Marcelo and Mata among free agents still waiting on next moves

By Sports Desk August 30, 2022

Another transfer window has seen another huge outlay on fees, but not all great signings have to come at such a cost.

Paulo Dybala, Paul Pogba, Angel Di Maria, Antonio Rudiger and Boubacar Kamara have already moved as free agents in this window.

With just a couple of days to go before the deadline, there remain some notable names looking for clubs.

Let's take a look...

Marcelo (34 years old – last club: Real Madrid)

It is not often the Champions League-winning captain of the previous campaign is without a club at the start of the new season, but that has been the case for Marcelo.

Admittedly, the left-back – a five-time European champion – was firmly behind Ferland Mendy in the pecking order last term, starting only seven games in all competitions.

However, Marcelo said upon leaving Madrid: "I won't retire, not now. I feel I can still play. Facing Real Madrid won't be a problem. I'm a big Madridista, but I'm also a big professional."

Juan Mata (34 – last club: Manchester United)

Mata is another hugely experienced and hugely talented player who has not yet clinched what may be the final move of a fine career.

The Spaniard spent eight and a half years at United but only once did he start over 30 league games for the club in a single season. He appeared in United's Premier League starting XI on only 16 occasions across the past three campaigns combined.

Still, a switch from United to bitter rivals Leeds United would have been a controversial one, and reports of the Elland Road outfit's interest in Mata were reportedly swiftly dismissed by sources, leaving him still without a club.

Djibril Sidibe (30 – last club: Monaco)

Sidibe's stock was really quite high after winning Ligue 1 with Monaco in 2017, and he added a World Cup medal with France 12 months later.

However, the right-back did not follow team-mates like Kylian Mbappe, Bernardo Silva and Fabinho in quitting Monaco, instead sticking around to see interest in his signature wane.

An uninspiring loan spell with Everton did little to boost Sidibe's profile, but he is still a good age as he looks for another club.

Ross Barkley (28 – last club: Chelsea)

Barkley still had a contract with Chelsea heading into the final week of the window, but the Blues agreed to cut short a hugely disappointing four-and-a-half-year stint at Stamford Bridge.

Having secured an exit from Everton, the midfielder never recreated his Goodison Park form on the big stage, with a loan move to Aston Villa starting brightly before quickly fading.

Barkley was a key man for England as recently as 2019, though, and there will surely be a club willing to take the risk, with Rangers heavily linked.

Florian Grillitsch (27 – last club: Hoffenheim)

Perhaps the pick of the remaining free agents, Grillitsch is on the market because he chose to be, for Hoffenheim would have been very keen to keep a player of his talents.

Yet the midfielder is still waiting on his next club, revealing to Kicker he had changed his agent amid suggestions of unrealistic financial demands.

"Certain things have been extremely unfortunate recently," Grillitsch said, with the failure to land a deal to this point perhaps meaning potential suitors could instead land a bargain.

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