The top 20 includes Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham stars.

Time is ticking down to the summer and many of the world’s best footballers will become free agents.

Clubs across England and Scotland will be scouring the globe for potential bargains, with players worth millions available for free as their contracts expire.

These include Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere and Liverpool’s Emre Can, along with Dutch legend Arjen Robben.

But none of this trio makes the number one spot in our compilation of the top names.

Here is HITC Sport’s annual top 50 free agents list… 

#1 Stefan De Vrij (Lazio) The Dutch international’s four-year deal is coming to an end and clubs across Europe are showing an interest. The 26-year-old would be a tremendous addition for a title chasing Premier League team.

#2 Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich) The former Chelsea winger may be 34 but he still has a couple of years left at the top of his game. He will get a rest with no World Cup involvement this summer and be fresh for a new club if the German champions do not agree a renewal.

#3 Jack Wilshere (Arsenal) English football’s golden boy, Wilshere’s career has been blighted by injury. It would be a big shock if he did not renew with his boyhood club but time is dragging on and the Gunners have not yet been able to tie him to a new deal.

#4 Bernard (Shakhtar) Brazilian international Bernard was linked to Arsenal and Tottenham before his move to Ukraine. The 25-year-old winger scored three goals in six Champions League games earlier this season including a strike in a win over Manchester City.

#5 Max Meyer (Schalke) German winger Max Meyer has recently interested Barcelona, Tottenham and Arsenal. The 22-year-old attacker has also been linked with signing for Bayern Munich.

#6 Yaya Toure (Manchester City) The Ivory Coast star’s time in Manchester is coming to a close and barring a move to China, wherever he moves next he will have to take a pay cut. Toure has been largely rested this year and should be fresh next season for one last challenge if he has the motivation.

#7 Mario Balotelli (Nice) Another one year deal for Mario Balotelli is winding down and he will hope he has done enough for one of Europe’s top teams to take another punt on him. The former Liverpool and Manchester City striker has scored 21 goals in 28 games this season.

#8 Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich) Along with a potential departure for Robben, Ribery leaving would herald a new era for Bayern Munich. The Frenchman is 34 and will have to take a step down but it is too early to write a player with his talent off completely.

#9 Joao Moutinho (Monaco) Portugal international Joao Moutinho came close to a move to Tottenham in 2012. His decision to later join Monaco paid off as they won the Ligue 1 title last season. He has made over 30 appearances this season and at 31 he has plenty more to offer.

#10 Domenico Criscito (Zenit) Former Juventus left-back Criscito looks set to leave Russia after six successful years at Zenit. Any team looking for a left-back would be smart to try and sign the 31-year-old.

#11 Milan Badelj (Fiorentina) Croatian midfielder Badelj is 28 and would be a real bargain on a free transfer. He has previously been linked to Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham.

#12 Emre Can (Liverpool) German midfielder Can is one of Liverpool’s most unpredictable players, capable of sublime performances one week and anonymous the next. He is strongly tipped to be signing with Juventus although has insisted no agreement has yet been reached.

#13 Pau Lopez (Espanyol) Spanish under-21 goalkeeper Lopez spent last season on loan at Tottenham Hotspur. Having reclaimed his starting spot at Espanyol he is letting his contract run down and is attracting interest from clubs in Spain, Italy and England.

#14 Ivan Marcano (Porto) Spanish centre-back Marcano has been tipped to join Everton. He has made 30 appearances this season including seven so far in the Champions League.

#15 Oguzhan Ozyakup (Besiktas) Ozyakup left Arsenal without starting for their first team and has gone onto make more than 150 appearances for Besiktas. Now 25 he is now tipped to rejoin the Gunners on a free transfer, but Everton are also said to be keen.

#16 Marouane Fellani (Manchester United) One of David Moyes’ signings at Manchester United, Marouane Fellaini has had a difficult five years at Old Trafford. He may still re-sign with United, while he has been linked with clubs in Turkey as well as reuniting with Moyes at West Ham.

#17 Kwadwo Asamoah (Juventus) Ghanaian defender Asamoah has made 10 Serie A starts for Juventus this season but needs to move on if he is to play regularly. The 29-year-old has almost 70 international caps for his country and plays at left-back.

#18 Hatem Ben Arfa (PSG) Unpredictable winger Hatem Ben Arfa has slipped back into obscurity on PSG’s bench after being reborn at Nice a couple of years ago. The former Newcastle United winger is capable of producing the sensational, and if the right team take a gamble on him, there is a chance we see his mazy runs and spectacular goals once again.

