FM 18: Best Contract Expiry signings

The best things in life are free. Here are ALL the big names you can snap up on contract expiry deals in FM 18.


If you have tight transfer budget, pre-contract expiry signings can be your solution. These are signings made completely free, with a player joining your club once their contract ends. These stars must be in the last six months of their contracts to approach them on such a deal, so you may miss out on some of them if they sign fresh contracts with their current clubs.

For a full list of all contract expiry signings, visit the table at the bottom of this page.

Gianluigi Buffon (CA 177 – PA 194)

Age: 39

Positions: GK

Club: Juventus

Country: Italy

Best attributes: 20 determination, 20 influence, 20 command of area

Value: £3.5 million

Wage: £143,000 a week

Recently voted the best goalkeeper in the world, it’s incredible that Gianluigi Buffon is maintaining his level at the age of 39. The Juventus man looks set to retire at the end of the season, having won near enough everything but the Champions League in his career.

The World Cup winner can be snapped on a contract expiry deal in Football Manager 2018, giving you one last hurrah with the Italian icon. Buffon has 20 determination, 20 influence and 20 command of his area which contribute to his 177 current ability score. Despite getting him for free, you must try to get his hefty £143,000 a week wages reduced.

Alexis Sanchez (CA 175 – PA 182)

Age: 28

Positions: AM (LRC), ST

Club: Arsenal

Country: Chile

Best attributes: 18 flair, 17 bravery, 17 dribbling

Value: £70 million

Wage: £140,000 a week

A contract expiry deal that could very much occur this coming January is Alexis Sanchez to Manchester City. It remains to be seen whether Arsenal will look to cash in on star man with six months to run on his contract or keep him for one last push towards the Champions League places.

The talismanic Sanchez has wages of £140,000 a week with the 28-year-old winger, attacking midfielder or striker holding a 175 current ability rating. He may even have some growth in him with the 28-year-old’s potential 182, so keep an eye on his stats of 18 flair, 17 bravery and 17 dribbling.  

Arjen Robben (CA 169 – PA 180)

Age: 33

Positions: M (RL), AM (RL)

Club: Bayern Munich

Country: Holland

Best attributes: 20 dribbling, 18 professionalism, 17 flair, 

Value: £23 million

Wage: £120,000 a week

After announcing his retirement from the Dutch international team, time is now ticking down on Arjen Robben’s club career. The 33-year-old still seems happy at Bayern Munich, but a move back to Holland could be tempting for the winger. 

The former Chelsea and Real Madrid man has 20 dribbling, 18 professionalism and 17 flair on the game, helping out his 168 CA score. His weekly wages of £120,000 should come down if you make an approach for the veteran.

Giorgio Chiellini (CA 167 – PA 167)

Age: 32

Positions: D (CL)

Club: Juventus

Country: Italy

Best attributes: 20 bravery, 19 tackling, 18 strength

Value: £14 million

Wage: £111,000 a week

Giorgio Chiellini gives his all for his Juventus team, but with defensive partner Leonardo Bonucci leaving for AC Milan last summer, perhaps Chiellini could also be tempted by a move. The 32-year-old has been at Juve for 13 years, so it’s now or never for a final move in his career.

The centre back will set you back £111,000 a week in wages, giving you his 20 bravery, 19 tackling and 18 strength. Those stats help out his 167 current ability rating, making him a fantastic acquisition to your defence even at his age. 

Andrea Barzagli (CA 162 – PA 167)

Age: 36

Positions: D (CR)

Club: Juventus

Country: Italy

Best attributes: 20 marking, 18 decisions, 18 determination

Value: £2.5 million

Wage: £95,000 a week

With Andrea Barzagli 36, it is likely that Giorgio Chiellini could be the last man left of the Buffon-Barzagli-Bonucci-Chiellini Juventus and Italy wall of the past five years. Centre back Barzagli has been as important man as any in that defensive machine, and he will be sorely missed once he leaves the Allianz Stadium. 

20 marking, 18 decisions and 18 determination are outstanding stats, but can you be prepared to pay as much as £95,000 a week to get hold of the ageing Barzagli? Despite his 162 current ability rating, it may just be one season too far for the Italian international.

Juan Mata (CA 162 – PA 174)

Age: 29

Positions: AM (CR)

Club: Manchester United

Country: Spain

Best attributes: 19 technique, 19 first touch, 18 off the ball

Value: £42 million

Wage: £160,000 a week

An expiring contract that has gone under the radar is Manchester United’s Juan Mata. Given the Spaniard’s history with manager Jose Mourinho it’s no wonder why he hasn’t been given a new deal, with former Chelsea man Mata not quite doing enough since moving to Old Trafford.

A return to Spain could be on the cards, but it’s a fantastic opportunity for you to snap up attacking midfielder or right winger Mata on FM 18. His 162 current ability rating will cost you £160,000 a week, giving you his 19 technique, 19 first touch and 18 off the ball. 

Mesut Ozil (CA 162 – PA 174)

Age: 28

Positions: AM (CRL)

Club: Arsenal

Country: Germany

Best attributes: 19 creativity, 19 flair, 19 off the ball

Value: £58 million

Wage: £140,000 a week

Joining Alexis Sanchez in the Arsenal pre-contract signing boat is Mesut Ozil. The rumours suggest that Ozil will join up with Jose Mourinho at Manchester United next summer, after working with the manager at Real Madrid. He would be a like-for-like replacement for Juan Mata, but would it be much of an improvement?

