2022
Getty/DeFodi Images/Daniele Badolato

2022 Might Be The Year For Some Serious Free Agent Bidding Wars

2022 might be the penultimate result of the COVID-19 pandemic in football. With many clubs losing large amounts of money, they have become hesitant to spend large fees on star players. This has allowed them to run down their contracts and play things out like the NBA. Instead of letting clubs dictate their decisions, players might choose their next destinations. There are few names bigger in the world of football than Cristiano Ronaldo and Kylian Mbappe. Both have run down their contracts to their final year. On the one hand, Mbappe seems destined for Real Madrid. His idol is CR7, and fans have been calling for the French star to take up his mantle and lead Los Blancos back to a period of glory. He has publicly spoken about the Portuguese legend on many occasions.

On the other hand, we have Cristiano Ronaldo. He seems ready for a new challenge after some frustrating years at Juventus. Even though Ronaldo has continued to put up incredible numbers in Italy, the team around him has simply not been good enough. A disappointing Serie A campaign combined with coming up short in the Champions League for 3 seasons has Ronaldo questioning his future in Turin. Some have speculated about a return to Manchester United or even his hometown, Sporting Lisbon. Others have called for CR7 to join Kylian Mbappe and Neymar at PSG. He will no doubt take some time to consider his options while the days count down on his Juve contract.

Elsewhere…

We have already seen Lionel Messi commit to Barca for the long term at a significant pay cut. The Argentine seems like only the first of many free agent sagas to come. Paul Pogba’s contract at Manchester United is also set to run out in 2022. Other big names like Karim Benzema, Angel Di Maria, and Raphael Varane are all on expiring deals. A starting 11 of 2022 free agents would actually be a very good team. If the 2021 transfer window is just the appetizer, then 2022 will be the full entree.