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

If you’re looking to save some money while bolstering your Championship team, look to these pre-contract signings in the summer of 2021.

The Championship is one of the toughest divisions in club football, with the disparity between the second-tier and the Premier League epitomising the need to build a team worthy of promotion.

Money is often tight, even at recently relegated outfits, so getting the best contract expiry signings from within the Championship can prove to be the makings of a promotion-winning campaign.

In FIFA 21, your first crack at making some pre-contract signings in the Championship will come during the 2020/21 season, with them being completed in the summer of 2021.

If you fail to earn promotion at the first time of asking, you can see your team sharply bolstered by a wave of top new players, and all without the cost of a transfer fee.

Here, we’ll be going through the best Championship players currently primed to become eligible pre-contract signings. At the foot of the article, you can find all of the potential contract expiry signings from the second-tier of English football in 2021.

To find out how to make contract expiry signings in FIFA 21, consult our pre-contract signings guide.

FIFA 21’s best Championship pre-contract signings

FIFA 21 doesn’t launch until 6 October, but as the in-game contracts are drawn from those in real-life, we can see which Championship players are set to be in the game on deals that run out in 2021.

As it stands, these players are all still in the Championship and on contracts that will expire next summer. However, a new deal could see them become unavailable as a pre-contract signing on 1 January 2021 in FIFA 21.

Wayne Rooney, Derby County (CM, CAM, ST)

Former cover star of the FIFA game franchise, Wayne Rooney is still available in FIFA 21 as a highly-rated Championship player.

In FIFA 20, Rooney boasted an 80 overall rating, £8.1 million value, and some very usable ratings, including 83 long passing, 82 vision, 88 composure, 81 penalties, 80 long shots, and 84 shot power.

The record Manchester United goalscorer has, however, seen his movement ratings drop in recent editions of FIFA, with the last game giving the now-34-year-old a 58 for acceleration, 61 for agility, and 59 for sprint speed.

Having started to play for Derby County in January last season, Rooney was immediately rewarded with the captaincy, featured predominantly in attacking midfield, and racked up six goals and three assists in 24 games.

If Rooney’s open to a contract expiry signing in January on FIFA 21, which will depend on whether or not the Englishman opts to retire, he’d be a valuable addition to any Championship team looking to boost their promotion hopes.

Christian Kabasele, Watford FC (CB)

At 28-years-old with a 78 overall rating and 79 potential rating, Christian Kabasele was a decent squad rotation centre-back for a bottom-half Premier League club in FIFA 20.

In FIFA 21, Kabasele will be in the Championship with the now-relegated Watford, and while the Belgian’s overall rating will likely take a hit, he’ll still be a top choice in the second-tier.

For Watford last season, Kabasele secured himself a starting role, playing in 31 games across all competitions and teeing-up two goals in the Premier League.

Assuming that drastic ratings changes don’t occur, the medium-high work rate, 83 jumping, 80 strength, 80 sliding tackle, 77 standing tackle, 76 interceptions, and 78 defensive awareness of Kabasele will prove to be valuable assets if you make the centre-back a contract expiry signing.

Joshua King, AFC Bournemouth (LM, CF, ST)

Another strong player coming down to the Championship via relegation, it wasn’t long ago that Manchester United sought to bring back their former trainee, Joshua King.

It was all about pace for the Norwegian in FIFA 20, with King boasting an 85 for acceleration, 74 for agility, 79 for ball control, 80 for dribbling, and a mighty 90 for sprint speed.

King, hampered by injuries and a struggling team, still managed to score six goals and four assists in the top-flight last season, and will undoubtedly be leaned on by the Cherries as they fight to climb back up – provided he remains a Bournemouth player.

With his speed and decent shooting attributes, the now-28-year-old could prove to be one of the most potent attackers in the Championship in FIFA 21, and so, will be a prime target for any manager aiming to make pre-contract signings.