The 28-year-old has a 162 CA rating and a potential to hit 174, so there may be an ounce of growth left in World Cup winner Ozil. £140,000 a week wages are steep, but they may just be worth it for the German’s 19 creativity, 19 flair and 19 off the ball. 

Franck Ribery (CA 158 – PA 178)

Age: 35

Positions: M (L), AM (LC)

Club: Bayern Munich

Country: France

Best attributes: 19 flair, 19 consistency, 18 first touch

Value: £9.5 million

Wage: £205,000 a week

Another injury setback may mean we may never see Franck Ribery in a Bayern Munich shirt again, with the 35-year-old’s contract up in the summer. The left midfielder, winger or attacking midfielder has struggled for regular starts due to form and fitness for the past two seasons, with Kingsley Coman putting his place in the side under serious threat. 

Former France international Ribery has large wages of over £200,000 a week, so you will need to negotiate a reduction with his team. 19 flair, 19 consistency and 18 first touch provide the former Marseille man with a 158 CA.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (CA 158 – PA 185)

Age: 34

Positions: ST

Club: Manchester United

Country: Sweden

Best attributes: 20 balance, 19 flair, 19 ambition

Value: £5.2 million

Wage: £125,000 a week

It looked likely that Zlatan Ibrahimovic was heading for the US over the summer, but the big striker U-turned to sign a fresh one-year deal with Manchester United. With a Europa League and EFL Cup win now behind him can Zlatan inspire his team to go for the Premier League title. With the Swede out injured and Manchester City 11 games unbeaten, this task may just be too big, even for Ibrahimovic.

Ibra’s £125,000 a week wages should come down a touch, with the 34-year-old’s rating now 158 on FM. 20 balance, 19 flair and 19 ambition can be yours, but can you deliver the legend one final trophy in his career? 

Santi Cazorla (CA 155 – PA 165)

Age: 32

Positions: M (C), AM (RLC)

Club: Arsenal

Country: Spain

Best attributes: 18 technique, 17 creativity, 17 first touch

Value: £20 million

Wage: £100,000 a week

A severe ankle injury led to a serious infection for Santi Cazorla, but it’s great to hear that the Arsenal man should be returning to the field in the new year. The 32-year-old’s creativity would be an asset to any side, and that can be for your team on FM 18 with no need for a transfer fee. 

18 technique, 17 creativity and 17 first touch help Spanish international Cazorla to a 155 CA score, which can be yours for wages of £100,000 a week. 

More contract expiry signings

PlayerAPosClubCountryCA/
 PA
VW
Fernandinho30DM
M (C)
Man CityBrazil153/
160
£21m£100k
Stefan de Vrij25D (C)LazioHolland153/
163
£17m£41k
Ander Herrera27M (C)
DM
Man UnitedSpain152/
160
£33m£115k
Miranda32D (C)Inter MilanBrazil152/
161
£7m£95k
Juanfran32D (R)
WB (R)
Atletico MadridSpain152/
143
£7m£89k
Ezequiel Lavezzi22AM (LRC)
ST
Hebei HuaxiaArgentina152/
165
£21m£427k
Emre Can23DM
M (C)
LiverpoolGermany152/
163
£26m£45
Leon Goretzka22M (C)
DM
AM (C)
SchalkeGermany151/
173
£20m£31k
Gabi34M (C)
DM
Atletico MadridSpain151/
159
£3m£65k
Iker Casillas36GKPortoSpain151/
188
£2m£111k
Andre Gignac31STTigresFrance151/
153
£7m£68k
Aritz Aduriz36STAthletic BilbaoSpain151/
155
£1m£27k
Xavi37M (C)Al-SaddSpain150/
184
£1m£171k
Carlos Vela28AM (RLC)
ST
Real SociedadMexico149/
160
£16m£38k
Agustin Marchesin29GKAmericaArgentina149/
152
£5m£19k
Carlos Bacca30STAC Milan*Colombia148/
160
£16m£105k
Yohan Cabaye31M (C)
DM
AM (C)
Crystal PalaceFrance148/
160
£17m£86k
Miguel Angel Moya33GKAtletico MadridSpain148/
153
£5m£27k
Daniel Carrico28D (C)
DM
SevillaPortugal147/
153
£10m£22k
Jack Wilshere25M (C)
AM (CRL)
ArsenalEngland147/
157
£22m£90k
Ross Barkley23M (C)
AM (C)
EvertonEngland147/
159
£22m£48k
Domenico Criscito30D (LC)
WB (L)
ZenitItaly147/
153
£8m£38k
Thiago Motta34DMPSGItaly147/
163
£2m£164k
Geoffrey Kondogbia24M (C)
DM
Inter Milan*France147/
162
£15m£111k

A = Age

V = Value

W = Wage

*denotes parent club

Let us know who you have signed in the comments section below.

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Alastair Pusinelli

I am RealSport's Editor-in-Chief having covered almost everything across the board on the platform. Starting with content on football and the Chinese Super League, I have expanded into esports and gaming, via a stint as rugby editor.

With RS now focused on gaming and working alongside Gfinity, I led the site's coverage on the football titles of FIFA, Football Manager and PES. This has enabled me to cover official esports events such as the FIFA eWorld Cup, FUT Champions Cups and the Gfinity FIFA Series.

Elsewhere, I have been published in The Sunday Times and Variety magazine, as well as working in the offices of Brighton & Hove Albion FC and Hampshire CCC.

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