Best XI available for FREE in 2021 including Lionel Messi, Mesut Ozil, Paul Pogba… and Prem return for Diego Costa?

LIONEL MESSI and Paul Pogba head the list of seriously big names who are now into the final year of their current contracts.

And that means we could see some incredible free transfers at the end of the season.

Messi threatened to quit Barcelona this summer but decided to honour his deal while Pogba made another ploy to try and manufacture a 'dream' move to Real Madrid over the international break.

But with the likes of Mesut Ozil, Memphis Depay and Sergio Aguero also running down their deals, plenty of clubs will be eyeing up some smart business.

And could there even be a surprise return to the Premier League in store for Diego Costa?

SunSport picks out some of the best players available for nothing next summer.

GK – Gianluigi Donnarumma

The AC Milan stopper burst on to the scene as a teenager and is still backed to be Italy's No1 for many years.

But with just a year to go on his current deal, could he be holding out for one of the European superpowers to come calling?

RB – Eric Garcia

Okay, yes, his favoured position is at centre-back but for this team he is going to have to move across.

The Manchester City star revealed he will not be signing a contract extension at the Etihad and is expected to rejoin Barcelona after a summer move fell through.

CB – Sergio Ramos

Ramos takes the first centre-back spot as one of the greatest in that position over the last ten years.

Captain now Iker Casillas has gone, penalty taker now Cristiano Ronaldo has gone, the Real Madrid icon may no longer be at his peak aged 34 but is still a fine defender.

CB – Jerome Boateng

On paper, Boateng has enjoyed a stellar career with an FA Cup, eight Bundesligas, two Champions Leagues and the World Cup.

But even then the German still leaves some unconvinced he is in the top bracket – however, you could do worse for a free agent.

LB – David Alaba

Alaba, meanwhile, has proven his quality time and time again – and in many different positions.

The Bayern Munich star excelled at left-back for years but has since moved into midfield and centre-back, making it look easy – no wonder the giants are battling it out for his signature.

CM – Paul Pogba

What more is there to say on Paul Pogba? There is undoubtedly bags of talent – as he showed at the World Cup and at the end of last season.

But it feels like he has never fully found his best football since returning to Old Trafford for £89million and keeps openly admitting he would consider a transfer – the question is whether he has justified a move to the likes of Real Madrid. Does have a 12-month extension option.

CM – Georginio Wijnaldum

A critical part of the Liverpool engine room which delivered European and then league success.

Ronald Koeman taking over at Barcelona and Thiago's arrival at Anfield led to speculation of a departure this summer – give it a year and he could well be lining up at the Nou Camp.

CM – Mesut Ozil

Arsenal will be counting down the days until they can stop paying Ozil £350,000 per week, or £50,000 a day, or £2,083 an hour, or £34.72 per minute.

The German signed his lucrative new deal in January 2018 and has done very little for the club since – and absolutely nothing after the lockdown restart, except offer to pay for Gunnersaurus' wages.

RW – Lionel Messi

We almost witnessed one of the most spectacular of all transfers this summer when Messi was ready to walk out on Barcelona after nearly 20 years.

His loyalty to the Catalan giants saw him perform a U-turn so he didn't take them to court and instead would honour the final year – but it would take a remarkable shake-up for the Argentine to sign a new deal meaning the likes of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain will be plotting their mammoth offers.

ST – Sergio Aguero

Aguero is one of the greatest strikers the Premier League has seen, breaking records galore and bagging more than 250 times for City since his arrival in 2011.

But this season may well be his last if there is no agreement made for the 32-year-old to stay on beyond the summer – and he would not be short of options.

LW – Memphis Depay

Remembered by many for his failed spell at Manchester United, Depay reset with Lyon and has proven he is still a top-class talent.

Like compatriot Wijnaldum, he was close to joining Barcelona in the last window but a deal could not get over the line in time – another impressive campaign in Ligue 1 will ensure the biggest clubs keep an eye out.

Alternative XI

Unsurprisingly, there are still a fair few names not getting into that star-studded XI.

So here is the Alternative XI – and it is still pretty strong with experienced internationals, Premier League kings, a World Cup champion and even a Ballon d'Or winner.

GK – Jack Butland

Things have gone rather pear-shaped for Butland, England's youngest senior goalkeeper, with relegation with Stoke, a loss of form and now an outcast – although was linked with Liverpool as back-up to Alisson.

CB – Willy Boly

Boly was one of Wolves' standout players in their first year back in the Premier League and is still a key member of the back three Nuno Espirito Santo has mastered at Molineux.

CB – Jonny Evans

At £3m, Leicester bagged one of the best deals in recent transfer history when they landed the Northern Irishman who played in every league game for the Foxes in 2019-20 – don't rule out a new deal getting signed.

CB – Shkodran Mustafi

Mustafi's Arsenal career looked all over before Mikel Arteta's arrival and a strong end to the season – but will he be needed next season with William Saliba, Gabriel, Pablo Mari, Rob Holding, Calum Chambers AND Konstantinos Mavropanos?

RM – Michail Antonio

Effective in a multitude of positions – probably none more so than up front – Antonio is proving why he deserves a new contract with the Hammers already this season.

CM – Luka Modric

A serial winner for Real Madrid, ended the Ballon d'Or duopoly and took Croatia to the World Cup final but it looks as though Modric's nine years at the Bernabeu will come to an end following the emergence of Fede Valverde and others.

CM – Julian Draxler

The German midfielder's Paris Saint-Germain career never really took off as many expected following his 2017 arrival from Wolfsburg but aged 27 he will be confident of further success.

LM – Danny Rose

England's No1 left-back for many years saw his career spiral downwards when Jose Mourinho arrived at Spurs and he needs to find a new club while he can still do a job – the 30-year-old walks into a fair number of Premier League sides.

CAM – Angel Di Maria

Not many players can boast a CV of clubs like Di Maria but well into his 30s he will do well to earn another contract at Paris Saint-Germain but will need to be playing to get back into the Argentina fold.

ST – Arkadiusz Milik

He may have already racked up more than 50 Poland appearances but it appears Spurs-target Milik is unwanted at Napoli. Turning 27 in February, he still has plenty to offer.

ST – Diego Costa

And last but by no means least is Costa. The fiery front man banged in59 goals in 120 Chelsea appearances before returning to Atletico Madrid in 2017 – but now faces competition from Luis Suarez.

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