Six best Bosman transfers of all time as Mbappe and Pogba near end of deals

This year's January transfer window could prove to be the most exciting one yet with the futures of French stars Kylian Mbappe and Paul Pogba still undecided.

Both Mbappe and Pogba are entering the final six months of their current deals and are free to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with a foreign club thanks to the 1995 Bosman ruling.

Named after Belgian footballer Jean-Marc Bosman, the ruling was implemented when Bosman took former club RFC Liege to court as he wanted to move to French side Dunkerque on a free transfer on the expiration of his current deal.

After the court ruled in his favour, unattached footballers have since been able to move freely between clubs without commanding a transfer fee.

PSG ace Mbappe and Manchester United maestro Pogba could both be set to utilise the ruling this month having been linked with Real Madrid and PSG respectively.

Mbappe in particular has remained outspoken about his desire to sign for Los Blancos in the summer after the La Liga leaders saw a £171m bid rejected for the 23-year-old on Transfer Deadline Day.

And despite being offered a record-breaking contract at Man Utd, Pogba is still yet to pen a new deal amid rumours of a free transfer to the Ligue 1 giants.

Daily Star Sport takes a look at six of the best Bosman transfers of all time…

Lionel Messi – Barcelona to PSG (2021)

There's only one name that could kick off this list – it's not often a then six-time (now seven-time) Ballon d'Or winner becomes available on a free transfer.

Where do you think Kylian Mbappe and Paul Pogba will end up? Let us know in the comments section.

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Last summer football fans were met with the astounding news that Barcelona would not be renewing the contract of star man Lionel Messi as the club's finances had hit an all-time low.

A tearful press conference ensued with Messi forced to wave goodbye after two decades in Catalunya, heading to Paris to form part of Mauricio Pochettino's star-studded squad.

On a £30m-a-year deal, it's the biggest Bosman deal to date.

Andrea Pirlo – AC Milan to Juventus (2011)

Released by AC Milan aged 31, Andrea Pirlo was deemed too old to continue featuring at the highest level as the Rossoneri sought to retain the Scudetto the following season.

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Title-rivals Juventus swooped to sign the World Cup winner and it proved to be a masterstroke.

Legendary 'keeper Gianluigi Buffon labelled him "the signing of the century" and that was before Pirlo helped the Bianconeri to four Serie A titles in succession.

Milan have not won the Scudetto since Pirlo's departure.

Steve McManaman – Liverpool to Real Madrid (1999)

Having agreed a pre-contract arrangement at the start of the year, McManaman went on to become the first-ever Englishman to win the Champions League at a foreign club.

Eight trophies later, the scouse wide man became England's most successful export ever, enjoying four seasons in the Spanish capital before transferring to Manchester City in 2003.

Still listed on the Real Madrid website as a club legend, McManaman is acclaimed for paving the way for the likes of Michael Owen and Gareth Bale.

McManaman is credited with advising both Owen and Bale to sign for Los Blancos after they rang the Englishman ahead of their proposed moves.

Sol Campbell – Tottenham to Arsenal (2001)

Sol Campbell broke Tottenham hearts when penning a contract with arch-rivals Arsenal in 2001 – having previously stated he would never sign for the Gunners.

The England international made over 300 appearances for Spurs but chose to run down his deal and leave for free at the end of the season, citing a lack of trophies as a key factor in his decision.

On his return, Tottenham fans booed and jeered their former hero with some even holding up placards labelling him 'Judas'.

Campbell went on to claim two Premier League titles, three FA Cups and 73 England caps with Arsenal before hanging up his boots in 2012.

Robert Lewandowski – Borussia Dortmund to Bayern Munich (2014)

In their quest for Bundesliga dominance, Bayern Munich made a habit of poaching players from Borussia Dortmund over the past decade.

Mats Hummels, Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski all opted to leave Westfalenstadion in favour of the Allianz Arena but it was the latter's departure that cut deepest.

Boasting 325 goals in 355 appearances, the Polish international's goal return has been sensational since making the move south.

Dortmund have not won the league title since 2012 – when Lewandowski's 22 goals in 34 matches fired Jurgen Klopp's side to their second successive crown.

Gianluigi Donnarumma – AC Milan to PSG (2021)

Donnarumma sent AC Milan fans incandescent with rage when quitting his boyhood club at the end of last season.

The Rossoneri had secured a first Champions League campaign after seven years away but that was not enough to stop Italy's Euro 2020 hero snubbing an €8 million-a-year (£6.7m) contract offer and quitting for PSG.

Led to Paris by Mino Raiola, the super-agent earned a staggering €20m (£16.7m) commission from the transfer due to the Ligue 1 club not having to fork out a transfer fee.

Donnarumma himself didn't do so badly either with the Italian penning a €12m-a-season (£10m) contract until 2026.

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