With the ridiculous way transfer fees are going, signing someone for free in football nowadays is almost unheard of. But it is still possible as shown by Manchester United’s move for Zlatan Ibrahimovic last season. On FIFA 18’s Career Mode, you can sign players on a pre-contract agreement, which means that when a player enters the final six months of their contract, they can be purchased on a free transfer and will join your club at the end of the season.
Step 1 – Wait until the January transfer window
To increase your chances of getting the players you want, consider disabling the first summer transfer marker when you start up Career Mode. This can be done when you select your match difficulty and financial board regulations.
Step 2 - Find the player you want to sign
On the transfers tab, go to search players and find your player.
Step 3 – Add him to your shortlist
To add a slight bit of realism, you can only approach players to sign if they are already on your shortlist.
Step 4 – In the Transfer Hub press ‘Approach to sign’ on the player you want
Head back to the Transfers tab and open up the Transfer Hub. Here you can compare all the players on your shortlist and see the current state of play of your offers.
Step 5 – Negotiate a deal
This is where your management skills come into play, can you bring the player in for the least amount of money possible? On FIFA 18’s Career Mode you will need to negotiate squad role, wage, contract length and optional extras of release and sell-on clauses.
Step 6 – see out the rest of the season
Your new signing will arrive on July 1 of the following season. From that moment on he is yours.
The best contract expiry signings on FIFA 18 Career Mode
Our best contract expiry signings are the top 11 rated players whose contracts are running out in 2018. This has been almost purely based on their overall rating, whilst also looking at their age and potential.
A full list of all the contract expiry signings rated 80 or higher can be found at the bottom of this page.
Lionel Messi (OVR 93 – POT 93)
Best stats: 97 dribbling, 96 composure, 95 finishing
Yes, the second-best player on the planet is available to be signed for free on FIFA 18. He may be 30 years old, but for no fee, Lionel Messi is absolutely worth whatever wages he wants, which could be as much as £500,000 a week. You could get your hands on someone who has smashed in over 550 goals in their career, and on FIFA 18 the ball just sticks to Messi’s foot with his outrageous 97-rated dribbling.
The 93-rated Messi is to die for on FIFA 18, and his other incredible stats include his 96 composure, 95 finishing and 95 reactions. The right winger’s specialities are ‘Dribbler’, ‘Free kick specialist’, ‘Acrobat’, and ‘Clinical finisher’.
Alexis Sanchez (OVR 89 – POT 89)
Positions: LM, ST, LW, RM
Best stats: 90 dribbling, 90 agility, 88 acceleration
A contract expiry signing that looks likely to occur in real life is Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez. After a move to Manchester City was cancelled at the last minute, Sanchez looks set to head to The Etihad either for a cut-down price in January, or for free at the end of the season. Since arriving on British shores, Sanchez has bagged an incredible 73 goals in 150 games, playing as a left midfielder, striker, left winger and right midfielder. Sanchez’s current wages are around £235,000 a week, which is still worth paying for the Chilean superstar
The 28-year-old’s most impressive stats on FIFA 18 are his 90 dribbling, 90 agility and 88 acceleration, which make up his 89 overall rating. His specialities are ‘Dribbler’ and ‘Acrobat’.
Giorgio Chiellini (OVR 89 - POT 89)
Best stats: 92 aggression, 92 marking, 92 standing tackle
The second-best centre back on the game is available on a contract expiry signing, and at first thought it seems unlikely that the 32-year-old Chiellini would jump ship and leave Juventus. However, with defensive partner Leonardo Bonucci leaving for AC Milan in the summer, and Gianluigi Buffon possibly retiring at the end of the season, perhaps Bonucci may also want a change of scenery. His wages of around £200,000 a week are expensive for a centre back, but even if it were just for a season it would be worth it to have such a rock in your defence.
Chiellini, 32, has an 89-overall rating on FIFA 18, comprised by his 92 aggression, 92 marking and 92 standing tackle. ‘Tackling’, ‘Tactician’ and ‘Strength’ are his Specialities.
