The January transfer window is open and we’ve picked out 11 players who are free to sign for clubs who are unable to secure their first choice targets.
From former England internationals to a Champions League winner, who else makes our Free Agent XI?
Chris Kirkland (age 35)
The former England, Liverpool and Wigan goalkeeper joined Bury last summer, but left due to personal reasons. He’s insisted that he hasn’t retired from football and could return either as a player or a coach.
Joey O’Brien (age 30)
The former West Ham full-back was released last summer having made 105 appearances over five seasons and is yet to find a new club. He was injury stricken during his time at Upton Park, but he could prove to be a useful addition for a Championship side.
Joleon Lescott (age 34)
The former Aston Villa captain left the relegated club after a poor season last summer and moved to Greece with AEK Athens. However he picked up a long-term injury and left the club to continue his recovery as a free agent. He’d be useful cover, but clubs will be wary of using him as a first choice player.
Julien Faubert (age 33)
Julien Faubert’s agent pulled off the deal of the century when he secured his client a loan spell from West Ham to Real Madrid in 2009. He was last seen playing for Kilmarnock and he scored in his only international appearance for France.
Dwight Tiendalli (age 31)
Tiendalli had a loan spell at Middlesbrough in 2015, but injury has curtailed the number of appearances in the last 18 months. He had a trial at Birmingham, but they didn’t sign him permanently and he hasn’t played a full season since 2011/12.
Michael Essien (age 34)
The Ghanaian midfielder still regularly trains at Chelsea’s training ground in Cobham, but is currently unattached after leaving Panathinaikos. He’d be a marquee signing for a number of clubs, but his days at the top are probably over.
Nigel Reo-Coker (age 32)
Reo-Coker most recently played for Montreal Impact in the MLS but ended his three-year stint in Canada at the end of last season. He’s been linked with a number of Championship and League One clubs, as well as Celtic and Rangers.
Raul Meireles (age 33)
The former Liverpool, Chelsea and Portugal midfielder was linked with Rangers following the departure of Joey Barton, but a move fell through. He was also linked with Bournemouth last summer and he’s shown remarkable fitness over his career, playing over 20 games each season for the last 11 years.
Charles N’Zogbia (age 30)
The French winger ran down his contract at Aston Villa last summer and spent pre-season training at Sunderland. David Moyes decided not to offer him a contract and N’Zogbia signalled a desire to return to France, however a serious heart condition scuppered a potential move to Nantes.
Emmanuel Adebayor (age 32)
Adebayor polarises opinion in England and he’s usually signed by managers of teams fighting relegation battles who were unable to secure their first choice targets. He made nine appearances for Crystal Palace last year, but didn’t impress in any of them and it’ll be a big risk for any club to take him on considering his wage demands.
Carlton Cole (age 33)
Carlton Cole returned to train with West Ham after playing for US third-tier side Sacramento Republic, but he won’t sign another contract with the Hammers and will be looking for a new club at the end of January. He was never blessed with much pace, but he could hold the ball up for midfield runners.