Sanchez, Ozil & Herrera: Premier League’s biggest contract rebels

Barkley and Sanchez aren't the only high profile names to enter the last year of their current deals.


The deadline day action, whilst uncharacteristically subdued, revolved predominantly around the futures of Alexis Sanchez and Ross Barkley, with touted moves to Manchester City and Tottenham/Chelsea, respectively.

Arsenal ultimately rejected City’s £60m offer for the Chilean as they could not find a suitable replacement in time, despite Sanchez entering the last year of his contract, whilst Barkley remained at Everton until January although he was reportedly halfway through his Chelsea medical before making a dramatic U-turn.

Unless Arsenal and Everton can convince them to renew their contracts, both players will leave either for nothing at all next summer or a cut-price sum in January with six months remaining.

Barkley and Sanchez aren’t the only two high profile names in the Premier League to enter the last year of their contracts, however.

RealSport take a look at the Premier League’s contract rebels and where they could end up come January.

  1. 1 Alexis Sanchez


    Current club: Arsenal

    Chances of renewal: 1/10

    Next club: Manchester City, Chelsea, Bayern Munich or Juventus

    There's zero chance Sanchez will renew his Arsenal contract, but it would be foolish to rule it out entirely as all players can change their minds.

    He's been visibly frustrated at the Emirates for some time now and the Gunners' dismal start to the season is unlikely to convince him his long-term future lies in north London.

    In terms of suitors, there's a queue of clubs all vying for his signature. Opting to stay in England would open the door to a move to one of Manchester City or Chelsea, whilst there's interest from Serie A and the Bundesliga too.

  2. 2 Ross Barkley


    Current club: Everton

    Chances of renewal: 1/10

    Next club: Tottenham or Chelsea

    Barkley looked certain to leave Goodison Park over the summer, with Ronald Koeman bringing in Wayne Rooney, Gylfi Sigurdsson, and Davy Klaassen to prepare for this inevitability, but a deadline day U-turn saw him return to Everton until at least January.

    However, like Sanchez, bridges seem to be burnt and its highly unlikely Barkley will renew his deal.

    The 23-year-old rejected Chelsea and seems set on a move to Tottenham to play for Mauricio Pochettino who are keen to reignite their interest in him once he recovers from injury in the new year.

  3. 3 Mesut Ozil


    Current club: Arsenal

    Chances of renewal: 5/10

    Next club: Barcelona, Fenerbahçe or Borussia Dortmund

    The chances of Mesut Ozil signing a new deal at the Emirates are 50/50 at the moment.

    Unlike Sanchez, there isn't a great deal of interest in the German at present, which limits his options somewhat and could force him to put pen to paper with Arsenal once more.

    However, if he were to agitate for a move, the situation would likely change.

    The German is still a world class playmaker, despite some poor performances in an Arsenal shirt, and would fit into most teams across Europe.

    Ozil could opt for a return to Germany, the comforts of Turkey or hope Barcelona reignite their fleeting interest in him. There would also be several English clubs interested, but his wages could prove a stumbling block after a disappointing season in 2016/17.

  4. 4 Emre Can


    Current club: Liverpool

    Chances of renewal: 3/10

    Next club: Juventus, Manchester United or Chelsea

    Signed with a great deal of potential back in 2014, Emre Can is finally producing what was expected from him and he's seen his influence subsequently grow in the Liverpool midfield.

    However, he's yet to put pen to paper on a new deal amid Jurgen Klopp's rotation in midfield and it's looking increasingly likely he's set to leave Anfield with reports circulating that he's made a verbal pre-contract agreement with Juventus.

    Manchester United and Chelsea are reportedly keen on the German should he remain in the Premier League.

    With several impressive options all interested, Can could decide that it's time to the next step in his career.

  5. 5 Ander Herrera


    Current club: Manchester United

    Chances of renewal: 9/10

    Next club: Barcelona

    Whilst Ander Herrera enters the last year of his Old Trafford deal, the chances of him leaving the club are slim to none. If there's a new deal on the table, Herrera will sign.

    Its overtly clear how much he enjoys playing for Manchester United and, despite temporarily losing his starting XI spot to new signing Nemanja Matic, Herrera remains a fan-favourite and one of Jose Mourinho's most trusted players.

    He'll have a crucial role to play in United's prospective title challenge, and he's expected to renew his deal in the immediate future once an offer has been made.

  6. 6 Luke Shaw


    Current club: Manchester United

    Chances of renewal: 3/10

    Next club: Tottenham or Southampton

    Luke Shaw has failed to convince Jose Mourinho of his value to Manchester United, often the subject of his criticism, and, as a result, could be moved on, though the Red Devils have the option to extend it by a year, potentially to protect his market value.

    Even if he is offered a new deal, Shaw might feel his stagnating career is in need of a fresh start, hence prompting his departure.

    This could be the catalyst United needed to begin the process of attracting Danny Rose to Old Trafford, a player Mourinho admires, as Shaw would replace his compatriot in Pochettino's side.

    The 23-year-old played his best football at former club Southampton, though, and could feel a return to his roots is the tonic his ailing career craves.

  7. 7 Juan Mata


    Current club: Manchester United

    Chances of renewal: 9/10

    Next club: N/A

    The third Manchester United player to enter the final year of his deal, but arguably the most important of the lot.

    It didn't get off to the best of starts when Juan Mata reunited with Mourinho, coming on then off again as a sub during the 2016 Community Shield, but the Spaniard has seen his stock rise considerably under his former boss, even though the Portuguese sold Mata to United from Chelsea back in 2014.

    The Spaniard has started three out of three Premier League games this season and has blossomed into one of the most important players in the squad, providing a near irreplaceable creative influence.

    There are no rumours linking Mata elsewhere and if offered a new deal, which is highly likely, Mata will sign.

  8. 8 Daley Blind


    Current club: Manchester United

    Chances of renewal: 5/10

    Next club: Ajax or Roma

    The last of the United final year 'rebels' and the last major name in the Premier League to become a potential free agent by next summer.

    Like Shaw, Daley Blind hasn't endeared himself to Mourinho as much as others, but the manager has often found a role for Blind in the squad and he offers use to the club.

    The club may look to trigger an extension before selling him as to protect his market value, but it's expected Blind won't be a United player for much longer with interest coming from former club Ajax and Serie A teams.

  1. POLL: Who's the contract rebel you'd most like to sign?

    1. Alexis Sanchez
    2. Mesut Ozil
    3. Ross Barkley
    4. Ander Herrera
    5. Juan Mata
    6. Daley Blind
    7. Luke Shaw
    8. Emre Can
    166 votes
    Share Your Result

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Oli Stein

Oli graduated from the University of Bristol with a degree in History and has worked with RealSport since September 2016.

Currently assistant football editor and Tottenham correspondent.

Follow him on Twitter: @steinoliver_

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