FIFA 21 Career Mode: Best Contract Expiry Signings Ending in 2021 (First Season)

Check out all of the players available for free at the end of the first season on FIFA 21’s Career Mode, which includes Lionel Messi and Paul Pogba.


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.

NamePositionAgeOverallPotentialTeamValueWage
Lionel Messi  RW, ST, CF339393FC Barcelona£60.8m£504k
Sergio RamosCB348989Real Madrid£22.1m£270k
Sergio AgüeroST328989Manchester City£47.7m£270k
Samir HandanovičGK358888Inter£14.4m£90k
Ángel Di María RW, LW328787Paris Saint-Germain£35.1m£144k
Luka ModrićCM348787Real Madrid£22.1m£234k
Giorgio ChielliniCB358787Juventus£14m£85k
Paul Pogba CM, CDM278687Manchester United£45m£171k
Gianluigi DonnarummaGK218592Milan£37.4m£30k
Memphis Depay  CF, LW, CAM268588Olympique Lyonnais£43.7m£104k
Georginio WijnaldumCM298585Liverpool£33.3m£135k
Thiago SilvaCB358585Chelsea£10.4m£84k
Alex TellesLB278485FC Porto£27.9m£20k
David Alaba CB, LB288484FC Bayern München£24.8m£95k
Jesús Navas RB, RM348484Sevilla FC£9.9m£38k
Fernandinho CB, CDM358484Manchester City£8.6m£99k
Edin VišćaRM308383Medipol Başakşehir FK£22.1m£53k
Juan Bernat LB, LM278384Paris Saint-Germain£23m£86k
Blaise Matuidi CDM, CM338383Inter Miami£11.3m£13k
Renato Augusto  CM, CAM, LM328383Beijing Sinobo Guoan FC£17.6m£30k
Gonzalo HiguaínST328383Inter Miami£18.5m£15k
Zlatan IbrahimovićST388383Milan£8.6m£44k
Florian Thauvin RW, RM278282Olympique de Marseille£20.7m£53k
Tomáš VaclíkGK318282Sevilla FC£12.6m£26k
Aleksandar KolarovLB348282Inter£7.2m£95k
Jérôme BoatengCB318282FC Bayern München£14.9m£74k
Fernando MusleraGK348282Galatasaray SK£8.6m£58k
Lars Bender  RB, CDM, CM318282Bayer 04 Leverkusen£14.4m£65k
Mesut Özil CAM, RW318282Arsenal£17.6m£90k
Gianluigi BuffonGK428282Juventus£2m£37k
Marko DmitrovićGK288182SD Eibar£13.5m£27k
Marten de Roon CDM, CM298181Atalanta£13.5m£56k
Arkadiusz MilikST268184Napoli£20.3m£72k
Jonathan VieraCAM308181Beijing Sinobo Guoan FC£15.3m£25k
Taison LM, CAM328181Shakhtar Donetsk£12.6m£450
Marlos RM, CAM328181Shakhtar Donetsk£12.6m£450
Sami Khedira CM, CDM338181Juventus£9.5m£78k
Javi Martínez CDM, CB318181FC Bayern München£12.2m£68k
Sven Bender CB, CDM318181Bayer 04 Leverkusen£11.7m£59k
Marek Hamšík  CM, CDM, CAM328181Dalian YiFang FC£12.2m£23k
Stéphane RuffierGK338181AS Saint-Étienne£8.6m£29k
 Łukasz FabiańskiGK358181West Ham United£4.3m£23k
Franck Ribéry  CF, LM, LW378181Fiorentina£5.9m£49k
André-Pierre Gignac ST, CF348181Tigres U.A.N.L.£8.6m£59k
PepeCB378181FC Porto£3.2m£11k
Iniesta CM, CAM368181Vissel Kobe£5m£10k
Otávio  RM, CAM, CM258083FC Porto£16.7m£15k
Lucas VázquezRW298080Real Madrid£13.1m£149k
Julian Draxler  CAM, CM, LW268081Paris Saint-Germain£15.8m£74k
Nacho Fernández  CB, LB, RB308080Real Madrid£10.8m£122k
Cédric BakambuST298080Beijing Sinobo Guoan FC£13.5m£27k
Escudero LB, LM308080Sevilla FC£10.4m£27k
GuaitaGK338080Crystal Palace£7.2m£43k
Hulk RW, ST338080Shanghai SIPG FC£8.1m£18k
Nicolas NkoulouCB308080Torino£10.8m£43k
Lars Stindl CAM, ST318080Borussia Mönchengladbach£11.7m£41k
GiulianoCAM308080Al Nassr£12.6m£44k
David LuizCB338080Arsenal£6.3m£72k
Diego CostaST318080Atlético Madrid£12.2m£57k
Branislav Ivanović CB, RB368080West 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.

