Black Friday, that annual ‘event’ when people other than just Americans who have celebrated Thanksgiving the day before go mad for a shopping bargain.
With the January transfer window rapidly approaching, clubs looking to strengthen without spending the earth will be on the lookout for players who add something extra.
Whether they’re out of favour, soon to be out of contract, or a bit of both, here’s a look at nine big name players who could soon be the subject of a bargain transfer…
9. Olivier Giroud
Olivier Giroud may be turning 33 years of age in the early weeks of next season, but the veteran striker is a proven Premier League player and can still be useful to plenty of teams in the division if they are prepared to play to his strengths.
Giroud, whose contract expires in June, is not a regular starter for Chelsea and any decision on a new deal may be delayed until quite late in the season.
It means a club in the market for a new striker in January could certainly do a lot worse than making a small offer for the French World Cup winner. Failing that, he may be available for free in the summer anyway.
8. Alan Dzagoev
The time might finally have come for Russian star Alan Dzagoev to move on from CSKA Moscow after spending a decade with the club. On his day, Dzagoev is certainly capable of performing at a top level.
Now 28 years of age, he is on course to become a free agent in June and has shown the quality he possesses, both at international tournaments and in the Champions League.
The only thing to be aware of is that multiple thigh and hamstring problems over the last five or so years have forced him to miss at least a few games nearly every season.
7. Daniel Sturridge
Assuming Daniel Sturridge isn’t slapped with a lengthy suspension by the FA over alleged misconduct relating to betting rules, the Liverpool striker could prove to be a bargain signing for a club in need of an experienced goalscorer.
Out of contract in June, Sturridge is perhaps no longer good enough for an elite club after failing to get much of a look in at Anfield over the last 18 months, yet he has still made contributions this season on the few occasions when he has been called upon.
The 29-year-old was unable to make an impact on loan at West Brom due to an unfortunate injury, but he has been fit so far in 2018/19 and has at least been in every matchday squad.
6. Ander Herrera
Manchester United are still to agree a new contract with combative midfielder Ander Herrera, raising the possibility that the Spaniard could leave the club for free at the end of the season or be sold in a cut price deal in January.
Herrera is a popular figure among United fans and the chance to sign a dedicated individual who was named Player of the Year at Old Trafford as recently as 2016/17, a season in which the club won two trophies, is not to be sniffed at.
United already exercised the option of an extra 12 months on Herrera’s contract last year and there is nowhere for them to go if they cannot agree a new deal.
5. Cesc Fabregas
There could be an opportunity in January or at the end of the season to sign one of the best foreign imports the Premier League has seen, coming in the shape of Cesc Fabregas.
The former Arsenal captain has somewhat lost his way after playing a pivotal role in Chelsea’s 2014/15 Premier League title win and could benefit from a change of scenery at this stage of his illustrious and trophy-laden career.
Given that his contract expires in June, Chelsea are not in a position to demand much a fee for him if a suitor can persuade Fabregas to jump ship when the winter market opens.
4. Mario Balotelli
Ex-Manchester City and Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has been billed as a €100m player on two occasions this year, by agent Mino Raiola and Nice teammate Alassane Plea.
That may be a bit of a stretch, but the Italian, who was a star of Euro 2012, has certainly shown he can be a productive player since putting his Anfield nightmare behind him – enjoying his best ever season in front of goal in 2017/18, netting 26 times in all competitions.
Balotelli has been on 12-month contracts since moving to France and his current deal will once again finish at the end of the season. His career has reached a point where he is definitely worth considering as a bargain punt.
3. Toby Alderweireld
With no new contract yet appearing on the horizon, Toby Alderweireld looks set to leave Tottenham one way or another in the coming months.
The Belgian centre-back is on course to become a free agent at the end of the season, limiting the asking price that Spurs can demand in January.
If no new deal is signed he would be able to leave for nothing in June, and even triggering the optional extra 12 months is widely reported to bring with it a release clause in the region of £25m, making Alderweireld low hanging fruit for bargain hunters.
2. Juan Mata
Rapidly nearing the end of his contract with Manchester United, Juan Mata is seemingly chasing playing time rather than money, potentially making him a bargain January signing.
Mata has only started 28 of United’s last 50 Premier League games and it was reported last month that while he would be ‘keen’ to remain at Old Trafford, simply throwing money at the contract negotiations is not necessarily going to get him to stay.
When a player of such quality isn’t driven by money, it makes for smart business if a club can offer the game time he craves and sign him up.
1. Diego Godin
Atletico Madrid and Uruguay captain Diego Godin is one of the best centre-backs in the world, yet it is believed he has a buyout clause in the region of €20m written into this current contract. That contract is also fast reaching its 2019 expiration.
There were rumours of an extension being agreed when there was talk of Manchester United being interested in a late deal back in August, but it was never officially confirmed.
Given that a world class centre-back in this market could easily cost £75m or more, finding one for £20m or less is an absolute steal. It doesn’t even matter that Godin is 33 in February because his defensive awareness and leadership qualities are so strong.