Who doesn’t love free stuff? The beautiful art of the ‘free transfer’

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By Football Tripper
Last Updated: December 16, 2021


It’s that time of the year again. The summer transfer window is open and a host of activity has already taken place. And the rumour mill is still churning away with no sign of it relenting as we approach the beginning of the new football season.


Needless to say football has looked different since COVID-19 burst onto the scene. At football tripper, we’re hoping it follows a similar story to Federico Macheda at Manchester United. His game in a United shirt saw him come off the bench to score a sublime goal against Villa, netting another in his following outing before fading into obscurity.


Despite vaccine rollouts we’re still seeing the effects of the pandemic. And one of these effects is a fewer number of big money transfers.


But that hasn’t stopped the biggest clubs signing some of the biggest names in world football through the beautiful art of ‘free transfers’.  We’ve already seen Sergio Aguero, Eric Garcia and Memphis Depay move on a free to Barcelona. And more recently PSG acquiring Sergio Ramos, which could prove to be an awesome signing. Medical staff were reportedly blown away by his physical condition. It seems to be PSG’s main tactics this transfer window, who have also enlisted the services of Georginio Wijnaldum and Achraf Hakimi on a free. We’d wager that Euro winner Gianluigi Donnarumma will soon follow. If you’re a fan of bets like us, we’ve found a load of new UK casino sites where you can do just that.


These moves got us thinking… Who have been the biggest beneficiaries of free transfers since the Bosman ruling permitted them way back in 1995?


Here are our top three picks for the best free transfers.


  1. Robert Lewandowski. Borussia Dortmund to Bayern Munich.
    How on earth did Dortmund let him go on a free? Stubbornness, that’s how. Bayern had just signed Gotze from Dortmund in 2013 and the club was adamant that they didn’t want to lose their other top star Lewandowski, refusing all bids for him. Fast forward 12 months and Lewandowski’s contract has run up and he switches to Bayern Munich. To date he’s scored more than 200 goals for the bavarians.

  2. Paul Pogba. Manchester United to Juventus.
    Whether you rate Pogba or not, there’s no denying Juventus did some great business enlisting his services in 2012. He wanted to play a bigger part at United but wasn’t given the reassurance of game time under Ferguson. So he left for Juventus where he won four back to back league titles. The Old Lady then cashed in, selling him back to United for a cool £89 million.

  3. Andrea Pirlo. AC Milan to Juventus.
    “When Andrea told me that he was joining us, the first thing I thought was: ‘God exists.’” These words were spoken by then Juventus goalkeeper Buffon. This move to Juventus proved to be a massive error of judgement by Milan. Pirlo was magnificent and played a pivotal role in the Turin’s side’s subsequent league dominance.


Notable mentions:

James Milner (MC > Liv), Sol Campbell (Tot > Ars), Miroslav Klose (FCB > Laz), Michael Ballack (FCB > Che), Jay-Jay Okocha (PSG > BOL), Raul (RM > SCH), Steve McManaman (Liv > RM), Roberto Baggio (ACM > BFC)

Football Tripper Logo

By Football Tripper
Last Updated: December 16, 2021