One of the big issues when discussing free transfers is that when it comes down to it, they are not actually “free”. Sizeable signing-on fees, agent fees and wages all make what appear bargain transfers anything but.
Still, due to Financial Fair Play restrictions, Garry Monk may seek to sign a fair number of players where no transfer fee is required. So, today I will start off a series of articles looking at likely free agents in all four areas of the pitch.
With reports of David Stockdale being told he can leave St Andrews, it seems to be appropriate to start off with the goalkeepers. Here are three stoppers that are available.
1) Michel Vorm
His wages would likely prove to be out of the club’s reach, but at 34 years of age, the Dutchman may consider dropping down a division to play regular first-team football. He has been Hugo Lloris’s understudy at Spurs for the last four years, with outings only coming occasionally in cup competitions.
He may get an offer from a lower Premier League club, but at his age, he may also be considering a return to the Netherlands. If that is the case, the Blues would be able to offer a better wage than most Eredivisie sides.
On top of that, Vorm played alongside and worked under Monk at Swansea. He departed the Swans only a few months after the manager was appointed but the pair seemingly remained on good terms.
2) Wayne Hennessey
The 31-year-old’s wage demands could also prove problematic, but so far he hasn’t agreed a new contract at Crystal Palace despite being their regular goalkeeper this season.
Wales’s number one stopper may be unlikely to go down a division, but it depends on who is interested in signing him. If he does leave Selhurst Park and remains without a club for a while, it may be an option worth investigating.
3) Joel Robles
Probably the most realistic but also the least talented, the Spaniard has played just twice for Everton in the Europa League this season, with his game time limited after the Toffees signed Jordan Pickford.
The 27-year-old did start 20 Premier League games last season for the Merseyside club, keeping Maarten Stekelenburg out of the side. I don’t see him being an upgrade on Stockdale though.