Five Premier League players that could make free transfers to MLS in 2016

The January transfer window is about to open in Europe and the Premier League is always one of the most intriguing league when it comes to transfer news and rumours.

As well as the fact that teams can negotiate transfer deals, clubs can also start to negotiate with players under the age of 24 who have just six months remaining on their current deals, with the hope of sealing a pre-contract agreement.

That second part is particularly important for Major League Soccer as several MLS sides will look to make pre-contract agreements with Premier League players who could then join for free in the summer.

Steven Gerrard was signed by LA Galaxy in this way last year, while Kevin Doyle also signed a pre-contract agreement with the Colorado Rapids last year.

But who could make the move across the Atlantic this year? We look at five possible moves below:

1. John Terry

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The long-term Chelsea captain is likely to be playing his final season with the Blues and may even decide to hang up his boots. That seems unlikely though as Terry has spoken of his desire to play on for a few years longer. A move to MLS has been talked about since Terry revealed it’s something he would consider last year.

“I would love to finish my career at Chelsea and maybe there is a time when I look to go to play in America or whatever might be best for my family at the time,” Terry told TalkSport in May 2015.

He would surely be signed on a Designated Player contract were he to agree a move stateside and would add crucial leadership and experience to any locker room in MLS.

2. Mathieu Flamini

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Arsenal midfielder Flamini has just six months remaining on his current deal and doesn’t look set to extend that as things stand. Having previously revealed MLS is something he would consider, the Frenchman could find himself playing on American soil by the time the summer arrives.

Flamini would add steel to any team’s midfield and would bring bundles of experience with him. Plenty of teams will be keeping one eye on the 31-year-old Frenchman.

3. Mikel Arteta

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Sticking with Arsenal midfielders and Mikel Arteta is another who could make the switch to MLS this summer, having fallen down the pecking order at the Emirates this season.

Arteta is unlikely to be offered a contract extension and will therefore be free to negotiate with any possible future employers from January. Arteta is a good friend of NYCFC’s David Villa and has previously spoken glowingly about MLS.

“The game in the US is definitely going in the right direction, so there’s a real opportunity for players to come over from Europe,” the Spaniard said in 2014.

4. Kolo Toure

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Kolo Toure has previously been linked with a move across the Atlantic but with just six months left on his Liverpool deal now, the Ivorian centre-back could make the move for free, making any transfer more appealing for MLS sides.

The New York Red Bulls reportedly offered Toure a two-year deal in the summer but no move came to fruition. Six months on and more offers could be laid on the table for the out-of-favour Reds defender.

5. Stephane Sessegnon

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The final name on this list is West Bromwich Albion’s Stephane Sessegnon, who would add pace and creativity to multiple sides in Major League Soccer. He struggled to get into Tony Pulis’ team early on this season but has played in ten of West Brom’s last eleven league games.

That said, it is still unclear whether a new contract will be offered to the Benin international and so clubs around the world may be keeping a close eye on the playmaker.

He would suit the fast-paced playing style seen in MLS and could be an interesting addition to the league if any team reaches out.

Which of the players above do you think will move to MLS in 2016? Are there any others you think could make the switch?

 

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Arsenal receive DOUBLE midfield boost as £17m-rated target hints at move

Arsenal look to have received two boosts ahead of the summer transfer window as Mikel Arteta is on the verge of signing a new contract, while long-term target Yohan Cabaye has hinted he will leave Paris Saint Germain this summer with Arsene Wenger ready to swoop.

Arteta’s current Arsenal contract is set to expire at the end of the season and despite missing five months of action through injury this season, the Spanish midfielder is reportedly set to pen a new one-year extension.

The 33-year-old Spaniard joined the Gunners for £10 million from Everton in 2011 and has gone on to make 136 appearances for the club.

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Arsenal are yet to officially announce the deal but it is expected to be revealed in the next few days as Arteta will remain a Gunner for at least another season.

