With the current state of transfer fees, you may struggle to bring in the world’s best whichever club you manage on Football Manager 2018. The best way around this may be to sign players on a contract expiry deal. These are players who are in the final six months of their contract, and you can negotiate a pre-contract agreement to sign them for free when their contract expires. No transfer fee, you just need to agree wages and personal terms.
RealSport looks at the best players on FM 18 who you can sign on contract expiry signings in 2020, which is after the third season on the game.
Eden Hazard (CA 179 – PA 185)
Positions: AM (LRC)
Best attributes: 20 dribbling, 20 agility, 19 penalty taking
Value: £70 million
Wage: £223,000 a week
Among the most exciting players to watch in the Premier League, Eden Hazard has netted 87 goals since arriving at Chelsea in 2012. The Belgium star has won two Premier League titles, a League Cup and a Europa League since arriving in West London, adding to his Ligue 1 and Coupe de France successes with Lille.
The 26-year-old left winger offers stats of 20 dribbling, 20 agility and 19 penalty taking on FM, which give him a 179 CA. This can still rise to a 185 potential, for which you will need wages of £223,000 a week.
Sergio Aguero (CA 178 – PA 183)
Positions: ST, AM (C)
Club: Manchester City
Best attributes: 19 balance, 18 acceleration, 18 agility
Value: £75 million
Wage: £160,000 a week
Sergio Aguero has been arguably the best striker in the Premier League ever since he swapped Atletico Madrid for Manchester City. In less than seven seasons, the Argentine has found the net an impressive 199 times and won the Premier League on two occasions. With Gabriel Jesus (CA 152 – PA 160-190) breathing down his neck at The Etihad, an exit could soon be on the cards for Aguero.
Aguero, 29, has a 178 current ability rating, which could still improve to a 183 potential. His attributes of 19 balance, 18 acceleration and 18 agility will cost you £160,000 a week in wages.
Luka Modric (CA 178 – PA 180)
Positions: M (C), AM (C)
Club: Real Madrid
Best attributes: 19 passing, 19 first touch, 18 creativity
Value: £44 million
Wage: £254,000 a week
Luka Modric at Tottenham was good, but he is now a complete player at Real Madrid. The central or attacking midfielder has everything to his game, and he's a vital cog in Zinedine Zidane’s side at the Bernabeu. The 31-year-old Modric has won three Champions Leagues in Madrid, along with a La Liga, a Copa del Rey and three Club World Cups.
Modric has a 178 CA on the game, which is just two off his 180 potential. Stats of 19 passing, 19 first touch and 18 creativity will set you back £254,000 a week in wages.
Sergio Ramos (CA 174 – PA 174)
Positions: D (C)
Club: Real Madrid
Best attributes: 20 heading, 20 determination, 20 important matches
Value: £49 million
Wage: £319,000 a week
Staying at Real Madrid, we have their captain Sergio Ramos. The 31-year-old centre back has been the defensive rock at the Bernabeu for over a decade, winning four La Liga titles, three Champions Leagues as well as two European Championships with Spain and a World Cup.
20 heading, 20 determination and 20 important matches give Ramos a 174 CA, which also matches his potential. The Spaniard currently has hefty wages of £319,000 a week, but this would likely come down when his contract expires.
Radja Nainggolan (CA 170 – PA 170)
Positions: M (C), DM, AM (C)
Best attributes: 19 tackling, 19 aggression, 19 bravery
Value: £33 million
Wage: £102,000 a week
One of football’s true hardmen, Radja Nainggolan must be one of the toughest opponents to come up against. The 29-year-old Belgian can tackle, pass, shoot from distance and is as strong as an ox. Numerous clubs have tried to snatch him from Roma’s grasp, but Nainggolan doesn’t look to be going anywhere soon.
Central, defensive or attacking midfielder Nainggolan has a 170 current ability score, which is the same as his potential. Attributes of 19 tackling, 19 aggression and 19 bravery will cost £102,000 a week at the end of his contract.
Alex Sandro (CA 168 – PA 172)
Positions: D (L), WB (L), M (L)
Best attributes: 18 composure, 17 off the ball, 17 temperament
Value: £37 million
Wage: £89,000 a week
Subject to recent interest from Chelsea and Manchester United, Alex Sandro is one of the best left backs in the world. The 26-year-old has been a permanent fixture for Juventus for the past three seasons, but he still faces a battle to get into Brazil’s World Cup squad, facing competition from Real Madrid’s Marcelo (CA 166 – PA 166) and Filipe Luis (CA 156 – PA 160) of Atletico Madrid.
Sandro, who can also operate at wing back or left midfield, has a 168 CA and 172 PA. Stats of 18 composure, 17 off the ball and 17 temperament will set you back upwards of £89,000 a week in wages.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (CA 168 – PA 168)
Positions: ST, M (R), AM (R)
Best attributes: 20 pace, 20 acceleration, 18 consistency
Value: £69 million
Wage: £120,000 a week
He may have just joined Arsenal, but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is still at Borussia Dortmund on Football Manager 2018. The Gabon striker or right winger scored 141 goals over four and a half seasons in Germany, but lifted just one major trophy, the German Cup last season.
The 28-year-old Aubameyang has stats of 20 pace, 20 acceleration and 18 consistency on the game, giving him a CA of 168, matching his potential. For that you will need wages of £120,000 a week in 2020.
