Transfer fees climb year-on-year, so picking up a player for free is a complete luxury.
Usually, one big contract expiry deal goes through each summer - think Aaron Ramsey to Juventus or Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Manchester United, so can you strike a deal on FIFA 20's Career Mode.
Here are the best available at the end of the first season on the game.
Which players are available as contract expiry singings?
You can approach any player that is 24 or over and has six
months left on their contract for a pre-contract agreement.
What distinguishes a contract expiry signing from a free agent?
A contract expiry signing is still contracted to their current club and can be signed six months in advance to their contract expiry date. A free agent has no current club and is available to sign immediately.
Why bother with contract expiry signings?
Signing players on a pre-contract agreement is a massive
advantage to your club. The signing involves no transfer fee, meaning your only
financial expense is the player’s wage.
When should you approach a prospect signing?
January 1st will give you the best chance of landing the player. You can sign players at any point during the final six months of their contract, but it’s best to act early to avoid other clubs swooping in.
When will the player join my club?
The player will join you once they have run down their
contract at their previous club, meaning you can utilise your new player as of
How to make a contract expiry signing
Here's the key process to snapping one of these stars up on a free.
Step 1: Wait until the January transfer window
free to simulate your season up to January if you’re desperate to sign a free
player, but it’s probably safer to play the first half of your season to avoid
any calamitous results.
Step 2: Find the player in the search players function under the transfers tab
won’t be able to search for players by date of contract expiration, so you will
need to know which players are approaching their contract end (check out our
Step 3: Add the player to your shortlist
to add players to your shortlist before you can approach them. Once they are
added to your shortlist you can find the player in your transfer hub.
Step 4: Find the player in your Transfer Hub and click ‘Approach to sign’
on your desired player in the transfer hub to open their drop-down menu, then
click ‘approach to sign’ to enter pre-contract negotiations.
Step 5: Negotiate a deal
It takes a bit of care and skill to sign a player.
Be sure not to anger the agent or player, and if you really want your man it’s best to agree to what the agent is demanding (you may have a bit of extra cash anyway since there’s no transfer fee).
Step 6: Finish the rest of your season
you’ve successfully concluded negotiations, you will have to wait until the
next season for your new signing (July 1st).
Step 7: Get him on the pitch
Once the new season starts, you’ll have to advance one day before you receive an email informing you that your pre-contract signing has arrived at the club.
All there is to do now is get him in the team and start winning some trophies.
Top 10 contract expiry signings on FIFA 20 Career Mode
Now you know how to sign players on a pre-contract agreement, let’s see who’s available in January 2020 of FIFA 20’s Career Mode.
All the following players are 24 or over and have an overall rating of 81 or above. For more contract expires, scroll down to the table at the bottom of the page.
A full table of contract expiry signings rated 81 or higher can be found at the bottom of this page.
Luka Modric (OVR 89 - POT 89)
Position(s) : CM
Club: Real Madrid
Wage: £288,000 a week
The 2018 Ballon d'Or winner can find himself lucky to be at the top of this list, with Luka Modric failing to maintain the level that saw him take Croatia to the World Cup final.
He still holds an 89 rating on FIFA 20, with stats of 93 balance, 92 short passing and 92 ball control still making him one of the best midfielders on the game.
Giorgio Chiellini (OVR 88 – POT 88)
Position(s) : CB
Club: Piemonte Calcio (Juventus)
Wage: £180,000 a week
The Italian veteran may be 35 years old, but he comes in to FIFA 20 with an amazing 89 overall rating. Having been at the Old Lady since 2005, the seasoned centre back has won a staggering eight league trophies, four Italian Cups and four Italian Super Cups.
READ MORE: Best young left backs on FIFA 20 Career Mode
His wage may be hefty, especially for a 35-year-old, but his defensive stats are among the best in the game; with the opportunity to sign him for free, he has to be considered by every career mode manager.
David Silva (OVR 88 – POT 88)
Position(s) : CAM, CM
Wage: £233,000 a week
What else can you say about David Silva. World Cup winner, two-time European champion, four-time Premier League champion and nine domestic trophies to his name. Not to mention, an all-round classy bloke.
With his 89 dribbling and 88 passing, his £233k wage bill suddenly doesn’t seem so bad (not to mention you could negotiate a lower wage). He may be 33 years old, but something tells me we’ll still be watching the spritely Spaniard for a few years to come.
Dries Mertens (OVR 87 – POT 87)
Position(s) : CF, ST
Wage: £119,000 a week
Having come painfully close to winning the Serie A title in 2017/18, in an epic battle against Juventus, Napoli have been without a trophy since 2015.