Gianluigi Buffon (OVR 89 – POT 89)
Best stats: 90 GK positioning, 89 GK diving, 99 GK handling
Now at the age of 39, it is unlikely that you will be able to get hold of Gianluigi Buffon on Career Mode, but you never know. With an 89 overall, he is still worth taking a punt on and his wages of £100,000 a week are a lot lower than a lot of other world class players. The Italy and Juventus captain has now been playing professionally for 22 years, but perhaps you can tempt him into one season playing elsewhere.
To make up his 89-overall rating, Buffon has 90-rated GK positioning, 89 GK diving and 88 GK handling.
Mesut Ozil (OVR 88 – POT 88)
Positions: CAM, RW
Best stats: 92 vision, 90 ball control, 89 short passing
Mesut Ozil’s future is even less clear than teammate Alexis Sanchez. Despite being at Arsenal for four years and winning three FA Cups, the German World Cup Winner still has something to prove. Question marks have arisen over his impact in big games, so the German could choose to sign a fresh deal and prove his quality, or go on to other things.
Attacking midfielder or right winger Ozil receives a generous 88 rating on FIFA 18, with the playmaker possessing superb vision (92), ball control (90) and short passing (89). However, the 28-year-old’s low defensive work rate and £235,000 a week wages may dissuade you from making a move.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (OVR 88 – POT 88)
Club: Manchester United
Best stats: 91 shot power, 91 composure, 91 penalties
Manchester United have effectively snapped up Zlatan Ibrahimovic for free twice, and it looks like his next move will also be a free transfer. The 35-year-old Swede still has the quality, bagging 28 goals for Manchester United last season, but whether he can recover his form after his nasty injury remains to be seen.
The former Juventus, AC Milan, Inter Milan, Barcelona and PSG forward has an 88 overall rating, higher than teammate Romelu Lukaku (OVR 86), and the six-foot-five striker has 91 shot power, 91 composure and 91 penalties to his game. His wages of £210,000 a week are hefty, but for just one season it would be worth it.
Arjen Robben (OVR 88 – POT 88)
Positions: RM, RW
Club: Bayern Munich
Best stats: 92 dribbling, 89 agility, 89 ball control
Arjen Robben not in a Bayern Munich shirt? Although the Dutch right midfielder or winger had successful stints at Chelsea and Real Madrid, he has very much found a home at the Allianz Arena. Now 33, perhaps Robben is eyeing a return to his native Holland, or perhaps you could snap him up in a master move just before he retires.
The flying Dutchman has a superb 88-rating on FIFA 18, with his best stats being his 92-rated dribbling, 89 agility and 89 ball control. His wages of £200,000 a week are pricey but not astronomical enough to rule out a move.
Andres Iniesta (OVR 87 – POT 87)
Positions: CM, LM
Best stats: 94 ball control, 94 vision, 92 short passing
Barcelona fans are sitting nervously with club legend Andres Iniesta joining Lionel Messi in players that are in the final year of their contract. The 33-year-old Iniesta has been at Barcelona for 21 years, and it would be strange to see him in another team’s colours. Could that be a move to the Premier League or Bundesliga? The central or left midfielder’s wages of £230,000 a week could scare you off, but for a player with so much control it's a risk worth taking.
The Spanish World Cup winner has an 87-overall rating made up by an incredible 94-rated vision, 94 ball control and 92 short passing. It is no surprise Iniesta has the ‘Playmaker’ Speciality as well as ‘Dribbler’.
Miranda (OVR 86 – POT 86)
Club: Inter Milan
Best stats: 90 standing tackle, 89 marking, 88 interceptions
A very undervalued centre back, Inter Milan’s Miranda is often overlooked when talking about the world’s best defenders, but judging by his FIFA 18 rating, he would be a very shrewd acquisition on Career Mode, especially on a free. At the age of 32, the Brazilian could still be called upon for a couple of seasons at your club, and his just over £100,000 a week wages are far more reasonable than many of the other players on this list.
With an 86 overall rating, you can’t really go wrong with signing Miranda, who has 90-rated standing tackle, 89 marking and 88 interceptions.
Franck Ribery (OVR 86 - POT 86)
Positions: LM, LW
Club: Bayern Munich
Best stats: 91 balance, 90 dribbling, 90 ball control
Perhaps someone who doesn’t receive enough praise, Franck Ribery has been an incredibly consistent performer for over a decade. With age and injury niggles taking its toll, Ribery is often rotated at Bayern Munich. With his contract up at the end of the season, he may be looking for one final move to showcase his quality and pick up one last trophy. The 34-year-old’s wages of £155,000 a week are not ridiculous, but something you must consider when going in for him.
