Premier League 2015/16 season may have recently ended but teams have already started to plan ahead for the next season which involves earmarking their key summer transfer targets.
Modern day football continues to witness astronomical surge in transfer prices, however, free transfers remain an opportunity for a shrewd coup for teams all over the world, including the Premier League heavyweights.
In more recent times, we have seen the likes of Gianluca Vialli (Chelsea, 1996), Roberto Baggio (Bologna, 1997), Andrea Pirlo (Juventus, 2011), Paul Pogba (Juventus, 2012) and Robert Lewandowski (2014) standout as some of the best free transfers in modern football.
Like every other season, plenty of big-name players will be put on a free transfer list with plenty of teams desperate for their signature. On that note, we take a look at the top-5 free agents Premier League clubs must sign this season.
5. Steve Mandanda (Marseille)
French goalkeeper will be part of his country’s Euro 2016 squad and is tipped to make a move away from Stade Vélodrome later this summer. French International kept 9 clean sheets in Ligue 1 this season and has been one of the most consistent players in Europe for a number of years now.
Where can Mandanda fit in?
At present, Liverpool are in dire need of a new goalkeeper after Simon Mignolet’s less than impressive 2015/16 season. The Belgian looks set for an Anfield exit this summer and Mandanda can really stand up as a viable replacement.
4. Martin Caceres (Juventus)
Uruguayan International is all set to quit Juventus this summer after only playing 6 Serie A games this season. The 29-year old is one of the most commanding defenders in Europe and with him available on a free transfer, a whole host of Premier League teams should run after his signature.
Fitness will be a concern for teams going after him as Caceres has been out of action since February this year. However, if he can prove his fitness in time, he will attract several bids this summer.
Where can Caceres fit in?
First team on top of my head is Arsenal, who are looking for a strong presence at the back to replace the ageing Per Mertesacker. Caceres is good in the air and has the speed to deal with strikers who are quick on their feet making him an ideal Premier League signing.
3. Sofiane Feghouli (Valencia)
The deadly right winger is no longer willing to extend his stay with the La Liga club and is seeking a way out of Mestalla. In recent times, Feghouli has been linked with a move to Manchester United and West Ham, however, he will definitely attract a lot of interest this summer given his abilities on the ball.
2. Hatem Ben Arfa (Nice)
What happened to him all of a sudden? Fromer Lyon, Maseille, Newcastle and Hull City reject has suddenly burst in to life this season with Ligue 1 side OGC Nice. French International managed 17 goals and 6 assists this season and is on top of every top club’s wish list.
Where can Ben Arfa fit in?
According to the player himself, 18 very interesting clubs have put themselves forward and he needs to pick his final three options before deciding on his next move. He could light up the Premier League with Manchester United, Liverpool and perhaps Leicester more suited to his playing style.
1. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (PSG)
There could not have been any other player more suited to be the number one choice on our list of top-5 free agents Premier League clubs must sign this season. The mercurial striker is linked with the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal, AC Milan in recent weeks but one thinks that Old Trafford is his most likely destination.
Why Ibra is perfect for Man United?
With Jose Mourinho rumoured to take charge of Manchester United, Zlatan will be tempted to join him at Old Trafford. United needs a striker who can score goals and lift the mood among the Red Devils supporters.
On paper it seems to be a match made in heaven but then Louis Van Gaal still holds the key to this mouth-watering transfer from becoming a reality.
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