With the January transfer window now open, those players who are soon to be out of contract are able to negotiate with other prospective employers.
There remains the chance for their current clubs to keep hold of them of course, as long as the player is provided with the deal he and his representative requires.
Perhaps the biggest star that’s in just such a position at this point is Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe, though there are other high-profile exponents who can essentially set their own agenda – as long as they don’t price themselves out of a move, if that’s what they prefer.
One player that is being coveted by some of Europe’s finest clubs is Chelsea defensive stalwart, Antonio Rudiger.
The German is out of contract in the summer and is, apparently, already talking with four European heavyweights.
According to Sky Sports, Bayern Munich, PSG, Juventus and Real Madrid have all opened negotiations for a player who hasn’t yet given Chelsea notice that he intends to quit Stamford Bridge.
He has already turned down their opening offer of a contract, though it’s entirely possible if the Blues up the ante, he could still be playing for the club at the start of the 2022/23 campaign.
Sky Sports also note how well Manchester United’s Ralf Rangnick knows Rudiger’s brother who is also the player’s agent, and how much he admires the centre-back.
His leadership skills, physicality and strength, and defensive prowess would be perfect for the United back four, however the Old Trafford outfit aren’t believed to have made contact regarding the player as yet.