Blow for Man United and Chelsea in their hunt for free agent stars as club legend hints at new deals

The lack of money in football just now suggests that the free agent market could be more active than ever next summer, so this is a vital couple of months for players and clubs.

Any player approaching the end of their deal can usually start to negotiate with other clubs from January, and that can leave their current team over a barrel in negotiations.

Any good agent will explore their options and look to see what money can be made if they do leave on a free, so it’s possible that teams will panic and overpay their current players to stop it reaching that point.

READ MORE: Opinion: How Pochettino could revitalise Man United’s midfield by selling Pogba and moving for two struggling former Spurs favourites

AC Milan stars Hakan Calhanoglu and Gigi Donnarumma are out of contract next summer, but it sounds like Paolo Maldini is hopeful of tying them down to new deals soon:

This will come as a blow to Man United and Chelsea who were tracking the two players, but they will remain hopeful as long as their current situation remains.

There was a feeling that Chelsea had only signed Edouard Mendy as a stop-gap option and Mundo Deportivo stated that they were still tracking Donnarumma as a big signing for next summer.

That does now look unlikely after Mendy’s impressive start, but they’ve shown in the past they will be ruthless if there’s a chance to sign a major star and upgrade the team.

There were also reliable reports which indicated that United had already started to discuss terms with the Turkish star, but a new deal would obviously shut down their chances too:

He would be an odd signing for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer because he’s another creative midfielder who operates best in a central role, and he’s already having issues getting Pogba, Fernandes and van de Beek into the same side.

These rumours may start up again if we get deep into December and they haven’t agreed new deals, but it’s not like either club desperately needs to sign them just now.

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