Mbappé, Barco, Rabiot, Dier among top free agents in 2024

Will Kylian Mbappe be a Real Madrid player in 2024? (0:54)

Alex Kirkland discusses whether Kylian Mbappe will finally move to Real Madrid when he becomes a free agent. (0:54)

The list of high-profile players whose contracts expire in summer 2024 is not quite as impressive as it was a year ago, but there are still some big-name stars whose futures are far from being resolved.

The saga around Kylian Mbappé's potential move to Real Madrid continues, though sources have told ESPN he's in talks over signing a new deal. The usual array of ageing players such as Luka Modric and Toni Kroos make another appearance as they enter the final year of their contracts, but there are some youngsters who could be snapped up for nothing if they don't put pen to paper soon.

Here's a rundown of the most coveted, not including those like Anthony Martial and Aaron Wan-Bissaka who have a club option to extend by another year.

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Kylian Mbappé, 24, FW, Paris Saint-Germain

One of the sagas of last summer. Mbappé signed a new three-year deal in 2022, spurning a free transfer to Real Madrid in the process, but it was revealed later that it was a two-year contract with a third year eligible only if the France international activated it. He chose not to and told club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi he wanted to leave, which saw him exiled from the first-team squad during the preseason tour in Japan.

PSG were open to offers and Al Hilal in Saudi Arabia's Pro League made a world-record €300m bid, which was accepted by the club but rejected by Mbappé.

Eventually, the signing of Mbappé's friend Ousmane Dembélé and the €90m exit of Neymar persuaded the 24-year-old to change his mind. He agreed to sign new terms -- likely containing a release clause of around €100m to €150m -- so the club can get a transfer fee when he does depart. Those terms have yet to be confirmed, so watch this space, but it's likely he'll be a Madrid player in the next six months -- if they'll have him.

Adrien Rabiot, 28, CM, Juventus

After months of speculation that he could leave for Man United or Barcelona, Rabiot signed a one-year extension to his Juve contract in June, but that just delayed a long-term decision over his future. The France international is a key player in Turin -- with three goals and three assists from 16 games this season -- and fans will want him to sign up for longer.

Luka Modric, 37, CM, Real Madrid

Still going strong at 37, Modric joined Madrid in 2012 and has won 23 trophies in 11 years at the Bernabeu. The Croatia international is no longer the central force he once was and has got added competition for places from Jude Bellingham, Eduardo Camavinga, Aurelien Tchouameni and Federico Valverde. He is not happy with his playing time though, with seven from 15 league appearances coming from the bench so far, so don't rule out him extending his career elsewhere.

Meanwhile, Modric's teammate Toni Kroos is a bit younger (33), but he had already considered taking an early retirement before his improved form and fitness over the past two years convinced him to continue playing. However, the German midfielder has been clear that he will retire at Real Madrid, so no other club will get the benefit of his skills on a free transfer.

Valentín Barco, 19, LB, Boca Juniors

One of the top young left-backs in the world, Barco's deal expires in December 2024, and he has already attracted interest from the likes of Brighton, Man City, Chelsea and Liverpool.

The Argentina U23 international reportedly has a $20m release clause in his contract, which makes his signing attainable before his contract ends. However he could put pen to paper on terms that would raise his clause and ensure that Boca were able to profit a little better from his eventual transfer.

Piotr Zielinski, 29, CM, Napoli

Zielinski has been a key player for the Serie A champions since arriving in 2016, but with his next contract likely to be one of his last, he reportedly wants an increase in wages. The Poland international has yet to agree terms with Napoli and is being heavily tracked by league rivals Inter Milan, who could do a deal to snap him up for nothing.

Lloyd Kelly, 25, LB/CB, Bournemouth

Bournemouth reportedly rejected a £20m offer from Tottenham to sign Kelly over the summer, and they may regret it if the versatile defender holds out to leave for nothing. January could prove the last chance for the club to pick up a transfer fee and the list of suitors -- now including AC Milan, Liverpool, Newcastle United -- is growing.

Eric Dier, 29, CB, Tottenham

Dier appears to not be a part of new boss Ange Postecoglou's plans at Spurs, having played four times this season -- once from the start. Bayern were linked, after they signed his former teammate Harry Kane for €100m, while Nottingham Forest, Bournemouth and Fulham showed interest from the Premier League this summer. He could run his contract down and leave on a free, but it's unlikely he'll get much game time for the rest of the season.

Thiago, 32, CM, Liverpool

Liverpool reshaped their entire midfield this summer, but the 32-year-old may also find himself ushered out of the exit door when his deal expires. Injuries have limited his impact, though the Spain international does bring valuable experience to a midfield that is now lacking it. The Saudi Pro League have poached a number of players from Anfield in recent months, and it could be a future destination for Thiago as well.