FIFA 21 Career Mode looks to bring in a load of new features and improvements, but the one thing that will remain the same is the allure of top-class contract expiry signings.
Players who can become free agents make for great transfer targets in FIFA games, and as it stands, it looks like the 2021 batch of contract expiry signings is going to feature some of the best and most exciting players in the world.
Potentially featuring the likes of Lionel Messi, Paul Pogba, and Memphis Depay, at the end of the first season on Career Mode, you could be pulling in some top-class players at a minimal cost.
It should be noted, however, that landing these signings is much more difficult in FIFA 21 than in previous versions of Career Mode.
In this guide, we’ll detail how to make the most of players who see their contracts expire, on FIFA 21’s Career Mode.
How to make contract expiry signings in FIFA 21
In previous FIFA games, you could dive into pre-contract signing negotiations from 1 January, as so many teams have done in recent years of real-life football.
Many teams will take advantage of a player entering the last six months of their contract by offering them a deal for when it expires or by sending a cut-price transfer offer to the club, allowing them to recuperate some of what they may lose.
In FIFA 21, that option is all-but eradicated. You won’t be given the options to sign players in the last stint of the contract in preseason, in the January window, or once the winter transfer window closes.
EA Sports have also included a new feature which makes it less likely for top clubs to lose highly-rated players as free agents. As such, the only reliable way to target contract expiry signings is by waiting for their contracts to expire, getting them as free agents.
FIFA 21’s best available contract expiry signings
Overall, the chances of landing the very best players whose contracts are expiring seems very slim at this stage. EA Sports may alter the mechanic with a future update, but for now, these players should be considered potential free agent signings.
To be the first through the door, as soon as the second season (2021/20) starts on 1 July, go over to the Transfers page, Search Players, and then adjust the Transfer Status filter box to the top right to ‘Free Agents.’
Lionel Messi, FC Barcelona (RW, CF, ST)
Easily one of the best players in the world, Lionel Messi had a massive 94 overall rating in FIFA 20 and can single-handedly transform just about any club into a trophy winner.
Messi has a hefty contract of £510,000 per week, with a value of £93.5 million, so only the wealthiest clubs will be able to hope to lure the Argentine away from Cataluña.
This season, the 33-year-old scored 30 goals and 26 assists in all competitions, prior to the restart of the UEFA Champions League.
Information on a potential new contract for Messi in the next couple of months is mixed. ESPN relays that he’s called off negotiations to expand his current deal, which expires in 2021, whereas AS have alluded to the superstar leaning towards extending his contract to 2023.
If Messi continues to hold out on a new deal with Barcelona, he’ll remain a potential contract expiry signing in FIFA 21.
Sergio Agüero, Manchester City (ST)
Sergio Agüero has been Manchester City’s star striker since joining from Atlético Madrid in 2011. Now 32-years-old, but with a 90 OVR rating in FIFA 20, he could be one of the best contract expiry signings in FIFA 21.
Like his compatriot Messi, Agüero commands a hefty wage packet, being valued at £75 million with a wage of £270,000.
Strictly a striker, positionally speaking, Agüero has long boasted ratings of 90 or above in critical attributes like finishing, positioning, composure, reactions, and balance.
As is commonplace for the more professional players with expiring contracts, Agüero has thus far refused to comment on his contract situation.
However, as noted by Manchester Evening News, the sharpshooter has mentioned before that he’d like to play in his native Argentina again.
Even though he scored 23 goals and teed-up four more, given his recurring injuries, age, and the depth of the City squad, there’s a chance that he could hit the open market.
David Alaba, Bayern Munich, (CB, LB)
Still one of the highest-rated left-backs in the world, Alaba boasts the unique ability of being able to play at centre-back as well.
Primarily from the centre-back position this season, Alaba played 38 games and scored twice for Bayern last season.
In FIFA 21, the 84 OVR defender has a value of £32.5 million on a wage of £93,000 per week.
Now in the prime of his career, at 28-years-old, Alaba’s Bayern Munich contract will run out in July 2021. Still, the Bavarian giants are reportedly looking to sell the Austrian, per The Telegraph.
If he doesn’t sign a new contract or switch clubs, Alaba offers a sound set of ratings and is a good age to remain a mainstay in your team for the next several seasons.
Memphis Depay, Olympique Lyonnais (CAM, LW, CF)
Only 26-years-old, rated 85 OVR with an 88 POT, and flying with Olympique Lyonnais, Memphis Depay could be an excellent contract expiry signing in FIFA 21.
Last season, the versatile Dutchman scored in every one of his Champions League appearances, totalled 14 goals in 19 games with two assists, but saw his season grind to a halt due to a cruciate ligament rupture.
Most recent reports, as detailed by Goal, indicate that Depay is playing hardball with Lyon, having rejected several contract offers. The club is trying to extend his contract, but he comes into FIFA 21 as a potential 2021 contract expiry signing.
His contract is for £120,000 per week in FIFA 21, with the Dutch forward looking set to rank among the best contract expiry signings.
