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Free agents 2017: 20 Premier League players out of contract in the summer, including Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool stars Featured

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Published in England Premier League
Wednesday, 03 May 2017 12:55

Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva is back in the first-team fold and in fine form, in what is probably his last season at the club.

The Brazilian has registered an impressive three assists in his last five Premier League appearances, which could be great timing considering he is out of contract in the summer.

Unless Jurgen Klopp’s mind is changed, the 30-year-old’s decade-long stay at Anfield is set to come to an end, putting a number of clubs on red alert.

Good performances now could be the key to a move in the summer – and Lucas is not the only player set to make a big decision about his future come the end of the season.

Meanwhile, John Terry and Chelsea have already confirmed they will part ways once his contract expires in the off-season. The 36-year-old wants to continue playing and there will be no shortage of interested parties.

With the end of the season just weeks away, talkSPORT has taken a look at some of the Premier League players with contracts expiring in the summer - meaning they are able to be snapped up for free.

Starting with Lucas, click the right arrow, above, to see who might be available* soon.

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  • Chelsea's Fabregas, Cahill out of Norwich clash, says Conte

    Chelsea were dealt a double blow on Tuesday with manager Antonio Conte saying that midfielder Cesc Fabregas and defender Gary Cahill will miss Wednesday's FA Cup third round replay against Norwich City because of injury.

    England international Cahill was substituted in the first half of last Saturday's stalemate with Leicester City in the Premier League while Spaniard Fabregas was taken off in the second.

    "Cahill (is injured), but his problem is not too serious. Cesc had a little problem in his hamstring and is not available," Conte told reporters.

    Chelsea have recorded four goalless draws in their last seven fixtures across all competitions, dropping to fourth in the league and facing a must-win fixture against Norwich at home to progress to the FA Cup fourth round.

    "This is a real problem for us. We are not conceding but the bad news is that we are not scoring," Conte said. "We have to improve in this aspect.

    "If you compare to the past every single player has scored less than last season."
    The Italian said that he would have to rotate his squad heavily ahead of the league trip to Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.

    "Tomorrow is another game in a busy period for us. I have to make many changes. We have to play against Brighton after two days," Conte added.

    "This is the great risk to make rotation, a lot of rotation. If you want to face and try to go to the next round in every competition this is the only way we can do."

    Meanwhile, media reports have linked Arsenal striker Alexis Sanchez with a move to Chelsea this month but Conte is unsure of the transfer.

    "I don't know but I don't think so," Conte replied when asked directly if Chelsea were trying to sign the Chile international.

    "About the transfer market I prefer to talk to the club and give an opinion and I repeat I don't want to give my opinion on that."

    Conte also said that newly-signed midfielder Ross Barkley is unavailable for Wednesday's match as the England international was not registered in time.

    The 48-year-old refused to comment on striker Michy Batshuayi's future, who has been linked with a move away, saying the Belgian along with Welsh teenager Ethan Ampadu were likely to play against Norwich.

  • Liverpool hold on to end battling Manchester City's unbeaten record

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  • Oxlade-Chamberlain: Coutinho loss won't affect Liverpool

    Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is confident Liverpool are well-equipped for life without Philippe Coutinho, insisting it is "business as usual" at Anfield.

    The Brazil playmaker, who contributed 12 goals this season, completed his dream £142million move to Barcelona on Monday to leave a significant hole in Jurgen Klopp's side.

    However, Oxlade-Chamberlain, who experienced key personnel like Robin van Persie leave when he was at Arsenal, believes he and the likes of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino can help fill the void without too much disruption.

    And the first chance to prove that is at home to runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City on Sunday.

    "I haven't really even thought about Phil leaving," he said.

    "You realise it happens but you can't start thinking 'What are we going to do now that Phil is not here?'

    "It can't be that at all. It's business as usual.
    "When Phil wasn't in the team we still played great football and we have still amazing players who can score goals - the likes of Mo (Salah), Sadio, Roberto.

    "The fact is he has gone now and we have to think 'What have we got that is going to get the job done?'.

    "I have every faith in the boys that we just move on now. I don't think it should affect us at all.

    "When a big player leaves, a big player leaves. You're at a big club like Liverpool, another big player will come in the future.

    "I wish Phil all the very best but the only thing I'm concentrating on is Liverpool and winning as many games as we can - starting with Man City on Sunday."

    With Liverpool at this moment unlikely to buy a replacement in the January transfer window, Coutinho's departure provides an opening for Oxlade-Chamberlain and others to secure more regular football.

    After a testing start to his Anfield career, having arrived on the final day of the August window, the England international is starting to show the sort of form that persuaded Klopp to spend £35m on him.

