Adrien Rabiot and Memphis Depay lead the free agents making waves at Euro 2024

Wed, Jul 3, 2024
Soccer News (AP)

Adrien Rabiot and Memphis Depay lead the free agents making waves at Euro 2024

DUESSELDORF, Germany (AP) - The players on teams like Germany, England, France and Spain in the Euro 2024 quarterfinals mostly come from the biggest clubs. But some don't have a club at all.

France midfielder Adrien Rabiot and Netherlands forward Memphis Depay lead a small group of Euro 2024 stars who are free agents, following the June 30 deadline for contracts to expire. Each game is a chance to impress new clubs and potentially earn a bigger new contract.

Here's a look at the Euro 2024 free agents:

ADRIEN RABIOT

The 29-year-old midfielder has started all four of France's games at Euro 2024 and was a standout performer in the opening 1-0 win over Austria. A trusted regular for coach Didier Deschamps, Rabiot hasn't missed a competitive game for France in more than a year, but that run will come to an end in the quarterfinals against Portugal on Friday. That's because Rabiot is suspended after picking up his second booking of the tournament for a foul on Belgium's Jeremy Doku on Monday. That was a day after Rabiot became a free agent when his Juventus contract expired.

MEMPHIS DEPAY

Until Sunday an Atletico Madrid player, Depay has started all of the Netherlands' games at Euro 2024 and scored in the 3-2 group-stage loss to Austria. In the 3-0 win over Romania on Tuesday, his movement helped create space for players like Cody Gakpo, Xavi Simons and Donyell Malen to shine. The Netherlands' next game is Saturday against Turkey for a semifinal spot. The 30-year-old former Manchester United and Barcelona forward joined Atletico in Jan. 2023. Atletico highlighted his goal to level the score against Inter Milan in the Champions League in March as one that "will remain forever in the memory of the supporters."

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LUKA MODRIC

The 38-year-old midfield great was still under contract with Real Madrid when he played all three of Croatia's group-stage games at Euro 2024. He broke the tournament record as the oldest-ever goalscorer too. Modric's contract expired Sunday night but he's widely expected to sign a one-year extension to take him into a 13th season with Madrid. He said "see you next season" during the celebrations when Madrid won the Champions League final last month.

OTHERS

Two of Turkey's most experienced players, Yusuf Yazici and Cenk Tosun, became free agents during Euro 2024. