Nothing is better than a free signing on FIFA 18’s Career Mode, and the fun doesn’t stop after the first season. More players will be available to be snapped up on contract expiry deals in January 2019, so you must decide whether to wait it out and hope to sign them for free or splash the cash and secure their services.
David de Gea (OVR 90 – POT 92)
Club: Manchester United
Best stats: 90 GK diving, 90 GK reflexes, 88 reactions
Current price: £109.3 million (release clause)
July 2018 price: £78 million
Currently, David de Gea is the best goalkeeper in the world. Bayern Munich and German giant Manuel Neuer has had an injury-plagued season, leaving Manchester United’s De Gea to take the title. Now 26, it's time for the ‘keeper to rack up the trophies and add to his two Europa Leagues, Premier League, FA Cup and EFL Cup.
With interest from Real Madrid never disappearing, you could see De Gea heading back to Spain in every passing transfer window. With his £109.3 million release clause, you won’t be making a move for De Gea anytime soon, but if you wait two seasons, you may be able to snap him up for free. With his 90 overall, 92 potential and stats of 90 GK diving, 90 GK reflexes and 88 reactions, he would be one of the biggest coups of all time even with his £189,000 a week wages.
Thibaut Courtois (OVR 89 – POT 92)
Best stats: 91 GK handling, 88 GK reflexes, 86 GK positioning
Current price: £99.9 million (release clause)
July 2018 price: £73 million
On De Gea’s heels is Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois. The goalkeeper is one of the most reliable stoppers in the Premier League, with the Belgian earning the Golden Glove award last season. Rumours of his exit began ever since he returned from his impeccable loan spell at Atletico Madrid in 2014, but talks of a new deal could put them to bed.
The 25-year-old’s 89 overall and 92 potential also makes him an outrageously expensive purchase on Career Mode, with £100 million and £167,000 a week wages required to secure his services. If you want Courtois, you are best off waiting for his price to come down, and if you are patient and lucky enough, you will be able to snap him up on a contract expiry deal in January 2019. An absolute steal for a man with 91 GK handling, 88 GK reflexes and 86 GK positioning.
Diego Godin (OVR 88 – POT 88)
Club: Atletico Madrid
Work rate: Medium/High
Best stats: 92 heading accuracy, 89 jumping, 89 sliding tackle
Current price: £72.2 million (release clause)
July 2018 price: £45 million
Continuing with the Atletico Madrid theme, the experienced defender Diego Godin has been a rock at the back for Atleti for the past seven years. He marshals the defensive line perfectly, and the fact that Los Rojiblancos have the tightest defence in La Liga is largely down to him.
For the 88 rated Godin, you will need a hefty £72.2 million. It’s hardly surprising given his 92 heading accuracy, 89 jumping and 89 sliding tackle. At 31, can you wait to snap him up on a free? He would be 33 by the time you got him and his wages of £110,000 a week are steep.
Arturo Vidal (OVR 87 – POT 87)
Positions: CDM, CM
Club: Bayern Munich
Work rate: High/High
Best stats: 93 aggression, 91 stamina, 89 standing tackle
Current price: £54.5 million (release clause)
July 2018 price: £45 million
A hustle-and-bustle midfielder, Bayern Munich’s Arturo Vidal doesn’t take any nonsense in midfield. The defensive or central midfielder is now 30, and with so much young talent coming through at Bayern, he may be shown the door sooner than you think.
The Chilean's £54.5 million release clause is much more affordable than others on this list, so your best bet is maybe to wait until the end of this season where you can snap him up for closer to £40 million. For that price you would receive an 87-rated high work-rate midfielder with 93 aggression, 91 stamina and 89 standing tackle. If you wait until the end of the 2019 season you could pick him up for free.
Gerard Pique (OVR 87 – POT 87)
Work rate: High/Medium
Best stats: 88 interceptions, 87 standing tackle, 86 marking
Current price: £67.7 million (release clause)
July 2018 price: £48 million
The chances of Gerard Pique ever leaving Barcelona are slim, but considering club legends Carles Puyol and Xavi have been show the door at the club you can’t rule it out. With Samuel Umtiti (OVR 83) improving every week, Pique is no longer a guaranteed starter, so do you fancy taking on the centre back with his glittering trophy haul.
£67.7 million is an outrageous price, so hold off for as long as you can. If you can get him in a contract expiry deal at the end of the 2019 season, Pique will be 32 when he joins your club, still giving you a season or two with his talents. 88 interceptions, 87 standing tackle and 86 marking make up his overall rating, but you will need to get his £211,000 a week wages reduced.
Samir Handanovic (OVR 87 – POT 87)
Club: Inter Milan
Best stats: 87 GK diving, 87 GK positioning, 87 GK reflexes
Current price: £43.3 million (release clause)
July 2018 price: £32 million
Inter Milan’s Samir Handanovic doesn’t get enough credit with the 32-year-old among the best goalkeepers on the planet. The Slovenian hasn’t put a foot wrong since arriving at Inter in 2012, but five years later he still doesn’t have a trophy to show for it. Can you be the man to change his fortunes?
If you wait a season, you can pick Handanovic up for £32 million, which is a decent price but you could be brave and wait it out to get him for a cut-down price or for free when his contract ends at the end of 2019. His £80,000 wages are affordable, so it would be a superb deal if you got him to sign with his 87 GK diving, 87 GK positioning and 86 GK reflexes.
David Silva (OVR 87 – POT 87)
Positions: CAM, CM, LM
Club: Manchester City
Work rate: High/Low
Best stats: 92 agility, 92 composure, 92 vision
Current price: £71.6 million (release clause)
July 2018 price: £54 million
David Silva is perhaps the prime architect in the Premier League, but it won’t be long before he is looking over his shoulder at Manchester City. With namesake Bernardo Silva (OVR 84), Ilkay Gundogan (OVR 85) and Oleksandr Zinchenko (OVR 72) waiting in the wings and more talented players out on loan, David Silva could be out the picture by next season.
The 31-year-old attacking, central or left midfielder has a large £71.6 million release clause meaning you will need to patient to sign him. Give it 12 months and you can get the Spanish international for around £54 million, and in January 2019 you can sign him for free upon the completion of his contract. His £194,000 wages are astronomical, and that may price you out of a move for the 87-rated midfielder with 92 agility, 92 composure and 92 vision.
Marco Reus (OVR 86 – POT 86)
Positions: LM, ST, LW
Club: Borussia Dortmund
Work rate: Medium/Medium
Best stats: 90 sprint speed, 90 curve, 88 long shots
Current price: £67.3 million (release clause)
July 2018 price: £57 million
One of the most exciting to players to watch in Europe, but Borussia Dortmund star man Marco Reus has been hampered by injuries for over two seasons now. The German has said there are ‘four or five international clubs’ that interest him, so don’t be shocked if the BVB talisman moves on at the end of his contract in 2019.
That could be your club, and with wages of £106,000 you could do a lot worse with that money than bring in the 86-rated Reus. The 28-year-old has 90 rated sprint speed, 90 curve and 88 long shots on FIFA 18, and if you are desperate to sign him, he could be yours for just over £67 million.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos (OVR 86 – POT 86)
Club: Borussia Dortmund
Work rate: Medium/High
Best stats: 91 aggression, 90 standing tackle, 88 marking
Current price: £51.6 million (release clause)
July 2018 price: £35 million
One of the most revered defenders in Europe, Dortmund’s Sokratis doesn’t let attackers settle. A stalwart of the Bundesliga ever since arriving at Werder Bremen in 2011, the Greek international made the £8.5 million move to Westfalenstadion in 2013.
It is more than likely that the powers that be at Borussia Dortmund will give him a fresh deal before his contract expires, but if you are lucky on Career Mode, you may be able to sign the 29-year-old for free at the end of the second season. You have an option to grab him for his current £51.6 million release clause, alternatively you could snap him up for £35 million in July 2018. With 91 aggression, 90 standing tackle and 88 marking making up his 86 overall rating, Sokratis may just be the perfect defensive signing on Career Mode. His £97,000 a week wages should be your only concern.
Cesc Fabregas (OVR 86 – POT 86)
Positions: CM, CDM, CAM
Work rate: High/Medium
Best stats: 91 short passing, 91 vision, 90 long passing
Current price: £66.7 million (release clause)
July 2018 price: £42 million
Out of favour at the start of last season, Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas has showed his class and forced himself back into Antonio Conte’s plans. The mercurial 30-year-old could still leave at the end of the season due to his lack of defensive work, and he can be the perfect playmaker for your side on Career Mode.
If you wait until the end of the season you could sign the World Cup winner for around £42 million, but if you take the risk and hold off for a further six months, you can grab the former Barca and Arsenal man for free when his contract expires. The central, defensive or attacking midfielder has 91 short passing, 91 vision and 90 long passing, but his £185,000 weekly wages may turn you away.
Diego Costa (OVR 86 – POT 86)
Work rate: High/Medium
Best stats: 93 aggression, 91 strength, 88 finishing
Current price: £74.9 million (release clause)
July 2018 price: £55 million
We’ve added Diego Costa to our list, but this will change in January (in real life) when the forward joins Atletico Madrid. Currently his Chelsea contract runs out in June 2019, meaning he his able to be snapped up on a contract expiry deal in January 2019. With 115 goals in five seasons, the 28-year-old would be an insane signing on Career Mode.
Costa’s 86 rating is made up of an unsurprising 93 aggression, 91 strength and 88 finishing, making him one of the most unpredictable forwards in world football. £74.9 million is too steep for the raging Costa, so you should look to snap him on a contract expiry deal in January 2019. It’s the only way you can compensate his £207,000 a week wages.
Other player contracts expiring in 2019
|Petr Cech||35||GK||Arsenal||Czech Rep.||86||86|
|Angel di Maria||29||RW LW||PSG||Argentina||85||85|
|Filipe Luis||31||LB||Atletico Madrid||Brazil||85||85|
|Vincent Kompany||31||CB||Man City||Belgium||85||85|
|Timo Horn||24||GK||FC Koln||Germany||84||90|
|Koke||25||CM RM LM||Atletico Madrid||Spain||84||88|
|Roman Burki||26||GK||B. Dortmund||Switzerland||84||86|
|Sami Khedira||30||CM CDM||Juventus||Germany||84||84|
|Giacomo Bonaventura||27||CM LW||AC Milan||Italy||83||83|
|Javier Pastore||28||CM LW RW||PSG||Argentina||83||83|
|Daniele De Rossi||33||CDM||Roma||Italy||83||83|
|Nani||30||LW RW CAM LM||Lazio*||Portugal||83||83|
|Moussa Dembele||29||CM CDM||Tottenham||Belgium||83||83|
|Sebastian Giovinco||30||CF ST||Toronto||Italy||83||83|
|Lukasz Piszczek||32||RB CB||B. Dortmund||Poland||83||83|
|Javier Mascherano||33||CB CDM||Barcelona||Argentina||83||83|
|Anthony Martial||21||LM ST||Man United||France||82||90|
|Gerard Deulofeu||23||LW RW||Barcelona||Spain||82||89|
|Lucas Moura||24||RW LW||PSG||Brazil||82||85|
|Sergi Roberto||24||RB CDM CM||Barcelona||Spain||81||86|
|Julian Brandt||21||LM RM CAM||B. Leverkusen||Germany||80||88|
|Ricardo Pereira||23||RB LB RM||Porto||Portugal||80||86|
|Emre Can||23||CM CDM||Liverpool||Germany||80||84|
|Thorgan Hazard||24||CF LM RM||‘ Gladbach||Belgium||80||84|
*Denotes players on loan
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