Ribery has an 86-overall rating on FIFA 18, made up by his 91-rated balance, 90 dribbling and 90 ball control. The former French international has the ‘Dribbler’ and ‘Acrobat’ Specialities.
Bernd Leno (OVR 85 – POT 88)
Club: Bayer Leverkusen
Best stats: 85 diving, 85 positioning, 84 diving
The only man in our top 10 to have rating growth is Bayer Leverkusen’s Bernd Leno. The 25-year-old keeper has been Leverkusen’s number one for over six seasons now, but with no new contract on the table, it looks as if a move to a big European club could be on the cards. Leno’s £54,000 a week wages make him a tempting move, and if you are looking for a goalkeeper, it should be a no-brainer.
The German has an 85 starting overall rating on FIFA 18, with the potential to hit 88. His best attributes are his 85 diving, 85 positioning and 84 diving.
Full list of players ending contracts in 2018 above 80 OVR
|Ander Herrera||27||CM CDM||Man United||Spain||84||84|
|Juan Mata||29||CAM RM||Man United||Spain||84||84|
|Stefan de Vrij||25||CB||Lazio||Netherlands||83||88|
|Jose Maria Gimenez||22||CB||Atletico Madrid||Uruguay||83||87|
|Antonio Valencia||31||RB||Manchester United||Colombia||83||83|
|Santi Cazorla||32||CM CDM||Arsenal||Spain||83||83|
|Yaya Toure||34||CM CDM||Man City||Ivory Coast||83||83|
|Gianluigi Donnarumma||18||GK||AC Milan||Italy||82||94|
|Leon Goretzka||22||CM CAM CDM||Schalke||Germany||82||88|
|Aaron Ramsey||26||CM CDM RM||Arsenal||Wales||82||83|
|Carlos Vela||28||RW ST||R. Sociedad||Mexico||82||82|
|Joao Moutinho||30||CM CDM CAM||Monaco||Portugal||82||82|
|Fernandinho||32||CDM CM RB||Manchester City||Brazil||82||82|
|Stephan Lichtsteiner||33||RB RM||Juventus||Switzerland||82||82|
|David Villa||35||ST||NYC FC||Spain||82||82|
|Ross Barkley||23||CAM RM CM RW||Everton||England||81||86|
|Jack Wilshere||25||CM CAM CDM||Arsenal||England||81||84|
|Lukas Hradecky||27||GK||Eintracht Frankfurt||Finland||81||83|
|Hatem Ben Arfa||30||CAM ST||PSG||France||81||81|
|Bastian Schweinsteiger||32||CM CDM||Chicago Fire||Germany||81||81|
|Fernando Torres||33||ST||Atletico Madrid||Spain||81||81|
|Darijo Srna||35||RB||Shakhtar Donetsk||Croatia||81||81|
|Oguzhan Ozyakup||24||CM CAM CDM||Besiktas||Turkey||80||85|
|Erik Lamela||25||RM LM||Tottenham||Argentina||80||83|
|Daley Blind||27||LB CB||Manchester United||Netherlands||80||81|
|Daniel Carrico||28||CB CDM||Sevilla||Portugal||80||81|
|Pedro Leon||30||RM LM||Eibar||Spain||80||80|
|Marcelo Diaz||30||CM CDM||U.N.A.M.||Chile||80||80|
|Domenico Criscito||30||LB CB||Zenit||Italy||80||80|
|Gabriel Paletta||31||CB||AC Milan||Italy||80||80|
|Ignacio Piatti||32||LW LM CF||Montreal Impact||Argentina||80||80|
|Dusan Basta||32||RB RM||Lazio||Serbia||80||80|
|Fernando Belluschi||33||CAM CM||San Lorenzo||Argentina||80||80|
|Atiba Hutchinson||34||CDM CM||Besiktas||Canada||80||80|
|Kaka||35||CAM CF||Orlando City||Brazil||80||80|
|Michael Carrick||35||CDM||Man United||England||80||80|
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