He could be joined by a new face in the heart of the Arsenal midfield next season as PSG’s Yohan Cabaye has hinted at a summer exit as he wants to play regular football.

Cabaye, who has also been linked with moves to Liverpool and Tottenham, has been a long-term target of Arsene Wenger’s and Arsenal had a £10 million bid rejected for the Frenchman in August 2013 while he was still with Newcastle.

He went on to join PSG in January 2014 but has made just 35 league appearances in the past 18 months and could be set for a Premier League return.

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“It is a distinct moment in my career,” Cabaye said with regard to his future. “I have never been through this before.

“One has to accept it but also try to change it. It is super important for me, I want to play Euro 2016.

“I need to speak to the boss and my representatives to see what is best for me.”

Would Yohan Cabaye be a good signing for Arsenal this summer? Does Mikel Arteta deserve a new contract?

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Arsenal vs Everton

Competition: Premier League – Arsenal vs Everton

Venue: Emirates Stadium – Sunday, March 1st – 14:05 (09:05 ET)

Match Odds: Arsenal 8/15 – Draw 3/1 – Everton 5/1

Match Preview

Arsenal host Everton at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon looking to continue their good run of form in the Premier League which has propelled them into third.

Everton haven’t won in three in the league but tasted European victory with a 3-1 win against BSC Young Boys on Thursday in the Europa League and will be looking to extend their unbeaten run against Arsenal to six games in the league. The two clubs drew 2-2 in the reverse fixture at Goodison Park in August.

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Arsenal come into the game off the back of a disappointing 3-1 loss to AS Monaco in the Champions League on Wednesday at the Emirates. Outplayed by the French side, Arsenal will want to forget about it and secure the three points on Sunday in front of their own fans.

With eight wins in ten in all competitions, Arsenal are still in a good run of form and are on course for yet another top four finish despite the fierce competition for Champions League football at the top of the Premier League.

Arsenal’s Premier League home record: Played 12 – Won 8 – Drawn 3 – Lost 1

Interestingly, Arsenal have scored first in their last six Premier League games, and they could do with a fast start against the Toffees to settle any nerves.

Everton cannot be underestimated this weekend though as they could bring their European form to the Premier League and cause an upset on Sunday.

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Everton will be buoyant after their two-legged demolition of Young Boys as they won 7-2 on aggregate and Roberto Martinez’s men will want to snatch all three points come the weekend.

Everton’s Premier League away record: Played 13 – Won 3 – Drawn 3 – Lost 7

It has been a poor season for Everton compared to last, and the league table proves that as they sit in twelfth after 26 games and are just six points off the relegation zone.

Their Premier League form dictates the reason for this as they have only registered one win in their last ten matches.

Team News

Arsenal – Mathieu Debuchy (shoulder) and Mikel Arteta (ankle) are still not match fit and Jack Wilshere has undergone surgery for ankle discomfort. Aaron Ramsey could return to the side as he nears a return from a hamstring injury while Arsene Wenger could drop David Ospina, Per Mertesacker and Olivier Giroud after poor performances against Monaco on Wednesday.

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Everton – Aiden McGeady is still sidelined with a knee injury while Steven Pienaar (Knee), Leon Osman (foot) and Bryan Oviedo (hamstring) will also miss out. Gareth Barry returns from suspension and is likely to start along with Leighton Baines who was rested for the midweek game against Young Boys.

Key Points

Arsenal’s last five in the Premier League: WWLWW

Everton’s last five in the Premier League: DWDLD

Key Stat: Arsenal are unbeaten in their last 20 meetings at home to Everton in all competitions. Their last home defeat to the Toffees came 19 years ago.

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Key Player: Alexis Sanchez – Summer transfer sensation, Sanchez has been a revelation for Arsenal this season and at times has got them out of massive holes on his own. Expect him to be the difference once again.

Score Prediction

Arsenal 2-1 Everton – No shocks in this one, Everton will put up a good fight but expect Arsenal to get back to winning ways with their seventh straight league win at the Emirates.