Bradley Dack, Blackburn Rovers (CAM, ST)

Still only 26-years-old, Bradley Dack was Blackburn Rovers’ highest-rated player in FIFA 20 at 75 OVR, with room to grow into a potential rating of 77.

In-game, Dack’s 81 balance, 81 agility, 80 aggression, 79 positioning, 77 strength, and 77 composure are the attacking midfielder’s best assets.

The Blackburn star has been one of the most impressive Championship players over the last few seasons. In 2017/18, he scored 18 goals and nine assists in 42 league games, following up with 18 goals and ten assists through the 2018/19 campaign.

Last season, however, Dack was cut down by the much-feared anterior cruciate ligament injury in December. In the 24 games before the injury, the English attacker racked-up a tidy ten goals and three assists.

Should Dack remain a potential contract expiry signing in January 2021 of FIFA 21, consider him a worthy addition for promotion and potentially in the Premier League.

Jack Butland, Stoke City (GK)

Having pulled on the mitts for the GB Olympic Team at London 2012, Jack Butland has long been tipped as England’s next number-one in net.

However, with injury setbacks and a relatively low club affiliation, the nine-cap goalkeeper finds himself in the Championship.

Butland boasted a 75 overall rating by the end of the last game, with a 79 potential rating, enabling the 6’5’’ goalie to stand as one of the best in the Championship.

The go-to starter for Stoke City, Butland kept nine clean sheets in the league, and the 27-year-old donned the captain’s armband in several matches.

He may not be in the England conversation right now, but Butland is a top choice as a contract expiry signing. If you have the option to make him a pre-contract offer in FIFA 21, leap at the opportunity.

All potential FIFA 21 Championship contract expiry signings in the first season

Below, you can see a table of all of the potential Championship pre-contract signings in FIFA 21 Career Mode. Listed by their current club, you’ll find their current age and their wages in the last game for reference.