Despite his age, Mertens still has a sublime pace of 88,
with a rating of 90 dribbling. Evidently, he would be a fine addition to any
FIFA manager that favours fast attackers on the break.
Thiago Silva (OVR 87 – POT 87)
Wage: £119,000 a week
Thiago Silva has suffered a downgrade in overall rating, despite achieving a TOTS ultimate team card in FIFA 19. In addition, his 64 pace rating does not reflect the reality of the Brazilian centre back’s renowned speed.
He may be 34 years old, but Thiago Silva can be of good
service to your team for at least one season. Due to his age, it is likely you
will be able to negotiate a lower wage than his current £119k-a-week.
Edinson Cavani (OVR 86 – POT 86)
Wage: £172,000 a week
Edinson Cavani has had a career any striker would dream of. With over 336 club career goals and 46 international goals he has been a force of nature in front of the net.
The Uruguayan’s 87 finishing and 88 jumping makes him an ideal target man for any team, whether you want to start him between two pacey wingers, or bring him on in the 85th minute to smash in a winning header.
Jan Vertonghen (OVR 85 – POT 85)
Position(s): CB, LB
Wage: £117,000 a week
Another Tottenham player on this list and it seems like the North London club may be in some serious trouble soon! Nevertheless, Spurs’ imminent problem, is our advantage. Jan Vertonghen was heralded as the best centre back in the Premier League two seasons ago.
Vertonghen’s 85 overall rating can be yours for wages of £117,000 a week, come the 2020/21 season.
Alex Sandro (OVR 85 - POT 85)
Position(s): LB, LM
Club: Piemonte Calcio (Juventus)
Wage: £136,000 a week
One of the finest left backs, or left wing backs, in the world, it's a surprise to see Alex Sandro out of contract at the end of the season.
The Brazilian international has stats of 91 stamina, 85 sprint speed and 84 crossing, and aged 28 is still in his prime.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (OVR 85 - POT 85)
Club: AC Milan
Wage: £52,000 a week
Aged 37, there is a strong chance this could be Zlatan Ibrahimovic's last campaign, but never right off the big Swede.
READ MORE: Best bargains on FIFA 20 Career Mode
He still has a remarkable 85 OVR on FIFA 20, with top stats of 91 positioning, 90 shot power and 90 composure.
James Rodriguez (OVR 84 - POT 84)
Position(s): CAM, CM, RM
Club: Real Madrid
Wage: £180,000 a week
Despite shining on loan at Bayern Munich, James Rodriguez wanted to return to Real Madrid to fight for his place. Some injuries have hindered that, and it looks as if he will move away from the Bernabeu in the summer.
The Colombian still offers attributes of 92 long shots, 90 crossing and 90 volleys, with the 28-year-old an asset to any side.
Full list of players ending contracts in 2020 above 80 OVR
|L. Modrić||33||CM||Real Madrid||Croatia||89||89||£288k|
|David Silva||33||CAM CM||Man City||Spain||88||88||£234k|
|D. Mertens||32||CF ST||Napoli||Belgium||87||87||£122k|
|Alex Sandro||28||LB LM||Piemonte||Brazil||85||85||£135k|
|J. Vertonghen||32||CB LB||Spurs||Belgium||85||85||£117k|
|Z. Ibrahimović||37||ST||AC Milan||Sweden||85||85||£52k|
|J. Rodríguez||27||CAM CM RM||Real Madrid||Colombia||84||84||£180k|
|José Callejón||32||RM RW||Napoli||Spain||84||84||£86k|
|J. Henderson||29||CM CDM||Liverpool||England||84||84||£122k|
|E. Banega||31||CM CDM||Sevilla||Argentina||84||84||£28k|
|B. Matuidi||32||CDM CM||Piemonte||France||84||84||£122k|
|C. Aránguiz||30||CM CDM||Bayer Leverkusen||Chile||83||83||£77k|
|Santi Cazorla||34||CM LM CDM||Villarreal||Spain||83||83||£44k|
|Willian||30||RW LW RM||Chelsea||Brazil||82||82||£122k|
|E. Zahavi||31||ST LW||Guangzhou||Israel||81||81||£23k|
|T. Meunier||27||RB RM||PSG||Belgium||81||81||£73k|
|G. Bonaventura||29||CM||AC Milan||Italy||81||81||£47k|
|B. Gomis||33||ST||Al Hilal||France||81||81||£50k|
|J. Milner||33||CM RB LB||Liverpool||England||81||81||£90k|
|J. Mathieu||35||CB||Sporting Lisbon||France||81||81||£11k|