Lionel Messi has just seven months left to run on his Barcelona contract amid a shroud of mystery centering around whether he has actually penned a new deal.
Although no official statement from either the player or the club has surfaced about whether Messi has extended his stay at the Nou Camp, reports have long suggested it is a done deal.
But it begs the question, how much free talent is available around Europe for Premier League clubs next summer?
With players able to talk to clubs about pre-contract deals in January, Sportsmail looks at 10 players who could be targeted by England’s elite teams.
Mario Balotelli (Nice)
At 27, Mario Balotelli cannot still be labelled a ‘precocious talent’. Known to Premier League followers for his successful spell at Manchester City and categorically woeful stint at Liverpool, the Italian has rediscovered his best form in France.
Since moving to Nice last season, Balotelli has netted 26 times in 42 outings — an admirable return for any frontman.
His erratic streak reared its head again earlier this month, however, when he scored the winner for his side before getting sent off and punching the dugout on his exit from the field.
Leon Goretzka (Schalke)
Leon Goretzka, only 22, has already won 12 caps for Germany, netting six times from midfield already on the international stage.
He was part of the young Germany team that won this year’s Confederations Cup and has already scored two goals in his first eight appearances this season for Schalke.
Faouzi Ghoulam (Napoli)
There have been conflicting reports about Faouzi Ghoulam penning a new deal at Napoli, but one thing is for certain — they want to tie him down.
With Premier League giants City and Liverpool circling, Napoli know they face the prospect of the left-sided defender leaving next summer.
Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich)
The 34-year-old left winger has been among Europe’s best players for over a decade, enjoying the vast majority of his success at Bayern Munich.
An devastating knee ligament injury at the beginning of October has derailed his season and with just nine months left on his contract at the Allianz Arena — will the Bundesliga champions renew his deal?
Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich)
The evergreen Arjen Robben continues to churn out the goods for Bayern Munich — still possessing the ability to grab a game by the scruff of the neck to turn it on its head.
After recently retiring from international football with Holland, Robben has given himself the best opportunity to extend his club career. But will it be at Bayern?
He penned a 12 month extension in January this year but talk of a further season at the Allianz Arena is quiet thus far.
Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus)
A world-class centre back by anyone’s standards, Giorgio Chiellini embodies the much vaunted Italian art of defence.
His contract at Juventus, however, is up next summer and after 12 seasons and 447 appearances to date — could this be his last in Turin?
Hatem Ben Arfa (Paris Saint-Germain)
A winger whose trickery has fooled many a Premier League defender.
Hatem Ben Arfa’s ill-fated move to Paris Saint-Germain has seen him play just 626 minutes of Ligue 1 football since moving at the start of last season and will almost certainly eye a move away from the French capital next term.
Joao Moutinho (Monaco)
Joao Moutinho has 105 Portugal caps and 13 domestic trophies to his name, an impressive feat for a player of just 31 years.
Moutinho, who revealed last year he was minutes away from signing for Tottenham when compatriot Andre Villas-Boas was manager in 2012, has spoken of his desire to play in the Premier League and next summer may be his opportunity to do just that.