All the best FIFA 21 contract expiry signings ending in 2021 (first season)
Below, you can see a list of all of the best potential contract expiry signings in FIFA 21 Career Mode, with their current age and contract information shown in the table below.
|Lionel Messi||RW, ST, CF||33||93||93||FC Barcelona||£60.8m||£504k|
|Sergio Ramos||CB||34||89||89||Real Madrid||£22.1m||£270k|
|Sergio Agüero||ST||32||89||89||Manchester City||£47.7m||£270k|
|Ángel Di María||RW, LW||32||87||87||Paris Saint-Germain||£35.1m||£144k|
|Luka Modrić||CM||34||87||87||Real Madrid||£22.1m||£234k|
|Paul Pogba||CM, CDM||27||86||87||Manchester United||£45m||£171k|
|Memphis Depay||CF, LW, CAM||26||85||88||Olympique Lyonnais||£43.7m||£104k|
|Alex Telles||LB||27||84||85||FC Porto||£27.9m||£20k|
|David Alaba||CB, LB||28||84||84||FC Bayern München||£24.8m||£95k|
|Jesús Navas||RB, RM||34||84||84||Sevilla FC||£9.9m||£38k|
|Fernandinho||CB, CDM||35||84||84||Manchester City||£8.6m||£99k|
|Edin Višća||RM||30||83||83||Medipol Başakşehir FK||£22.1m||£53k|
|Juan Bernat||LB, LM||27||83||84||Paris Saint-Germain||£23m||£86k|
|Blaise Matuidi||CDM, CM||33||83||83||Inter Miami||£11.3m||£13k|
|Renato Augusto||CM, CAM, LM||32||83||83||Beijing Sinobo Guoan FC||£17.6m||£30k|
|Gonzalo Higuaín||ST||32||83||83||Inter Miami||£18.5m||£15k|
|Florian Thauvin||RW, RM||27||82||82||Olympique de Marseille||£20.7m||£53k|
|Tomáš Vaclík||GK||31||82||82||Sevilla FC||£12.6m||£26k|
|Jérôme Boateng||CB||31||82||82||FC Bayern München||£14.9m||£74k|
|Fernando Muslera||GK||34||82||82||Galatasaray SK||£8.6m||£58k|
|Lars Bender||RB, CDM, CM||31||82||82||Bayer 04 Leverkusen||£14.4m||£65k|
|Mesut Özil||CAM, RW||31||82||82||Arsenal||£17.6m||£90k|
|Marko Dmitrović||GK||28||81||82||SD Eibar||£13.5m||£27k|
|Marten de Roon||CDM, CM||29||81||81||Atalanta||£13.5m||£56k|
|Jonathan Viera||CAM||30||81||81||Beijing Sinobo Guoan FC||£15.3m||£25k|
|Taison||LM, CAM||32||81||81||Shakhtar Donetsk||£12.6m||£450|
|Marlos||RM, CAM||32||81||81||Shakhtar Donetsk||£12.6m||£450|
|Sami Khedira||CM, CDM||33||81||81||Juventus||£9.5m||£78k|
|Javi Martínez||CDM, CB||31||81||81||FC Bayern München||£12.2m||£68k|
|Sven Bender||CB, CDM||31||81||81||Bayer 04 Leverkusen||£11.7m||£59k|
|Marek Hamšík||CM, CDM, CAM||32||81||81||Dalian YiFang FC||£12.2m||£23k|
|Stéphane Ruffier||GK||33||81||81||AS Saint-Étienne||£8.6m||£29k|
|Łukasz Fabiański||GK||35||81||81||West Ham United||£4.3m||£23k|
|Franck Ribéry||CF, LM, LW||37||81||81||Fiorentina||£5.9m||£49k|
|André-Pierre Gignac||ST, CF||34||81||81||Tigres U.A.N.L.||£8.6m||£59k|
|Iniesta||CM, CAM||36||81||81||Vissel Kobe||£5m||£10k|
|Otávio||RM, CAM, CM||25||80||83||FC Porto||£16.7m||£15k|
|Lucas Vázquez||RW||29||80||80||Real Madrid||£13.1m||£149k|
|Julian Draxler||CAM, CM, LW||26||80||81||Paris Saint-Germain||£15.8m||£74k|
|Nacho Fernández||CB, LB, RB||30||80||80||Real Madrid||£10.8m||£122k|
|Cédric Bakambu||ST||29||80||80||Beijing Sinobo Guoan FC||£13.5m||£27k|
|Escudero||LB, LM||30||80||80||Sevilla FC||£10.4m||£27k|
|Hulk||RW, ST||33||80||80||Shanghai SIPG FC||£8.1m||£18k|
|Lars Stindl||CAM, ST||31||80||80||Borussia Mönchengladbach||£11.7m||£41k|
|Diego Costa||ST||31||80||80||Atlético Madrid||£12.2m||£57k|
|Branislav Ivanović||CB, RB||36||80||80||West Bromwich Albion||£2.7m||£55k|
Hopefully, most of these stars don’t sign new contracts or transfer before the end of the first season on Career Mode, making for a great pool of potential FIFA 21 contract expiry signings.
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