Free transfers are becoming increasingly common and some of the biggest names in football have entered the final few months of their contracts.
Clubs must now decide whether to give the player a new contract, sell them in the January transfer window or risk letting them walk away for nothing in the summer of 2024.
We’ve taken a look at 10 of the best players who will be out of contract at the end of the 2023/24 season.
Note: we’ve not included any players who have a potential one-year extension clause in their contract, which rules out the likes of Tomas Soucek, Jorginho and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Mbappe joined Paris Saint-Germain in a £166million deal in 2018, but they could now lose their star asset on a free transfer.
He was excluded from their pre-season tour of Asia and placed on the transfer list after refusing to sign an extension to his contract, which expires next summer.
While PSG accepted a world-record £258million bid from Al Hilal in the summer, the France international refused to join the Saudi Pro League side.
After holding constructive talks with club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, he was eventually reintegrated into their first-team squad.
The 24-year-old has reportedly agreed to waive an £69million loyalty bonus, but he is still insisting that he won’t sign a new contract at the Parc des Princes.
According to L’Equipe, PSG believe that Mbappe has already decided to join Real Madrid on a free transfer next summer.
Kylian Mbappé doing what he does best 😮💨
The Frenchman gives 10-man PSG the lead with this incredible effort ✨ pic.twitter.com/o8ytHBOxiT
— Football on TNT Sports (@footballontnt) December 3, 2023
Muller has spent his entire career at Bayern Munich, winning 12 Bundesliga titles, two Champions Leagues, six DFB Cups, two UEFA Super Cups and two FIFA Club World Cups.
But the Germany international has seen his game time reduced since Harry Kane joined the Bundesliga side in an £86million deal in the summer.
His current contract at the Allianz Arena is due to expire at the end of the 2023/24 season, but the 34-year-old has confirmed his desire to keep playing until at least 2025.
Serie A side AC Milan have also been linked with Muller but Bayern are still hoping to extend his contract for another year.
One of the best players outside of Europe’s top five leagues, Taremi joined Primeira Liga side Porto in a £4.25million deal in 2020.
He has since scored 84 goals in 165 appearances in all competitions, including the 2020/21 Champions League goal of the season.
The 31-year-old has also been linked with AC Milan, Inter Milan and Real Madrid in recent months, and he is already getting contract offers.
“He [Taremi] has received €10million (£8.7million) per year salary offers from other clubs… it’s impossible to match that,” Porto president Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa said.
The 2020-21 UEFA goal of the season:
Mehdi Taremi’s bicycle kick against Chelsea 🚲
— B/R Football (@brfootball) July 29, 2021
After being released by Sevilla in December 2022, Isco spent six months without a club before joining Real Betis on a one-year deal in the summer.
The 31-year-old has enjoyed a brilliant start to the 2023/24 season and is thriving under manager Manuel Pellegrini, who he previously worked with at Malaga.
While Betis want to reward Isco with a long-term contract, his agent has dismissed reports that they are close to an agreement.
“We are no closer,” Pedro Bravo told El Chiringuito. “They made an approach that we have studied and now it is time for us to present a counteroffer.”
Inter Milan are reportedly monitoring his contract situation and the former Real Madrid midfielder has also been linked with a surprise move to Barcelona.
Kroos is in his 10th season with Real Madrid and has enjoyed a trophy-laden career in the Spanish capital, winning three La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues.
But his game time has been reduced in 2023/24 as manager Carlo Ancelotti has favoured a new-look midfield of Aurelien Tchoumeni, Federico Valverde, Eduardo Camavinga and Jude Bellingham.
The 33-year-old has previously admitted that he does not want to see his career fizzle out from the bench, and he could pursue a new challenge in the summer of 2024.
A number of Premier League sides have been credited with an interest in Kroos, including Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham.
Rabiot turned down a free transfer exit from Juventus at the end of the 2022/23 season and put pen to paper on a new contract.
But the France international didn’t commit his long-term future to the Serie A side as he only signed a one-year extension.
“It was my idea,” agent Veronique Rabiot told SportWeek. “At first the club didn’t agree, but I got an extra year with a substantial [wage] increase. It is an innovative renewal.”
Manchester United have a long-standing interest in the 28-year-old midfielder, who has also been linked with a move to Newcastle United.
Zielinski has made over 300 appearances for Napoli and played an integral role in their historic Serie A title win in 2022/23.
However, the midfielder is one of their highest earners and Il Mattino claim that he will only be offered a new contract if he accepts a pay cut.
He rejected a lucrative offer from Saudi Arabian side Al Ahli in the summer transfer window and is yet to sign a new deal with Napoli.
According to reports in Italy, Inter Milan are planning to offer the 29-year-old a four-year deal worth €4.5million net per season plus add-ons. He’s also been linked with Juventus, Liverpool and West Ham United.
Since joining Real Betis from Club America in January 2020, Rodriquez has established himself as one of the best defensive midfielders in La Liga.
The Argentina international – who has 29 caps – also collected a World Cup winners’ medal after his nation’s success at Qatar 2022.
While Betis are still trying to extend his deal, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have reportedly added the 29-year-old to their midfield shortlist.
He can also sign a pre-contract with a foreign club in January and has been linked with moves to Manchester United and Arsenal.
Alongside Koke, Stevan Savic, Axel Witsel and Cesar Azpilicueta, Hermoso has just a few months left on his Atletico Madrid contract.
The 28-year-old centre-back has become a key player under Diego Simeone and Juventus have reportedly identified him as a potential transfer target for 2024.
“I don’t know,” he told AS when asked about his future. “There are many things that have to happen, it is not just my decision, it’s also to do with other people.
“There are opportunities that will be available on the market, not only in my case, but also at the club to be able to sign another player.”
An incredible Mario Hermoso goal 😱
— Football on TNT Sports (@footballontnt) November 28, 2023
Kimpembe came through the ranks at Paris Saint-Germain and has spent the entirety of his senior career with the club, making over 200 appearances.
But the 28-year-old changed his agent in the summer of 2023 and L’Equipe claim he wants to undergo a spell abroad before the end of his career.
According to reports in Spain, Barcelona are currently monitoring his contract situation and want to sign the centre-back on a free transfer in 2024.
Honourable mentions: Keylor Navas, Joel Matip, Koke, Luka Modric, Thiago, Pablo Fornals, Rafa, Angel Di Maria, Kelechi Iheanacho.