The calciomercato for January has come to and end as clubs are already shifting their focus for the summer. Before working on new signings, there are several key players whose contracts will reach an expiration in June. Usually, there are two options for all parties involved (players, agents and clubs): Sign a new contract or leave and join new club on a free transfer. 

There are big-name players all over the top clubs in Italy who have not yet decided their future and are preparing for the possibility of leaving on a free transfer if they are unable to reach a renewal agreement. Let's break down the main players who are in this situation, and who might be close extending their contract or likely to leave. As always, you can catch all the Serie A action on Paramount+.

 

1. Paulo Dybala, Juventus 

This is arguably one of the trickiest situations in the calciomercato landscape because Paulo Dybala actually had a renewal agreement with Juventus in November on a five-year deal for approximately €10 million salary per year, add-ons included. It was all looking favorable for the two sides until the club suddenly changed courses and Dybala to wait until February while tweaking some of the conditions of the new agreement. 

It was decision that was justified in the short term thanks to the January signings of Dušan Vlahovic and Denis Zakaria, but could have a fallout in the long term if Dybala walks out this summer. Now the two sides have to see each other and again discuss the conditions of the deal to understand if there is a possibility to stay or not. Dybala has always been very close to Juventus and would like to stay, but he was certainly disappointed by the chain of events that played out, as also demonstrated by the controversial celebration during the match against Udinese last Jan. 15.

 

2. Franck Kessié, AC Milan 

The Ivorian midfielder has been in contract talks for months with AC Milan, but at the moment the two sides have yet to find an agreement and it does not favorable that we'll see one in the coming weeks. That's because the demands of the former Atalanta Bergamo midfielder are very high and the Rossoneri have always showed in the recent years to be extremely careful and somehwat frugal when it comes to contract renewals. It is no coincidence that pivotal role players were let go last summer -- Hakan Calhanoglu, who then signed for Inter Milan and Gianluigi Donnarumma, who ended up at Paris Saint-Germain, come to mind. AC Milan will try again to extend Kessié's deal but won't accept his requests as it stands, so we'll need to see efforts on both sides in order to reach a resolution.