Troy DeeneyWatford FC32ST£59,000
Kiko FemeníaWatford FC29RB£48,000
Christian KabaseleWatford FC29CB£55,000
Roberto PereyraWatford FC29LM£56,000
Dan GoslingAFC Bournemouth30CM£46,000
Harry ArterAFC Bournemouth30CDM, CM£29,000
Adam SmithAFC Bournemouth29RB, LB£46,000
Junior StanislasAFC Bournemouth30LM, RM, LW£42,000
Steve CookAFC Bournemouth29CB£51,000
Joshua KingAFC Bournemouth28LM, CF, ST£62,000
Alexander TetteyNorwich City34CDM£23,000
Michael McGovernNorwich City36GK£10,000
Kenny McLeanNorwich City28CDM, CAM£32,000
Mario VrancicNorwich City31CDM, CM, CAM£32,000
Ryan ShawcrossStoke City32CB£20,000
James ChesterStoke City31CB£25,000
Benik AfobeStoke City27ST£26,000
Jack ButlandStoke City27GK£22,000
Jordan CousinsStoke City26CDM, CM£8,000
Nick PowellStoke City26CAM£21,000
Lee GregoryStoke City32ST£15,000
Luke DanielsBrentford FC32GK£9,000
Henrik DalsgaardBrentford FC31RB, RWB, CB£26,000
Emiliano MarcondesBrentford FC25CAM, LW, ST£13,000
Richard StearmanHuddersfield Town33CB£13,000
Tommy ElphickHuddersfield Town32CB£15,000
Frazier CampbellHuddersfield Town32ST£15,000
Christopher SchindlerHuddersfield Town30CB£24,000
Jonathan HoggHuddersfield Town31CDM, CM£23,000
Ben HamerHuddersfield Town32GK£7,000
Alex PritchardHuddersfield Town27CAM, LM£22,000
Steve MouniéHuddersfield Town25ST£18,000
Florent HadergjonajHuddersfield Town26RB, RWB, LB£6,000
Isaac MbenzaHuddersfield Town24RM, LM, ST£9,000
Adama DiakhabyHuddersfield Town24RW, LW£20,000
Costel PantilimonNottingham Forest33GK£18,000
Albert AdomahNottingham Forest32RM, LM, RW£16,000
Samba SowNottingham Forest31CDM, CM£30,000
Michael HefeleNottingham Forest29CB£17,000
Tendayi DarikwaNottingham Forest28RB£22,000
Zach CloughNottingham Forest25CAM, LM, ST£9,000
Nathan BakerBristol City29CB£26,000
Rene GilmartinBristol City33GK£4,000
Tommy RoweBristol City31LB, LWB, CM£16,000
Jack HuntBristol City29RB, RWB£20,000
Jamie PatersonBristol City28LM, CM, CAM£21,000
Famara DiédhiouBristol City27ST£29,000
Niclas EliassonBristol City24LM, RM£23,000
Hakeeb AdelakunBristol City24LM, RM, CAM£3,000
Sol BambaCardiff City35CB£21,000
Junior HoilettCardiff City30LM£19,000
Neil EtheridgeCardiff City30GK£16,000
Joe BennettCardiff City30LB£18,000
Joe DayCardiff City30GK£2,000
Greg CunninghamCardiff City29LB£18,000
Nathaniel Mendez-LaingCardiff City28RM, RW£16,000
Curtis NelsonCardiff City27CB£9,000
Wayne RoutledgeSwansea City35LM, RM£12,000
André AyewSwansea City30RM, LM, ST£27,000
Jay FultonSwansea City26CDM, CM£14,000
Barrie McKaySwansea City25LM, RM, LW£5,000
Declan JohnSwansea City25LB£5,000
Wayne RooneyDerby County34CM, CAM, ST£35,000
Curtis DaviesDerby County35CB£17,000
Martyn WaghornDerby County30RM, LM, ST£18,000
Florian JozefzoonDerby County29RM, LM£13,000
Andre WisdomDerby County27RB, CB£13,000
Duane HolmesDerby County25CM, CAM, RM£14,000
Jack MarriottDerby County25ST£14,000
Jonathan HowsonMiddlesbrough FC32RWB, CB, CM£18,000
Tomás MejíasMiddlesbrough FC31GK£5,000
Britt AssombalongaMiddlesbrough FC27ST£21,000
Marvin JohnsonMiddlesbrough FC29LB, LWB, LW£10,000
Ashley FletcherMiddlesbrough FC24LW, ST£16,000
Sone AlukoReading FC31RM, RW£7,000
Michael MorrisonReading FC32CB£12,000
Sam BaldockReading FC31ST£8,000
Sam WalkerReading FC28GK£4,000
Maikel KieftenbeldBirmingham City30CDM, CM£6,000
Josh McEachranBirmingham City27CDM, CM£5,000
David DavisBirmingham City29CDM, CM£8,000
