With the Financial Fair Play regulations becoming increasingly important, it would be normal to imagine that more players would be out of contract than previous years, but there are actually fewer. Even so, there are some highly experienced names available on a free this summer, with Serie A listing 11 goalkeepers, 21 defenders, 13 midfielders and six strikers due to be available at the end of June. Taking everything into consideration, here’s a team of peninsula players whose contracts are coming to an end and who may just turn a few clubs’ heads.
GK Gianluca Pegolo [Siena]
One of the very best in or out of contract, the 32-year-old has been in sensational form. After playing in all 38 games and showing incredible fitness he was certainly no stranger to Football Italia’s Team of the Week selector. Keeping 12 clean sheets this term, the Italian veteran shouldn’t have too much trouble finding new employers given his performances. Classy.
RB Nicolas Frey [Chievo]
Since signing from Modena five years ago, the right-back has been a regular in the first team. Still only 29-years-old, he offers a steady if unspectacular option. Last season he played in 25 games and started 20 and is surely still good enough to find a decent club. Reliable.
CB Bostjan Cesar [Chievo]
The current Slovenian international has 67 caps and vast expertise after playing in six different leagues over his 13-year professional career. He has also been a mainstay of the Donkeys’ defence for the last three seasons. An ultra-solid player, who has shown he has the intelligence and wherewithal to do a good job elsewhere. Dependable.
CB Alessandro Lucarelli [Parma]
Has always given his best and has been a regular with Parma for the last five years. A mature central defender, whose aerial superiority in defence as well as set pieces makes him very useful at corners. Never played less than 32 games a season for Parma, he is another whose experience could be very valuable to a newcomer after playing in over 300 top flight games. Professional.
LB Emiliano Moretti [Genoa]
Played in all but three of Genoa’s game last season and although they did not have the best defence in Serie A, he never let the side down. His professionalism and determination would see him as an excellent addition to most clubs looking for experience, home or abroad. Proficient.
RM Cristian Raimondi [Atalanta]
Played in 26 League games and because he was used selectively it allowed him to always offer 100 per cent. A decisive sort of player he has been fundamental to the Orobici both on and off the field. Scored once and contributed three assists and apart from his right flank attacking duties, he can also play in a defensive role when needed. Influential.
CM Mathieu Flamini [Milan]
Hard to believe Milan are allowing a 29-year-old with his know-how and status in the game to leave on a free but perhaps they know best. Although he played in less than half of last season’s matches, when at the top of his game he is magnificent. He may have struggled for form recently but the Frenchman can still snap on it from a standing start that can leave defenders for dead. Experienced.
CM Massimo Ambrosini [Milan]
The former captain has been with Milan since 1995 and has won the Champions League twice, featured in 350 Serie A games and has four titles to show for it. He has also played in World Cup games, earned 35 Azzurri caps and won every tournament worth playing in. The central midfielder is celebrated for his leadership and his no-nonsense tackling. Undoubtedly a great option for any team looking to add experience to their midfield and many sides would surely be happy to take him on. Matchless.
F Fabrizio Miccoli [Palermo]
To add balance to this team he would play as a left-sided forward which he has done successfully on many occasions. Perhaps if the full story is not known many will be wondering how can Palermo allow their icon to leave? Yes they have been relegated but he claimed previously he would stay. Loves the club and with an average of a goal every two games, the club and the fans love him. Yet after links with a Mafia don’s son he has been told: ‘It’s best he leave.’ Inimitable.
CF Luca Toni [Fiorentina]
Big Toni gets the role here after making 15 starts in 27 games and scoring eight times. A big bustling centre forward that every side needs, he scored half of his goals with his head and registered three off the bench. He still has a lot to offer despite his age, 36, and there’s not many around with the wealth of experience the ex-Azzurri striker has. At worst he could still be a panchinaro di lusso. Peerless.
CF Sergio Pellissier [Chievo]
Only started 13 games but played in 24 until injured in Week 34, still scoring five goals with his most memorable in Week 17’s 1-0 defeat of Roma. After coming off the bench just three minutes from the end, he sprung the offside trap, snapped on to the long ball over the top, flicked it past goalkeeper Mauro Goicoechea, then tapped into the empty net, simple but typical of his alertness and at 34, still has a couple of seasons in him. Steadfast.
Special mentions:Diego Perez [Bologna], Luciano [Chievo], Bogdan Lobont [Roma], Luciano [Chievo], Marco Marchionni [Parma], Giovanni Marchese [Catania], Simone Perrotta [Roma].
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £5,000 monthly.