#19 Facundo Ferreyra (Shakhtar) Former Newcastle loanee Ferrerya has been in incredible form for Shakhtar over the past few seasons. The Argentine has scored 20 goals in his last 26 games.

#20 Michel Vorm (Tottenham) Tottenham’s reliable back-up goalkeeper is good enough to start for most Premier League teams. The Dutchman should take his chance to move on and play regularly rather than signing up to spending the next few years stuck on the bench behind Hugo Lloris.

#21 Pontus Wernbloom (CSKA Moscow) Swedish international Wernbloom’s three year stint at CSKA Moscow appears to be coming to an end. The 31-year-old is a combative midfielder whose style lends itself to English football.

#22 Yohan Cabaye (Crystal Palace) French attacker Cabaye has struggled to impact games at Crystal Palace this season in the same way he did at Newcastle United. He would be a terrific addition for a Championship club if he is willing to take a step down.

#23 Andreas Bjelland (Brentford) The Danish centre-back is a reliable performer at Brentford and is arguably capable of playing at Premier League level. He is expected to be a starter for Denmark at the World Cup this summer which will enhance his chances of a big move.

#24 Lewis Holtby (Hamburg) Once hailed as one of Germany’s brightest prospects, Lewis Holtby’s career is stuck in a rut at Hamburg as the German side battle relegation. The former Tottenham star is 27 and is capable of more and needs a fresh move to get back on track.

#25 Pepe Reina (Napoli) Former Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina is set to become a free agent and has recently attracted interest from AC Milan. Last year he was close to signing with Newcastle United and a Premier League return remains a possibility.

#26 Jonathan Bamba (Saint Etienne) Exciting young winger Bamba is wanted by both West Ham and Crystal Palace. Just 21-years-old, he has scored seven goals and provided four assists this season.

#27 Scott Arfield (Burnley) Canadian winger Arfield has been reluctant to sign a new contract at Burnley and could have his pick of clubs in the summer. Crystal Palace, Brighton, West Ham and Rangers have all been linked with the 29-year-old.

#28 Aron Gunnarsson (Cardiff) Icelandic star Gunnarsson was playing regularly for promotion contenders Cardiff before picking up an injury in November. He is expected to return next month but it is still questionable where his future may lie.

#29 Sergio Canales (Real Sociedad) Former Real Madrid prospect Canales is attracting interest from big clubs in Spain once again after a decent season for Sociedad. The 27-year-old has nine assists to his name and three goals, providing four of these assists in his last seven matches.

#30 Chris Brunt (West Brom) The Baggies have an option to extend Chris Brunt’s deal when his current contract expires but the long serving midfielder may want a fresh challenge. West Brom are sliding towards relegation and the 33-year-old has only made 12 starts this campaign.

#31 Pablo Hernandez (Leeds) Fans are desperate for Leeds to extend the Spaniard’s contract but so far, no deal. The 32-year-old has scored four goals and has six assists so far this season, creating three goals in the last month.

#32 Junior Hoilett (Cardiff) Former QPR ace Hoilett has excelled at Cardiff since signing as a free agent in 2016. He has been key in their battle for promotion, scoring 10 goals this season and providing eight assists.

#33 Bakary Sako (Crystal Palace) Superb in the Championship with Wolves, Sako has never really been able to establish himself as a regular at Palace. The 29-year-old will be considering his future and he is helping his case by shining when he gets a chance. This season he has six goals to his name despite starting only seven matches.

#34 Martin Kelly (Crystal Palace) Another ex-Liverpool defender, Martin Kelly is one of many soon to be out of contract players on Crystal Palace’s books. The 27-year-old could be smart to consider dropping down into the Championship to play more regularly.

#35 Bryan Ruiz (Sporting) Former Fulham forward Bryan Ruiz has spent the last three seasons in Portugal but could be set for a new challenge. The Costa Rica international has been out of favour this campaign and has scored only once.


#36 Alessio Cerci (Verona) Former Italian wonderkid Alessio Cerci’s career has not hit the heights it once promised and he his recovering from a poor spell in Spain with Atletico Madrid. He is still just 30 and has been playing for Serie A side Verona this season where he has scored twice and provided four assists.

#38 Shayon Harrison (Tottenham) Prolific at youth team level for Tottenham, the young striker has not made the step up to the first team. He is currently on loan at Southend and his contract at Spurs expires this summer.