Jon ToralBirmingham City25CM, RM, CAM£5,000
Iván GuzmánBirmingham City29RWUnknown
Agus MedinaBirmingham City25RB£3,000
Josh CogleyBirmingham City24RB, CB£2,000
Paul GallagherPreston North End36CDM, CM£16,000
Paul HuntingtonPreston North End32CB£9,000
Louis MoultPreston North End28ST£11,000
Billy BodinPreston North End28RM, RW£12,000
Daniel JohnsonPreston North End27CDM, CAM£23,000
Ben PearsonPreston North End25CDM£19,000
Andrew HughesPreston North End28LB£15,000
Darnell FisherPreston North End26RB£14,000
Ben DaviesPreston North End25CB£16,000
Alan BrownePreston North End25CDM, CAM£18,000
Charlie MulgrewBlackburn Rovers34CB£9,000
Elliott BennettBlackburn Rovers31RB, LB, RM£9,000
Bradley JohnsonBlackburn Rovers33CDM, CM£9,000
Lewis HoltbyBlackburn Rovers29CM, RM, CAM£18,000
Corry EvansBlackburn Rovers30CDM£6,000
Derrick WilliamsBlackburn Rovers27LB, CB£10,000
Joe RothwellBlackburn Rovers25LM, RM, CAM£7,000
Bradley DackBlackburn Rovers26CAM, ST£19,000
Bartosz BialkowskiMillwall FC33GK£8,000
Frank FieldingMillwall FC32GK£5,000
Shaun WilliamsMillwall FC33CDM, CM£7,000
Shane FergusonMillwall FC29LM£5,000
Matt SmithMillwall FC31ST£7,000
Tom BradshawMillwall FC28ST£9,000
Jiri SkalákMillwall FC28LM, RM£5,000
Mahlon RomeoMillwall FC24RB£6,000
Ben ThompsonMillwall FC24CM, CAM, CF£6,000
Keiren WestwoodSheffield Wednesday35GK£15,000
Jordan RhodesSheffield Wednesday30ST£16,000
Barry BannanSheffield Wednesday30CDM, CM£24,000
Tom LeesSheffield Wednesday29CB£16,000
Kadeem HarrisSheffield Wednesday27LM, LW, RW£18,000
Adam ReachSheffield Wednesday27CM, RM, RW£20,000
Moses OdubajoSheffield Wednesday27RB, LB£9,000
Joey PelupessySheffield Wednesday27CDM, CM£9,000
Joost van AkenSheffield Wednesday26CB£4,000
Mike BähreBarnsley FC25CM, CAM£3,000
Alex MowattBarnsley FC25CDM, CM£7,000
Geoff CameronQueens Park Rangers35CB, CDM£5,000
Lee WallaceQueens Park Rangers33LB£4,000
Dominic BallQueens Park Rangers25RB, CDM, CM£3,000
Seny DiengQueens Park Rangers25GK£1,000
Dillon BarnesQueens Park Rangers24GK£990
Ryan ManningQueens Park Rangers24LB, CM£5,000
Joe LumleyQueens Park Rangers25GK£3,000
Kazenga LuaLuaLuton Town29LM, LW, ST£6,000
Eunan O’KaneLuton Town30CDM, CM£4,000
James CollinsLuton Town29ST£10,000
Danny HyltonLuton Town31ST£7,000
Ryan TunnicliffeLuton Town27CDM, CM£5,000
George MoncurLuton Town27CM, LM, CAM£5,000
Matty PearsonLuton Town27CB£7,000
Luke BerryLuton Town28CM, CAM£6,000
Sonny BradleyLuton Town28CB£7,000
Dan PottsLuton Town26LB£4,000
Elliot LeeLuton Town25CAM, ST£4,000
Kyle McFadzeanCoventry City33CB£3,000
Liam KellyCoventry City30CDM, CM£4,000
Michael RoseCoventry City24CB£2,000
Dominic HyamCoventry City24CB£2,000
Amadou BakayokoCoventry City24ST£2,000
Maxime BiamouCoventry City29ST£3,000
Shaun MacDonaldRotherham United32CDM, CM£3,000
Lewis PriceRotherham United36GK£2,000
Billy JonesRotherham United33RB£3,000
Clark RobertsonRotherham United26CB£4,000
Jamie ProctorRotherham United28ST£5,000
Adam ThompsonRotherham United27CB£3,000
Kyle VassellRotherham United28ST£4,000
Adebayo AkinfenwaWycombe Wanderers38ST£2,000
Darius CharlesWycombe Wanderers32CB£2,000
Ryan AllsopWycombe Wanderers28GK£2,000
Josh ParkerWycombe Wanderers29ST£2,000
Curtis ThompsonWycombe Wanderers26CDM, CM£2,000

If you want to enhance your team for a promotion campaign at little cost to your transfer budget, be sure to snap-up the best Championship contract expiry signings in FIFA 21.