Marek Hamsik (CA 167 – PA 170)
Positions: M (C), AM (C)
Best attributes: 20 loyalty, 18 professionalism, 18 off the ball
Value: £37 million
Wage: £111,000 a week
Considering he is a midfielder and only 29, it’s amazing that Marek Hamsik is now Napoli’s highest ever goal score. The Slovakian eclipsed Diego Maradona’s return for the club this season, with 119 goals for the club and counting.
Central or attacking midfielder Hamsik has a 167 CA, which could still reach his 170 potential. 20 loyalty, 18 professionalism and 18 off the ball mean he is unlikely to leave Napoli, but you never know, you could snap him up for free in 2020 for wages of £111,000 a week.
Andres Iniesta (CA 166 – PA 183)
Positions: M (CL), AM (LC)
Best attributes: 20 first touch, 20 technique, 20 loyalty
Value: £23 million
Wage: £276,000 a week
Andres Iniesta may be coming towards the end of his career, but what a career it's been. The 33-year-old central, left or attacking midfielder has won eight La Liga titles, five Copa del Reys and four Champions Leagues with Barcelona, adding to the two European Championship and World Cup victories with Spain.
Iniesta is unlikely to sign a new contract before 2020, and his 166 CA would have fallen off a lot more from his 183 potential, but he would certainly add some experience to your club. His current best stats are 20 first touch, 20 technique and 20 loyalty, and you would expect his £276,000 a week wages to have come down in three seasons’ time.
James Rodriguez (CA 166 – PA 172)
Positions: AM (CRL), M (RLC)
Club: Bayern (on loan from Real Madrid)
Best attributes: 19 first touch, 19 creativity, 18 crossing
Value: £60 million
Wage: £190,000 a week
With James Rodriguez on loan at Bayern Munich from Real Madrid for three seasons, you would expect the 26-year-old Colombian to be looking for a new club in 2020. Bayern do have an option to buy, but if they stall on a move you could pinch the attacking midfielder.
Rodriguez has stats of 19 first touch, 19 creativity and 18 crossing on the game, which give him a CA of 166. This can improve to a 172 potential, with his current wages £190,000 a week.
More 2020 contract expiry signings
|Dries Mertens||30||ST AM (RL)||Napoli||Belgium||165/ 167||£34m||£111k|
|Toby Alderweireld||28||D (CR)||Tottenham||Belgium||165/ 166||£51m||£80k|
|Edinson Cavani||30||ST||PSG||Uruguay||164/ 174||£51m||£226k|
|Thiago Silva||32||D (C)||PSG||Brazil||163/ 174||£22m||£226k|
|Claudio Marchisio||31||DM M (C)||Juventus||Italy||163/ 172||£25m||£111k|
|Keylor Navas||30||GK||Real Madrid||Costa Rica||162/ 167||£44m||£70k|
|Mario Mandzukic||31||ST AM (L)||Juventus||Croatia||161/ 166||£28m||£111k|
|Roberto Firmino||25||ST AM (RLC)||Liverpool||Brazil||161/ 165||£100k||£100k|
|Willian||28||AM (RLC) M (RLC)||Chelsea||Brazil||161/ 162||£42m||£120k|
|Jose Callejon||30||AM (RL) ST||Napoli||Spain||161/ 161||£32m||£95k|
|Cesar Azpilicueta||27||D (RLC) WB (RL)||Chelsea||Spain||160/ 165||£44m||£90k|
|Henrikh Mkhitaryan||28||AM (CRL) M (RL)||Man United||Armenia||160/ 165||£48m||£180k|
|Laurent Koscielny||31||D (C)||Arsenal||France||160/ 165||£30m||£90k|
|Radamel Falcao||31||ST||Monaco||Colombia||159/ 176||£36m||£123k|
|Jordi Alba||28||D (L) WB (L) M (L) AM (L)||Barcelona||Spain||159/ 165||£41m||£147k|
|Juan Cuadrado||29||AM (R) WB (R) M (R)||Juventus||Colombia||159/ 165||£33m||£95k|
|Jordi Alba||29||D (L) WB (L) M (L) AM (L)||Barcelona||Spain||159/ 165||£41m||£147k|
|Christian Eriksen||25||AM (CL) M (LC)||Tottenham||Denmark||159/ 162||£54m||£75k|
|Adam Lallana||29||AM (CRL) M (RLC)||Liverpool||England||159/ 162||£50m||£110k|
|Edin Dzeko||31||ST||Roma||Bosnia||158/ 166||£24m||£143k|
|Mario Gotze||25||AM (CRL) M (RLC) ST||Dortmund||Germany||157/ 165||£43m||£137k|
|Lucas Biglia||31||DM M (C)||AC Milan||Argentina||156/ 161||£20m||£111k|
|Heung-Min Son||25||AM (LR) M (L) ST||Tottenham||South Korea||156/ 159||£42m||£85k|
|Blaise Matuidi||30||M (C) DM||Juventus||France||156/ 158||£25m||£111k|
|Hulk||30||AM (RL)||Shanggang||Brazil||155/ 161||£33m||£178k|
|Kiko Casilla||30||GK||Real Madrid||Spain||155/ 160||£25m||£72k|
|Jordan Henderson||27||DM M (C)||Liverpool||England||155/ 158||£35m||£105k|
|Bruno||33||DM M (C)||Villarreal||Spain||155/ 155||£10m||£45k|
Who have you signed on FM? Let us know in the comments section below.
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