#38 Emiliano Insua (Stuttgart) The former Liverpool left-back has had a varied career and is nearing the end of a three year stint at Stuttgart. The Argentine is 29 and has more than 200 appearances in England, Germany, Turkey, Portugal and Spain.

#39 Balazs Dzsudzsak (Al Wahda) The flying Hungarian winger was once touted for a big money move to Liverpool from PSV. The 31-year-old is playing for UAE side Al Wahda where he has four goals and four assists this season and with his contract expiring this summer a return to Europe is likely.


#40 Fernando Torres (Atletico Madrid) Former Chelsea and Liverpool striker Fernando Torres looks set to end his secon spell at Atletico this season. The 33-year-old has scored six times this season and was linked with a move to Newcastle in January.

#41 Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United) Does he have anything left? The decorated Swedish striker’s second season at Old Trafford is yet to get started. He is unlikely to get a new contract with the Red Devils and a move to Major League Soccer is likely.

#42 Claudio Yacob (West Brom) The Baggies signed Yacob on a free in 2012 and he has proved to be a bargain. This season he has found it tougher, starting only seven matches. The 30-year-old needs a fresh start but its unclear whether he will find a team willing to match the £40,000 a year he has been earning.

#43 Adam Maher (FC Twente) Once one of Europe’s most highly touted players, the Moroccan born Dutch international looks likely to be on the move again this summer. He is still just 24-years-old and has plenty of potential if the right manager can unlock it.

#44 Wayne Hennessey (Crystal Palace) Hennessey has more than 70 international caps for Wales and he has spent the past four years with the Eagles since joining from Wolves. He has been a regular this season but no agreement has been reached on an extension.

#45 George Hirst (Sheffield Wednesday) England youth international striker George Hirst is the son of 90s Owls favourite David. This makes his contract stand-off with the club all the more bizarre and he is expected to leave the club this summer. Chelsea, Everton and Leeds have previously been linked.

#46 Davide Santon (Inter) Former Newcastle left-back Santon is coming to the end of his second spell at Inter. He has been linked with Crystal Palace in the past and at 27-years-old he could be a smart investment for a Premier League side.

#47 Joel Robles (Everton) Toffees back-up goalkeeper Robles is best known for starring for Wigan in their 2013 FA Cup win. The 27-year-old is keen to play regularly and has been linked with a return to Spain for the past year.

#48 Sean Clare (Sheffield Wednesday) Another gem the Owls are battling to hang onto, Sean Clare actually has featured for the first team this season. The talented midfielder is catching the attention of Tottenham and Everton, who each hope to sign a bargain on a free transfer.

#49 Charlie Adam (Stoke City) The 32-year-old has been only a bit part player for Stoke this season, making just four starts. A drop down to the Championship or move to Scotland could be the next step in the former Liverpool midfielder’s career.

#50 Joey Barton (unattached) Does Joey Barton have one more run left? His ban for betting ends on June 3 and he will be eligible to find a club as a free agent. Barton leaves a mark wherever he goes and admittedly not always for the better, but the 35-year-old could have a point to prove and a return to Burnley is not out of the question.

Full list:

(1) Stefan de Vrij (2) Arjen Robben (3) Jack Wilshere (4) Bernard (5) Max Meyer (6) Yaya Toure (7) Mario Balotelli (8) Franck Ribery (9) Joao Moutinho (10) Domenico Criscito (11) Milan Badelj (12) Emre Can (13) Pau Lopez (14) Ivan Marcano (15) Ozguhan Ozyakup (16) Marouane Fellani (17) Kwadwo Asamoah (18) Hatem Ben Arfa (19) Facundo Ferreyra (20) Michel Vorm (21) Pontus Wernbloom (22) Yohan Cabaye (23) Andreas Bjelland (24) Lewis Holtby (25) Pepe Reina (26) Jonathan Bamba (27) Aron Gunnarsson (28) Scott Arfield (29) Sergio Canales (30) Chris Brunt (31) Pablo Hernandez (32) Junior Hoilett (33) Bakary Sako (34) Martin Kelly (35) Bryan Ruiz (36) Alessio Cerci (37) Shayon Harrison (38) Emiliano Insua (39) Balazs Dzsudzsak (40) Fernando Torres (41) Zlatan Ibrahimovic (42) Claudio Yacob (43) Adam Maher (44) Wayne Hennessey (45) George Hirst  (46) Davide Santon (47) Joel Robles (48) Sean Claire (49) Charlie Adam (50) Joey Barton

In other news, Report: AC Milan open talks to land Arsenal and Newcastle target Luka Jovic