The best free agents that Premier League clubs can sign right now

    Cristiano Ronaldo playing for Manchester United in the Premier League
    Cristiano Ronaldo is currently without a club (Picture: Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)

    The January transfer window swings open next month with clubs around Europe seeking winter reinforcements for the second half of the season.

    And for clubs short of cash – or just those looking for a bargain – there are plenty of talented players who are free agents and available for a transfer at any point in the season.

    But exactly who are the players currently without a club?

    Let’s take a look at some of the best free agents Premier League clubs could sign without spending a single penny on a transfer fee.

    Which players are free agents?

    Cristiano Ronaldo

    The Portuguese icon has been without a club since mutually agreeing to terminate his contract early with Manchester United.

    The decision came after a tumultuous first half of the season which saw Ronaldo out of favour with manager Erik ten Hag, culminating in the explosive interview with Piers Morgan in November.

    Cristiano Ronaldo playing for Manchester United against Aston Villa in the Premier League
    Ronaldo left Manchester United in November (Picture: Stu Forster/Getty Images)

    Salomon Rondon

    The Venezuelan was released by Everton on December 16 ‘with immediate effect after reaching an agreement with the club to terminate his contract’.

    Rondon spent three years with West Bromwich Albion from 2015 to 2018, scoring 24 goals in the Premier League before spending a season on loan in the North East with Newcastle in 2018/19.

    Danny Rose

    The former England international signed a two year contract with Watford in June 2021 but requested to leave the club after just one season following their relegation to the Championship.

    Rose made over 150 appearances for Tottenham between 2007 and 2019, and featured at the 2018 World Cup for the Three Lions.

    Danny Rose playing for Watford in the Premier League
    Rose only made a handful of appearances for Watford (Picture: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

    Eliaquim Mangala

    The French centre back signed a six month contract with Saint-Etienne in January 2022, but was suspended on three occasions after picking up nine yellow cards in just 14 Ligue 1 games.

    The 31 year-old was the most expensive defender in British football history following his £42 million move to Manchester City in 2014.

    Hatem Ben Arfa

    The former Newcastle fan favourite has been unattached since leaving Lille in April 2022.

    Ben Arfa was suspended following an altercation with manager Jocelyn Gourvennec, having only joined the French side on a six month contract at the start of the year.

    Hatem Ben Arfa celebrates scoring a goal for Newcastle United in the Premier League
    Ben Arfa was popular with Geordies (Picture: Michael Regan/Getty Images)

    Danny Drinkwater

    Drinkwater has seen his career fall by the wayside since moving to Chelsea from Leicester in 2017.

    After just 12 appearances for the Blues, and loan spells at Burnley, Aston Villa, Kasimpasa and Reading, it was announced the midfielder had left Chelsea at the end of June 2022.

    Other notable free agents

    • Santiago Arias
    • Artem Dzyuba
    • Matej Vydra
    • Nikola Maksimovic
    • Sean Morrison
    • Michael Hector
    • Tom Carroll
    • Max Kruse
    • Jose Izquierdo
    • Izzy Brown
    • Simone Zaza
    • Lukas Rupp
    • Jetro Willems
    • Ryan Bennett
    • Sofiane Feghouli
    • Dale Stephens

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