While the world is focused on nine-figure megawatt transfers and the big-name clubs competing for them, several out-of-contract players and loan possibilities could help teams firm up their chances at everything from a Top 4 spot to Premier League safety.
So who are these names, and how much of a risk would they be?
[ MORE: Tuesday’s transfer rumor roundup ]
Joey Barton — The former QPR and Newcastle man is 32-years-old and has a combustible personality, but is certainly not among the top reasons the R’s were relegated last season. Could fill in the gaps as a minute-eater or final quarter substitute that adds a bit of steel to the side.
DeAndre Yedlin — Those in the know say the USMNT youngster is in high demand as a potential right wing on loan from Tottenham. Will he stay in England?
Ron Vlaar — The Villa man is out until the new year with a knee injury, but could see himself as anything from a lynchpin for a lower club’s defense to a depth move for old boss Louis van Gaal. His health will be a situation to monitor over the Fall months.
Dimitar Berbatov — Fancy taking a chance on ‘The Incredible Sulk?’ The 34-year-old Bulgarian scored nine goals in 38 matches for AS Monaco last season, seven coming in Ligue 1 play.
Jonas Gutierrez — Certainly a ways off from his days as a plug-and-play midfielder for Newcastle, but the Argentine is a boon to any locker room and can give a lift to any midfield. Can play defender in a pinch, but does seem headed back to South America.
Adnan Januzaj (right) — For a guy many have tipped for a surefire loan away from Old Trafford, the young Belgian has looked stronger, quicker and more confident this young season under Louis van Gaal… and more importantly he’s been on the pitch, too.
Wilson Palacios — Has the experience in English football if he’s willing to play an ancillary role. Otherwise, it’ll be off to the Championship if he wants to stay in England.
Yoan Gourcuff — Once a hot-button transfer target from Lyon, he has not signed for another club since his contract expired. At age 29, did he wait too long to come to England? Was linked with Arsenal earlier this window.
Michu — Remember when he lit the Premier League on fire for a brief time with Swansea City? Well Garry Monk doesn’t want him around any more. Perhaps a loan move will do?
Also available for “free”: Oguchi Onyewu, Shola Ameobi, Cristian Ledesma, Carlton Cole.