Top Premier League Goalkeepers, World Cup Winner, and Former England International Still Available as Free Agents Before January Transfer Window

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The January transfer window may still be a month away, but there are bargains to be had for clubs prepared to look for free agents.

David de Gea remains without a club after leaving Manchester United in the summer and, as Mail Sport reported on Monday he may well remain in the Premier League with Newcastle looking for a replacement for the injured Nick Pope.

The latter is expected to miss around four months after dislocating his shoulder in the 1-0 win over Manchester United on Saturday, exacerbating an serious injury crisis that has deprived Eddie Howe of 10 senior players.  

De Gea’s former United teammate Jesse Lingard is also a free agent after leaving Nottingham Forest in the summer following an underwhelming 17 appearances.

The former England international has trained with both West Ham and Al-Ettifaq since, but neither club has offered him a contract.

David de Gea remains without a club after leaving Manchester United last summer

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Cast a wider net and a couple of former Premier League defenders are also still looking for their next club in the shape of Shkodran Mustafi and Mamamdou Sakho.

Below, Mail Sport looks at some of the best free agents currently available.

David de Gea

By some distance the best player available on a free, de Gea remains without a club after his 12-year spell at Manchester United ended last season.

As Mail Sport exclusively reported on Monday, the Spaniard is among the candidates to replace Nick Pope at Newcastle until the end of the season.

The England international is facing a lengthy lay-off after dislocating his shoulder in the 1-0 win over United on Saturday.

De Gea was on £375,000-per-week during his final contract at Old Trafford and would have to accept lower to fit in with their wage structure if Newcastle were to make a firm move for him. 

 

Jesse Lingard

The former England international has been without a club since leaving Nottingham Forest at the end of last season after making just 17 appearances for Steve Cooper’s side.

Lingard trained with West Ham in August, but hopes he could return to the London Stadium where he enjoyed a successful loan spell two years ago – he scored nine goals and registered five assists in 16 appearances in the Premier League – were swiftly dashed.

The 30-year-old signed a one-month contract with Al-Ettifaq in October, but a permanent deal failed to materialise as Steven Gerrard’s side already have used their eight overseas players quota.

Lingard’s wages were also reportedly a stumbling block, which will be concerning to any potential suitors. 

Jesse Lingard left Nottingham Forest in the summer after making just 17 appearances for Steve Cooper's side last season

Jesse Lingard left Nottingham Forest in the summer after making just 17 appearances for Steve Cooper’s side last season 

 

Anwar El Ghazi 

The former Aston Villa winger has been without a club since Mainz terminated his contract last month over his social media posts on the conflict between Israel and Palestine.

The 28-year-old was linked with a move to Manchester United in September amid the uncertainty hanging over Antony and Jadon Sancho.

 

Helder Costa

Leeds released the Angolan winger in October, just over three years since he arrived from Wolves in a £16m deal in 2020 after joining on loan the previous summer.

Costa scored eight goals in 71 appearances for Leeds but never lived up to the price tag and spent the last two seasons on loan at Valencia in LaLiga and Al-Ittihad in Saudi Arabia.

Neither spell was particularly memorable, with Costa providing two assists and no goals in 27 appearances in all competitions for Valencia and three goals and one assist in 20 games for Al-Ittihad. 

Helder Costa (right) cost Leeds £16m in 2020 but failed to live up to his punchy price tag

Helder Costa (right) cost Leeds £16m in 2020 but failed to live up to his punchy price tag

 

Xeka

The former Lille midfielder remains a free agent after leaving Rennes in August after making just eight appearances in his solitary season in Brittany.

The Portuguese helped Lille to the Ligue 1 title in 2021, but lost his way after five-year spell with Les Dogues came to an end the following summer.

In September, TeamTalk reported Everton, Crystal Palace, Wolves and Sheffield United were all interested in the 29-year-old.

 

Mamadou Sakho 

The former Liverpool and Crystal Palace defender left Montpellier last month after a reported physical altercation with manager Michel Der Zakarian.

According to L’Equipe, Sakho grabbed Der Zakarian by the collar and knocked him to the ground in front of several witnesses during a training ground bust-up.

The former France international is 33 and played just 16 games in all competitions last season.

Mamadou Sakho left Montpellier last month after a physical confrontation with his manager

Mamadou Sakho left Montpellier last month after a physical confrontation with his manager

 

Yann M’Vila 

Once upon a time, M’Vila was regarded as the next great hope of French football. 

These days, the former Sunderland midfielder finds himself without a club after leaving Olympiacos in the summer after three seasons with the Greek giants.

The 33-year-old was linked with a move to Atletico Madrid in October and has since been training with Lyon to keep fit.

 

Matty Longstaff 

Sean Longstaff’s younger brother has been a free agent since he was released by Newcastle in the summer, just four years after scoring against Manchester United at St James’ Park.

The midfielder has been on loan at Aberdeen, Mansfield and Colchester over the past two seasons, but the latter spell was cut short after he suffered an ACL injury on Boxing Day. 

Matty Longstaff has been a free agent since he was released by Newcastle in the summer

Matty Longstaff has been a free agent since he was released by Newcastle in the summer

 

Shkodran Mustafi 

The 2014 World Cup winner is looking for a new club after leaving Spanish side Levante in the summer.

The former Arsenal centre-back has struggled with injuries since leaving the Emirates and has managed just 15 appearances over the past two seasons.

Mustafi played 151 for the Gunners and won two FA Cups in five years in the Premier League after signing from Valencia for £35m in 2016.

According to Italian outlet Corriere dello Sport, the 31-year-old was offered to Roma in October but a move never materialised. 

Former Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi is without a club after leaving Levante in July

Former Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi is without a club after leaving Levante in July

 

Roberto Soriano 

Soriano won nine caps for Italy but finds himself without a club after damaging his right MCL in April last year.

Before suffering the injury, the 32-year-old had made 30 appearances in all competitions for Bologna after being ever-present for the Serie A outfit in the previous two campaigns.

 

Karim Bellarabi

Bellarabi left Bayer Leverkusen at the end of last season after 12 years with the Bundesliga club and remains a free agent.

The former Germany international scored 57 goals and registered 66 assists in 290 appearances for Leverkusen and may still have a market at the age of 33.

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