Looking for the best young players?

FIFA 21 Career Mode: Best Young Centre Backs (CB) to Sign

FIFA 21 Career Mode: Best Young Strikers & Centre Forwards (ST & CF) to Sign

FIFA 21 Career Mode: Best Young LBs to Sign

FIFA 21 Career Mode: Best Young Right Backs (RB & RWB) to Sign

FIFA 21 Career Mode: Best Young Central Midfielders (CM) to Sign

FIFA 21 Career Mode: Best Young Defensive Midfielders (CDM) to Sign

FIFA 21 Career Mode: Best Young Attacking Midfielders (CAM) to Sign

FIFA 21 Career Mode: Best Young Goalkeepers (GK) to Sign

FIFA 21 Career Mode: Best Young Right Wingers (RW & RM) to Sign

FIFA 21 Career Mode: Best Young Left Wingers (LW & LM) to Sign

Looking for wonderkids?

FIFA 21 Wonderkids: Best Centre Backs (CB) to sign in Career Mode

FIFA 21 Wonderkids: Best Right Backs (RB) to Sign in Career Mode

FIFA 21 Wonderkids: Best Left Backs (LB) to sign in Career Mode

FIFA 21 Wonderkids: Best Goalkeepers (GK) to sign in Career Mode

FIFA 21 Wonderkids: Best Attacking Midfielders (CAM) to Sign in Career Mode

FIFA 21 Wonderkids: Best Central Midfielders (CM) to Sign in Career Mode

FIFA 21 Wonderkid Wingers: Best Left Wingers (LW & LM) to Sign in Career Mode

FIFA 21 Wonderkid Wingers: Best Right Wingers (RW & RM) to sign in Career Mode

FIFA 21 Wonderkids: Best Strikers (ST & CF) to Sign in Career Mode

FIFA 21 Wonderkids: Best Young Brazilian Players to Sign in Career Mode

FIFA 21 Wonderkids: Best Young French Players to Sign in Career Mode

FIFA 21 Wonderkids: Best Young English Players to Sign in Career Mode

Looking for bargains?

FIFA 21 Career Mode: Best Cheap Centre Backs (CB) with High Potential to Sign

FIFA 21 Career Mode: Best Cheap Strikers (ST & CF) with High Potential to Sign

FIFA 21 Career Mode: Best Cheap Right Backs (RB & RWB) with High Potential to Sign

FIFA 21 Career Mode: Best Cheap Left Backs (LB & LWB) with High Potential to Sign

FIFA 21 Career Mode: Best Cheap Centre Midfielders (CM) with High Potential to Sign

FIFA 21 Career Mode: Best Cheap Goalkeepers (GK) with High Potential to Sign

FIFA 21 Career Mode: Best Cheap Right Wingers (RW & RM) with High Potential to Sign

FIFA 21 Career Mode: Best Cheap Left Wingers (LW & LM) with High Potential to Sign

FIFA 21 Career Mode: Best Cheap Attacking Midfielders (CAM) with High Potential to Sign

FIFA 21 Career Mode: Best Cheap Defensive Midfielders (CDM) with High Potential to Sign

Looking for the fastest players?

FIFA 21 Defenders: Fastest Centre Backs (CB) to Sign in Career Mode

FIFA 21: Fastest Strikers (ST and CF)


Ben Chopping

Will give almost any game a chance, particularly those that include wildlife, monsters, or prehistoric creatures of any kind.

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