Could these five free agents find themselves new Premier League clubs this summer?
Last Friday signalled that time of year again when each Premier League side details the players that they are releasing from the club, putting them on the market as potential targets for free transfers.
Normally compiled of a few fringe and youth players, some big names appeared on this year’s list as Chelsea’s John Terry and Manchester United’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic have left their respective clubs.
Pep Guardiola has arguably had the biggest clear-out at Manchester City, releasing Willy Caballero, Gael Clichy, Bacary Sagna and Pablo Zabaleta – amongst others – to make way for his summer spree.
The Boot Room takes a look at five free agents that could still be in the Premier League next season…
Perhaps one of the biggest names on the Premier League released list last week, Chelsea’s John Terry called time on his Stamford Bridge career after an illustrious 22-year spell in South London.
The Evening Standard have claimed that fellow top-flight side Bournemouth are close to agreeing a £100,000-per-week deal for the 36-year-old that would see him on the South Coast for next season.
Despite his lack of first-team football last year, plus his veteran age, there’s no doubt that Terry is still a fine central defender and would prove to be a reliable, stubborn asset for any top-flight side.
His innate sense of leadership after so many years of captaining Chelsea, allied with his exceptional ability to read the game and clear up any danger in front of goal, would still improve most defences.
The Sun have claimed this morning that Championship outfit Aston Villa are growing their interest in the ex-England man, but it would seem that Terry still has a lot to offer in the top division.
A man that has almost been forgotten about over the past few years, forward Frazier Campbell’s three-year spell at Crystal Palace has come to an end after an indifferent time spent at Selhurst Park.
The 29-year-old struggled to impress much when given rare opportunities at Palace, scoring just eight times in 50 Premier League appearances before being left-out for target man Christian Benteke.
179 minutes of football this season – all of which came from the bench – has seen Campbell lose huge amounts of confidence in his play, but deep down he still possesses the raw talent that he’s always had.
Quick in and around the final third, and with a sharp eye for goal, the former-Sunderland striker just needs a good run of first-team action to build himself back up and become a lethal asset for a side.
The Sun have reported in the past fortnight that newly-promoted Huddersfield Town are looking into bringing him in, and this could be the move that re-invigorates his career in the Premier League.
An integral part of Pep Guardiola’s debut season at Manchester City, Gael Clichy was perhaps a surprise name to see on the released list coming out of the Etihad Stadium last week.
25 appearances in 38 Premier League matches shows the faith that the Spaniard put into Clichy during the season, utilising him in both a traditional left-back slot and as a budding left-wing back.
Still very quick at 31-years-old and with a lot of experience of top-flight football after spells at City and their rivals Arsenal, the French defender would be a good match for many a mid-table side.
He began to thrive towards the end of the season, creating 16 chances whilst developing his attacking play under Guardiola, and he’s always comfortable and disciplined around his own area.
Reports last month from The Sun are suggesting that Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are interested in taking him on a free deal to shore up their left-back role, and if true it could be a smart move by the Reds.
Another part of Guardiola’s mass clear-out at the Etihad, Willy Caballero is somebody who can arguably feel hard done by after an exceptional end to the recent campaign for Manchester City.
Always an understudy during his three-year spell in Premier League, the woeful performances of and injury to Claudio Bravo – combined with his own good displays – left him as number one during the run-in.
It was the 35-year-old, along with returning captain Vincent Kompany, that helped City keep things tight at the back during their late push for the top-four and the club is indebted to him in some way.
His safe hands under a high-ball and ability to get down low to shots quickly helped him on his way to keeping three clean sheets in City’s last six league matches, and he’s unfortunate to be released.
Rumours surfacing in the Evening Standard have linked him with a move to Chelsea as an understudy to Thibaut Courtois and, after a solid season, it’s hard to say that he hasn’t justified a stay in the top-flight.
One man who never really managed to find his feet at Goodison Park since his £6 million arrival at Everton in 2013 is Arouna Kone, the tall Ivorian striker that Roberto Martinez brought to the club.
A serious knee injury suffered during his early days has blighted any potential progress in the Toffees’ first-team, and the 33-year-old only managed six goals in 23 league starts during his four-year spell.
He arrived at the club with bags of potential, having a natural eye for goal and the physicality to brush off defenders as if they’re not there, but it simply hasn’t come to fruition on Merseyside.
Contrary to belief the veteran forward also still has the pace in his locker to hurt defences in the top-flight, and he could be set to become a prime target for the bottom-half sides needing fire-power.
Sky Sports reported in January that Crystal Palace were lining up a loan deal to bring Kone to Selhurst Park – something that wasn’t agreed in the end – but it’s possible they could now re-kindle interest.
Click here for BBC Sport’s comprehensive list of those released from Premier League clubs.
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