FIFA 23 Career Mode: Best Contract Expiry Signings in 2023 (First Season) and Free Agents

Plan ahead for the potential contract expiry signings of 2023 – it’s set to be loaded with the best players in the world right now.

FIFA 23 Career Mode: Best Contract Expiry Signings in 2023 (First Season) and Free Agents guide

In Career Mode, one of the best and most cost-effective ways of bringing in a new superstar has long been to make a contract expiry signing – or test your luck in the free agency.

In last year’s version the old ways aren’t quite as effective or prevalent, with the method and likelihood of making a contract expiry signing differing, as detailed on our Contract Expiry Signings page from last year.

Here, we’re looking at the players whose contracts are set to expire in 2023, the first season of FIFA 23’s Career Mode, to see who you can target for a Bosman deal.

Lionel Messi, Paris Saint-Germain (RW, CF, ST)

FIFA 23 career mode best contract expiry signing Lionel Messi, Paris Saint-Germain (RW, CF, ST)

All of the transfer talk leading up to this summer and for most of the closing weeks centred on Lionel Messi. As a free agent in the summer of 2021, he was willing to take a huge pay cut to stay with Barcelona, but so dire were the club’s finances that the league blocked the deal.

So, Messi moved on to one of the richest clubs in the world, Paris Saint-Germain. Signing a two-year deal to play up top alongside Kylian Mbappé and Neymar, the Argentine’s stay likely won’t go beyond 2023 – especially as he’s already 35-years-old.

Messi has yet to make an impact in Paris like he did in Barcelona – outside of giving a huge boost to merchandise sales – playing in 34 games last season with only 11 goals. Still, his 38 goals and 14 assists during his final, disgruntled season at Camp Nou show that there’s more to come.

In Career Mode, Messi’s mighty overall rating of 90 doesn’t degrade too much over a couple of seasons, but given his wage demands and age, it’s possible for him to go unsigned up to the January of 2023. So, on the odd occasion, he could be a contract expiry signing in FIFA 23.

Jan Oblak, Atlético Madrid (GK)

FIFA 23 career mode best contract expiry signing Jan Oblak, Atlético Madrid (GK)

Along with the highest-rated overall player and the highest-rated striker, FIFA 23’s highest-rated goalkeeper is also set to hit the open market in the summer of 2023. His efforts in the 2020/21 season were pivotal in bringing the La Liga crown to the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, keeping 18 clean sheets and only allowing 25 goals to breach his coverage in 38 games.

In the 2022/23 season, Los Rojiblancos have endured a mixed start to their La Liga campaign, with seven points from a possible 12. In the first four games, Oblak has only conceded three goals, while keeping two clean sheets as well.

At 29-years-old, FIFA’s Oblak can get even better – as noted in the game by his 92 potential rating – and wore the captain’s armband last season. As would be assumed, the Slovenian is also his nation’s first-choice goalkeeper.

While his contract does expire in 2023, opening up the possibility of another team signing him on a Bosman deal or as a free agent that summer, he’s the kind of player that doesn’t usually go for free in FIFA 23. He’ll still be in his prime and likely with an even better overall rating, but you can always test your luck to try and lure in Oblak as a contract expiry signing.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United (LW, ST)

FIFA 23 career mode best contract expiry signing Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United (LW, ST)

The 2021 summer window saw the consensus best two footballers in the world switch clubs, with Messi starting a new challenge in France and Cristiano Ronaldo returning to the club that made him a global superstar. Of course, this Manchester United team is very different to the one that he left in 2009.

Still, he’s back in the ultra-competitive Premier League following spells with dominant forces of Spain and Italy, but has still managed to be the difference-maker. His first five games yielded four goals, even if not all of the results went as he would have liked.

Being 37-years-old at the start of the game, with his contract expiring in 2023, Ronaldo looks to be a prime contract expiry signing candidate in FIFA 23. His overall will trickle down, perhaps to the high-80s, which could see the Red Devils release the club legend. Even so, he’d make for a great signing for any club.

N’Golo Kanté, Chelsea (CDM, CM)

FIFA 23 career mode best contract expiry signing N’Golo Kanté, Chelsea (CDM, CM)

Widely accredited as being the best defensive midfielder in the world right now, and certainly among the best in the modern era, N’Golo Kanté continues to utilise his 5’6’’ frame and seemingly bottomless tank to guard the Chelsea backline and cut out opposition attacks.

Somewhat worryingly for the winner of the Premier League, Champions League, Europa League, FA Cup, UEFA Supercup, and World Cup, manager Thomas Tuchel habitually subbed Kanté out at half-time or the hour-mark throughout the early season of 2020/21 campaign.

FIFA 23 have given the diminutive Frenchman a worthy overall rating of 89, which should see him used more for the in-game Chelsea than in real life. So, don’t expect his key attributes in movement and mentality to dip much, and for the Blues to, more often than not, tie him down to a new deal before he can become a contract expiry signing.

Mohamed Salah, Liverpool (RW)

FIFA 23 career mode best contract expiry signing Mohamed Salah, Liverpool (RW)

With 159 goals and 66 assists in 261 games to date, it seems like a given that Mohamed Salah will go down as one of Liverpool’s greatest players of the Premier League era. Now in his prime at 30-years-old, there may be more yet to come from the Egyptian in the remaining two years of his contract.

