From Pepe to Zlatan Ibrahimovic via Jess Navas and Jan Kirchhoff, there is plenty of talent out there for free if clubs are willing to take a chance

Goalkeeper: Iker Casillas

If a player is a free agent in the middle of a transfer window, you typically because something is unattractive about them: for the most proportion, it will either be because they are no good or because of their age. Iker Casillas is 36 old for a sportsperson but not inevitably scrapheap period where goalkeepers are concerned. Casillas aimed his two years at Porto this summer after his contract expired, a moment he marked by posting a clip of him slowly strolling into the sea. Presumably this was either a symbolic act representing his departure from Portuguese coasts or a touching tribute to Reginald Perrin. Either style, it displayed that he is off to something new, and even at his advanced age he will be useful for someone, even if it is for his keen knowledge of 1970 s British sitcoms.

Defence: Pepe

Football is supposed to be about fun. Winning, sure. Skill, utterly. But most of all, fun. So with that in mind, we implore person, somewhere to sign Pepe as soon as possible. The Portuguese bruiser is no longer a Real Madrid player and is open to offers, with PSG, Besiktas and a clutch of other clubs who have a slightly unhinged but ultimately very entertaining centre-back-shaped hole in their defense. As often with players who are rather rambunctious on the pitch, Pepe is apparently a perfectly sensible, approachable chap off it, but has perhaps the most emphatic example of white line fever in football history. And who wouldnt want that in their squad?

Defence: John Terry

You wonder if John Terry unhappiness managing to force through that extra year at Chelsea. Sure, he got himself another Premier League winners medal but he barely played as Antonio Contes broadly unchanged side stormed to the title. Had he left 12 months ago, he might have secured a two-year contract somewhere half-decent, enjoyed another full season of contributing in a meaningful way to a team, and perhaps been left with more options for the latter days of his career. Of course, he may still have some of that but it is seducing to think of it as a year wasted. So where will he pop up at the start of next season? It is hard to see him playing near the upper part of the Premier League again but one imagines he will have some choices to construct, and pretty soon.

Defence: Gal Clichy

At some points last season Pep Guardiola appeared exhaustively unhappy with life, a human haunted by the vague notion that hed made a mistake. Plenty of that ought to do with the Manchester City defence, partly assembled by him but partly inherited, an ageing backline featuring players past their best. That was particularly true at full-back, where Bacary Sagna, Pablo Zabaleta and Gal Clichy have been cut free as Guardiola attempts to style a squad more in keeping with his own image. But simply because some of them werent good enough for City, that doesnt inevitably mean they might not be useful for another side, although Liverpools reported offer of a two-year contract might say more about their other options than Clichys ability.

Right wing-back: Jess Navas

It remains one of the great mysteries of our time that Jess Navas clocked up 183 appearances over four seasons with Manchester City. The last hour he scored a league aim was in January 2014, and he recorded two assists in 35 games last season. The statistics for how many times he ran down the wing and wellied the ball straight into the opposition left-backs shins are, alas , not available. Still, what Navas will do very happily is work hard, run quickly and provide a doughty presence on the flank for someone that needs it. Last seasons jaunts at right-back indicate that he could do a reasonable job as a wing-back, and in an age where three-man defences are not so much fashionable but available on most high streets, he may be a decent alternative for someone there.

Central midfield: Jan Kirchhoff

You can identify a broad range of reasons for Sunderlands decay and ultimate demise, but somewhere in the mixture must be the thwart campaign suffered by Jan Kirchhoff. The big German didnt play a minute of first-team football after December, and since he was one of the key humen in the great escape as provide guidance to Sam Allardyce the previous season, his absence with hamstring then knee traumata blew a big hole in the side of David Moyess attempts to do similar. Its his adaptability that makes him attractive, most at home as a defensive midfielder but also able to play at the back, and if a team are prepared to look past a season of questionable fitness, they may try to reawaken the player who was so promising on Bayern Munichs books.

Free agents XI. Illustration: Guardian

Central midfield: Sulley Muntari

It has been, to say the least, an emotional few months for Sulley Muntari. In May, he was booked for the offences of protesting against racial abuse, and as that represented his fifth booking of the season, he was suspended before the ban was repealed. He walked off the pitch in protest and didnt play another minute for Pescara but now is a free agent and looking for another club , not least to restart his international career with Ghana. The football world does not quite run like this but it would be a fitting and simply denouement to the whole sorry business if someone took a chance on Muntari, a man who has suffered countless examples of abuse throughout his career.

Left wing-back: Zoran Tosic

Eight years ago, the expensive arrivals of Zoran Tosic and Adem Ljajic were announced with no little fanfare by Manchester United. Tosic, in particular, was viewed as a potential successor to Ryan Giggs, but at the end of a rather curious couple of years in Manchester, he left having played fewer games for United than Bebe. Now, after seven years at CSKA Moscow, hes available on a free, still with a yard of pace despite being 30. It would be too narratively perfect for United to re-sign him, but a man be permitted to do a job as winger or wing-back might be useful for a side on a tight budget. Theres talk of him heading to Turkey to sign for Galatasaray or Besiktas, so bargain hunters, theres no time to lose.

Forward: Rachid Ghezzal

Most scouts who have shown up at Lyon in the past year or so will presumably have been largely there to watch Alexandre Lacazette, but they might have kept half an eye on another product of the clubs youth system, Rachid Ghezzal. A left-footed winger who can play on either flank and cites Arjen Robben as his reference point, Ghezzal broke into the Lyon team comparatively late, having suffered a stop-start first few years to his career. The 25 -year-olds form in the season only ended was thought to be a little less consistent than what came before, but he clearly has the capability to be a terrific performer. Everton have been linked, Milan are supposedly keen and some reports indicate that Roma have identified him as the man to replace Mohamed Salah.

Forward: Richmond Boakye Yiadom

Like assessing the lots in the auction of a bankrupted men estate, in football sometimes opportunities present themselves when clubs fall on hard time. Thats the lawsuit for Latina, last season a Serie B club who towards the end of the season were deemed financially unviable, so have been demoted to the amateur leagues, entailing all their contracted players are free to find new clubs. One such man is Richmond Boakye Yiadom, a Ghanaian forward who expended last season on loan at Red Star Belgrade, scoring 16 goals in 19 appearances. He would be a somewhat left-field choice, but in the uber-competitive, sharp-elbowed world of modern football, clubs need to grab any advantage they can. Signing this sort of player for nothing might be simply that.

Forward: Zlatan Ibrahimovic

It must have been extremely strange to be Zlatan Ibrahimovic when his knee gave route at the end of last season. The great Swede hadnt truly suffered any serious injuries previously, but when his cruciate ligament snapped against Anderlecht the last great chapter in his tale might have been derailed. It will be a terrific disgrace if this spells the end of his career, but as hes already been training at Manchester United it appears as if he isnt planning on going out just yet. Ibrahimovic will in all likelihood start the season unsigned, and his first choice will presumably be to finish what he started at United, but might an enterprising club take a( significant) gamble by offering him a contract now?

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