    "Of course it's an opportunity for me, just as it is for all the rest of the boys who want to play there," he added.

    "It is our job to keep the wheels moving and momentum going.
    "I am the type of person who relishes the chance to stand up and perform under pressure, I have had to do that my whole career.

    "I was at a big club previously and being at big one now, you know you are always going to have to perform under pressure."

    Oxlade-Chamberlain faced growing criticism in his first few months as he adapted to a new playing style under Klopp.

    However, he insists he ignored the doubters as he had total faith in himself and his manager.

    "There was a lot of controversy and talk, maybe it's a time when you just want to get your head down and settle in," he said.

    "There's a lot of noise around what's happening and that can make things a bit difficult.

    "I didn't mind too much people talking because I knew that's what would happen.

    "Once you clear that ridge and focus on getting your head down and playing more, I feel that's where I am now."

  • Barcelona new boy Philippe Coutinho: I will always cherish Liverpool in my heart

    New Barcelona signing Philippe Coutinho has told Liverpool fans he hopes they understand why he left for the Nou Camp in a £142million switch.

    The 25-year-old Brazilian's five-year stint at Anfield ended at the weekend when Barca finally struck an agreement with the Reds, making Coutinho the second most-expensive player of all time after they were paid an initial £105m up front.
    Liverpool had rejected Barca's bids last summer, despite Coutinho's desire to force through the transfer, but having finally sealed his move in this window the outgoing playmaker has posted a message to Reds supporters on his Instagram account.
    "Since the moment I arrived in Liverpool, me and my family have been made to feel so welcome and have made so many friends," he wrote.

    "On the pitch and off the pitch, we have experienced the beauty of this club and its fans. In turn, I hope I have delivered memories and moments that have brought happiness to the Liverpool supporters.

    "Moving to Liverpool, I knew the club's greatness and history but what I did learn during my time was the unique heart and soul of the place. It has its own personality and character.

    "I leave Liverpool because Barcelona is a dream for me. Liverpool was a dream that I was fortunate enough to realise and I have given five years of my life to it. A career on the pitch only lasts for so long and to play for Barcelona as well as Liverpool is something I want to experience and enjoy while I am blessed enough to be able to do so.

    "I hope the supporters understand that choosing to experience something new is not about diminishing their importance to me or the club's importance. Nothing will ever diminish that in my heart.

    "I wish Jurgen (Klopp) and the team nothing but joy and success for the rest of this season and beyond. This is an amazing team and they are getting better and better all the time."

    Coutinho ended the post by addressing Reds supporters directly, adding: "I can never thank you enough for what you have given me during this time and no matter where I go in the world, for the rest of my life, I will always cherish Liverpool in my heart. You, the club and the city will always be a part of me."
    Barcelona's latest signing was unveiled on Monday but a thigh injury that kept him out of Liverpool's last two games will also delay his debut for his new club.

    In another Instagram post that contained multiple images of him in a Barca shirt, Coutinho said: "A Dream Come True thank you Barcelona. I can't wait to start my journey with you!"

     

  • Andreas Christensen pens new long-term Chelsea deal

    Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen has signed a new long-term contract, the Premier League club have announced.

    The 21-year-old Denmark international has been rewarded with a new four-and-a-half-year deal after breaking into Antonio Conte's first team at Stamford Bridge this season.
    Christensen, who joined the club as a 15-year-old in 2012, is now tied to the Blues until 2022.

    Christensen has so far made 22 appearances for Chelsea this season, and could be involved again in Wednesday night's Carabao Cup semi-final first-leg clash with Arsenal at Stamford Bridge.

    "It feels really good to sign a new contract and I'm just happy to be committed to Chelsea for the future," Christensen said on the club's official website.

    "I have played a lot of games, I am enjoying it at the club and everything is working well."

    Christensen returned to Stamford Bridge from two seasons on loan at German club Borussia Monchengladbach, where he played in the Champions League against opponents that included Manchester City and Barcelona.
    The Dane, who arrived in England from Brondby, was part of Chelsea's successful FA Youth Cup and Under-21 Premier League squad in 2014.

    Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia feels Christensen can go on to become an important player for the Blues.

    "This contract is reward for the excellent form Andreas has shown in the first half of the season," Granovskaia said.

    "He showed immense potential when he signed for Chelsea in 2012 and is now enjoying the benefits of the dedication and professionalism he has shown since.

    "After two seasons on loan in Germany we were convinced he was ready to be a part of the squad this season and he has grasped the opportunity with both hands.

    "We are delighted he has chosen to commit his future to Chelsea."

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