made his initial six-month loan permanent from Monaco in 2019. However, he’s refused to sign a new deal at the King Power stadium and will leave on a free next month.
For many, the 26-year-old’s form has hugely tailed off across the last year, yet, it’s fair to say we can apportion a large portion of that to Leicester’s wider struggles.
Prior to this, Tieleman’s built a reputation for being a player with standout technical skills who can be a key cog in a team’s build-up play. The fact he finished this season still ranking first in key club metrics at Leicester such as making the highest number of passes into the final third (169), and progressive passes (181) highlight how influential he was for the team.
Next possible club - Arsenal
Arsenal have already expressed an interest in signing Tielemans both last summer and this past January. He was seen as an ideal addition who could be rotated with Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey in central midfield.
The Foxes, though, were not prepared to sell and hoped the Belgian midfielder could help them in their fight for survival. The Gunners went for Jorginho instead, but with Xhaka set to depart, they’ll once again need at least one new midfield addition this summer.
Stylistically, Tielemans shares a lot of traits with Xhaka, making him an ideal replacement. You’d also expect to see him again at his very best within a heavy possession-based philosophy like the one Mikel Arteta deploys at Arsenal.
Asensio has enjoyed a trophy-laden seven years at the Santiago Bernabeu winning, among other honours, three La Liga titles and three Champions Leagues.
The attacker has enjoyed another strong personal campaign for Carlo Ancelotti’s side this year, registering 20 goals contributions (G12, A9) across all competitions - only Vinicus Jr., Karim Benzema and Rodrygo boast more for Los Blancos.
Yet, 15 members of the squad accumulated more minutes this season, shedding some light on why the Spain international has reportedly turned down a contract extension in favour of a fresh challenge where he will be guaranteed more first-team minutes.
Next possible club - Aston Villa
European giants Juventus and AC Milan are thought to be keen to acquire Asensio’s services, however, he’d risk the same issues in terms of not being assured regular minutes at both.
That’s why Aston Villa have surfaced as a surprise, but yet realistic, next possible destination. The Birmigham-based club are looking to add firepower and depth to the squad this summer ahead of next season, one in which they’ll be juggling Premier League and continental action after securing a spot in the UEFA Conference League.
Due to his wealth of La Liga experience, Villa boss Unai Emery is well aware of Asensio’s abilities and is thought to be a huge admirer.
The 27-year-old would very much be considered a marque arrival at Villa Park, and after being left in the shadows for much of his time in Madrid, that kind of love could be enough to persuade him to make the switch.