Football clubs across the Premier League, Europe and further afield are always eyeing up their next potential stars. To kick off the winter transfer season, here’s our selection of the top fee-free football transfers. After all, the best things in life are free, as the saying goes. Remember, you can enjoy fee-free international payments whether as a business or individual. Find out more here.
Demba Ba – TSG 1899 Hoffenheim to Newcastle
An integral player to Hoffenheim’s first season in Germany’s Bundesliga, Ba only missed one game that entire season. Scoring 14 goals with the club in that debut season, it was only a few years later that the English Premier League lured the Senegalise striker over. After a brief pay-per-appearance contract with the Hammers, the club was relegated to the Championship. Ba used a clause in his contract to leave West Ham for free and signed for Newcastle in the summer of 2011. Named Premier League Player of the Month in December of that year, he scored 29 goals in 54 league games.
James Milner – Manchester City to Liverpool
Liverpool’s vice-captain has been around the Premier League block, playing for Newcastle, Aston Villa and Manchester City. He played a role in City winning both the 2011-2012 and 2013-2014 Premier League titles, and scored the winning goal in late 2013 against Bayern Munich, the reigning champions, in the UEFA Champions League. He signed for Liverpool as a free transfer and captained the Reds on his third appearance. Milner came on as a substitute in 2019 for both the Champions League final against Tottenham and the FIFA Club World Cup final against Flamengo, with Liverpool winning both titles.
Sol Campbell – Tottenham to Arsenal
Deeply unpopular with Spurs fans, Campbell captained Tottenham to glory in the 1999 Football League Cup final. After nine years at the club, he joined North London rivals Arsenal on a free transfer. Despite the animosity from Spurs fans, Campbell got what he wanted from the controversial move, becoming part of the Gunners team known as ‘The Invincibles’ for the 2003-2004 undefeated Premier League season. A free transfer connoisseur, Campbell also had spells at Notts County and Newcastle, all fee-free.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Paris Saint-German to Manchester United
Sweden’s notorious Ibrahimovic is one of the world’s most decorated footballers still playing. With spells at Europe heavyweights such as Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan and Barcelona; Ibrahimovic moved from PSG to Manchester United on a free transfer in 2016. As PSG’s highest goal scorer, his move to Man U was a bargain. Helping the club to win the UEFA Europa League cup, the FA Community Shield, and the Football League Club in his very first season at the ripe age of 34, he became the oldest player to score 15 goals in a Premier League season.
Paul Pogba – Manchester United to Juventus
France’s World Cup star holds the record for the highest fee paid by an English club. Scoring in the 2018 FIFA World Cup final, the Frenchman has taken home plenty of trophies for his performances. Financially, he is also part of one of the world’s best deals. Joining Manchester United in 2009, he moved to Italy’s Juventus in 2012 on a free transfer after a few years of limited appearances for the Red Devils. Becoming a key component in the 2013 Italian Supercoppa title win, Pogba was named Golden Boy for the best young player in the whole of Europe that year. After giving him to Juventus fee-free, Manchester United signed Pogba back for a whopping £89 million just four short years later.
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Sabah Mahmood: With a BSc in Economics, alongside Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI) qualifications in UK Financial Regulation and Derivatives, I have four years of experience in foreign exchange services. I deliver expert support and guidance to moneycorp’s corporate clients, bringing a spark of energy and creativity to the team. Professional and dynamic, I have a passion for football outside of work, having played at a semi-professional level for Leyton Orient Football Club for a number of years.
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