The crafty winger managed to score 31 goals in 51 games for the battered and beaten Reds last season. To help reassert the Anfield residents as title contenders again, Salah’s been going all-out to start the campaign, netting six goals in the first seven games.

In FIFA 23, Liverpool’s front line is still stacked, with Salah being the star of the show. His 90 overall rating is the highest of any Liverpool player, but Salah’s 93 finishing is perhaps his biggest asset. If he manages to get to the contract expiry signing window, Salah would be a top target.

All of the best contract expiry signings in FIFA 23 (First season)

Name Age Predicted Overall Predicted Potential Bosman Eligible? Position Value Wage Team
Lionel Messi    35 91 92 Yes RW, ST, CF £67.1 million £275,000 Paris Saint-Germain
Jan Oblak 29 89 92 Yes GK £96.3 million £112,000 Atlético de Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo   36 90 90 Yes ST, LW £38.7 million £232,000 Manchester United
N’Golo Kanté 31 89 89 Yes CDM, CM £86 million £198,000 Chelsea
Mohamed Salah  30 90 90 Yes RW £86.9 million £232,000 Liverpool
Karim Benzema 34 91 91 Yes CF, ST £56.8 million £301,000 Real Madrid CF
Milan Škriniar 27 86 88 Yes CB £63.6 million £129,000 Inter
Marcus Rashford 24 85 89 Yes LM, ST £66.7 million £129,000 Manchester United
Memphis Depay  28 85 86 Yes CF, LW, CAM £54.2 million £189,000 FC Barcelona
Roberto Firmino  30 85 85 Yes CF £46.4 million £159,000 Liverpool
İlkay Gündoğan 31 85 85 Yes CM, CDM £44.3 million £159,000 Manchester City
Youri Tielemans 25 84 87 Yes CM, CDM £49 million £108,000 Leicester City

See if you can sign one of these elite talents as a contract expiry signing in FIFA 23, or even as a free agent if they look to test the open market in Career Mode.

In the table of the best contract expiry signings above, players on expiring contracts may not meet the requirements of a Bosman signing due to their age.

These players have been included because even the younger players can evade contracts from their own club to hit the free agency.

So, many of the players can be targeted as FIFA 23 contract expiry signings in the first January of a Career Mode, but all of them could slip through to the free agency of summer 2023.

Even if you suspect that the player won’t be available in January, let alone as a free agent, you can often leverage a lower transfer fee due to the player’s expiring contract. As such, there is value in knowing the potential contract expiry signings even if FIFA 23 is as stingy as FIFA 22.

What are contract expiry signings on FIFA 23?

Contract expiry signings on FIFA 23 are deals made between your Career Mode club and a player with less than one year left on their contract, agreeing that the player will sign for you when their contract expires.

In real-world football, these signings are permitted under the Bosman ruling, which applies to any player who’s 23 years of age or older. These negotiations can take place as early as January of the expiry year, being completed on the first day of July in most instances.

How do you sign pre-contracts on FIFA 23?

To sign pre-contracts in FIFA 23, you need to:

  1. Start a Career Mode with ‘Negotiation Strictness’ set to ‘Loose;’
  2. At the start of the season, go to the ‘Transfers’ tab and select ‘Search Players;’
  3. Search for the players that you want to target for pre-contracts and select ‘Shortlist in Transfer Hub;’
  4. On 1 January 2023, go to the ‘Transfer Hub’ from the ‘Transfers’ tab;
  5. On the ‘Shortlist,’ scroll down and press the Show Actions button on each player;
  6. The ones that can sign pre-contracts will show the ‘Approach to Sign’ option.

In all likelihood, though, you won’t be able to sign many pre-contracts in FIFA 23, so your best bet to mop up players without a transfer fee is to go to the free agency at the end of the season. To do this, you need to:

  • On 1 July 2023 of your Career Mode, select ‘Search Players’ from the ‘Transfers’ tab;
  • Go to ‘Transfer Status’ and switch the option to ‘Free Agents;’
  • Submit the search and see the results.

If you’re looking for some specific players in the free agency, it’s a good idea to search via ‘Player Name’ as the general free agents search offers minimal sorting functions.

How do you extend and renew contracts on FIFA 23?

To extend and renew contracts on FIFA 23, preventing your players from becoming contract expiry signings elsewhere, you need to:

  1. Go to the ‘Squad’ tab of your Career Mode and select ‘Squad Hub;’
  2. Scroll down the player list until you find the one that you want to give a new contract to;
  3. Select ‘Contract Negotiation’ to negotiate a new deal or ‘Delegate Renewal’ to renew the contract;

If you opt to enter into contract negotiations, you’ll perform the negotiation yourself. Delegating a renewal means that you’ll tell the assistant manager to try to land a contract within a range set by you.

Can you make a Bosman signing on FIFA 23?

Yes, you can make a Bosman signing on FIFA 23, but they’re more commonly termed as ‘contract expiry signings’ or ‘pre-contract signings.’  

As with Bosman transfers, on FIFA 23, you need to approach a player on an expiring contract in January of that year, offering them a contract to sign for you when their current deal ends at the start of the next transfer window.

However, it’s still quite rare that players don’t transfer or sign a new deal before the January of their expiring contract rolls around.

Check out this text on FIFA pro clubs.

Looking for more bargains?

FIFA 23 Career Mode: Best Contract Expiry Signings in 2024 (Second Season)

Looking for the best young players?

FIFA 23 Career Mode: Best Young Strikers (ST & CF) to Sign

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