Top 20 Players Available For Free During January Transfer Window

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Top 20 Players Available To Negotiate For Free During January

Jerome Miron – USA TODAY Sports

The January Transfer Window has kicked in and since the World Cup is getting closer and closer, there are several deals expected to occur during the first month of 2014.

While some of the players available aren’t household names or are just trying to make a comeback, the truth is that all of them can add something to a team that is looking to improve a specific position on the pitch. In most cases, these players are veteran guys that want to sign lesser deals, but with teams they can feel comfortable with.

It’s worth noticing that the majority of the players listed in the slideshow will most probably remain with their teams. But with the increasing power of teams like Manchester City, PSG and Chelsea in every transfer market, a shocking move can be expected since they can outbid almost any team when money becomes a factor.

One thing that needs to be clarified is that all the players listed here are currently playing for a team and while they might not be listed for a move and could sign a new deal with their current squads, they are all free to negotiate a contract with any team as they are eligible to do so per FIFA rules.

Without further ado, please join me through this slideshow as we check out 20 of the biggest names that are eligible to freely negotiate with any team in the world during the January transfer window.

Juan Pablo Aravena is a sports writer for Follow him on Twitter @jparavenarant or add him to your network on Google

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20. Barcary Sagna

Image Courtesy Of Bacary Sagna's Official Facebook Page

The French defender is still one of the best right-backs in the world and since both he and Arsenal aren’t looking to extend his contract, he is already eligible to sign with any other team starting next season. PSG and AS Monaco are both reportedly after him.

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19. Frank Lampard

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The English midfielder is likely to stay in Chelsea for another year, but if a good offer comes up – maybe from MLS – then he could accept it. However, he has repeatedly mentioned that he is looking to end his career at Stamford Bridge.

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18. Miroslav Klose

Image Courtesy Of Miroslav Klose's Official Facebook Page

The German striker currently features at Lazio, where he has shown his usual poise and consistent goal-scoring ability. He will likely retire from the German National Team after the World Cup, but he still has plenty left in the tank to be a threat in any of the top leagues.

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17. Patrice Evra

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The French left-back still hasn’t worked out his contract details with Manchester United and even though it is likely that he will sign a new deal, he could also return to a Monaco team that is desperately looking for a competent left defender.

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16. Samuel Eto'o

Image Courtesy Of Chelsea's Official Facebook Page

The Cameroonian striker joined Chelsea because Jose Mourinho wanted him from day one, but his production hasn’t been what the fans expected. Since his contract is only for one season, it’s safe to say that Eto’o won’t return to the Blues after the World Cup.

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15. Victor Valdes

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The Barcelona goalkeeper has reportedly expressed that he won’t continue playing for Barcelona after this season, but his future team is still unknown. Many teams are expected to target him, and he’s now eligible to negotiate with any side he chooses.

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14. Nemanja Vidic

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The Serbian defender has been a steady option at the back for Manchester United in recent years, but injuries and a noticeable drop in his form have made him expendable now. Manager David Moyes already said he needs to improve to regain his place in the starting XI and if he doesn’t do that by the end of the year, he could be playing elsewhere for the 2014-15 season.

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13. Andrea Pirlo

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The Juventus midfielder is currently injured, but that hasn’t stopped teams from inquiring about him. Apparently, he is not eager to continue at La Vecchia Signora and with him looking for a new experience outside Italy, many teams are expected to target him during the second part of the campaign.

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12. Xabi Alonso

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The former Liverpool midfielder has reportedly rejected all the renewal offers made by Real Madrid, and his future is clearly not in Spain. He has been a target for teams in Spain, England and Italy. With the quality he possesses, he would be a great addition to any side looking for help in the midfield.

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11. Robert Lewandowski

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The Polish striker is undoubtedly the biggest name available, but several reports are indicating that he already has an agreement with Bayern Munich. The only thing that is clear is that he is not coming back to Borussia Dortmund after this season. Following his impressive play over last two years, he is not going to be short on possible teams to join going into the next campaign.

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10. John Terry

Image Courtesy of John Terry's Facebook Page

The Chelsea defender has been with The Blues for what it seems like forever and with his contract expiring, he would be a solid pickup for any team with important aspirations that needs experience in the defense. Jose Mourinho already said he wants to go younger next season so his chances to remain with the team are slim to none.

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9. Johnny Heitinga

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The Dutch defender is not the dominant player he used to be a few years ago but on the other hand, he has gained experience and consistency over the years. Everton doesn’t appear keen to hold on to him so it would be wise if he starts negotiating right now as he is not getting any younger.

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8. Tomas Rosicky

Image via @Arsenal

The Czech midfielder has been with Arsenal for the last eight years and with players like Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere over him in the picking order, Rosicky doesn’t appear to be a regular fixture for The Gunners anymore.

Rosicky has a clause that his contract can be extended automatically for a year after he completes a certain amount of games played but that doesn’t seem likely to happen as Arsene Wenger seems to prefer other players ahead of him.

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7. Diego

Image Courtesy Of Diego's Official Facebook Page

The Brazilian star is the perfect example of a South American creative midfielder: he is not very fast but the lack of pace is compensated with technique and accuracy on the passing. Several La Liga teams have enquired about him already.

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6. Igor Akinfeev

Image Courtesy Of Igor Akinfeev's Official Facebook Page

The Russia internatonal has been with CSKA Moscow for the last 10 years and with the 2014 World Cup approaching, he could decide to play elsewhere looking for a change of scenery and a bigger challenge. He is as consistent as it gets and he would be a solid pickup for any team looking to avoid breaking the bank for a shot stopper.

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5. Fernando

Image Courtesy Of FC Porto's Official Facebook Page

The FC Porto midfielder has been linked with several European giants like Manchester United and FC Barcelona but previous talks broke down and with his contract expiring at the end of the season, he could decide to avoid any further talk and negotiate as a free agent after the World Cup.

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4. Marc Bartra

Image Courtesy of Barcelona's Official Facebook Page

The U-21 Spain International has enjoyed a solid season with FC Barcelona so far but the presence of Carles Puyol, Gerard Pique and Javier Mascherano means he will have little chances to remain with the team.

Since he hasn’t been able to work out an extension with Los Blaugranas - although talks are still ongoing and a new deal could come anytime soon - he’s already eligible to negotiate with any team that wants him.

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3. Blaise Matuidi

Image Courtesy Of Blaise Matuidi's Official Facebook Page

One of the rising stars in the French Ligue 1, Blaise Matuidi hasn’t worked out an extension with PSG and Les Parisiens are risking losing him for free if he decides to negotiate with any other team right now.

There’s no word on any team making a move right now for the defensive specialist but since he appears to be a lock for the French National Team come World Cup time, there should be a number of teams knocking on his door sooner rather than later.

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2. Jeremy Menez

Image courtesy of PSG's official Facebook page

The PSG winger is another non-expensive option that could be had for free once his contract is over at the end of the year. He has a lot of international experience and his pace and skill could be quite useful in a league where there aren’t many spaces like Italy and England.

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1. Ola Toivonen

Image Courtesy Of Ola Toivonen's Facebook Page

The Swedish forward is currently playing for PSV Eindhoven but he has been linked with a move to the Premier League for a while now. Arsenal, Norwich City and Newcastle United have all expressed interest in signing him and since his deal runs out at the end of the year, he could be on the move before the end of the month if any team wants to land him for free right now.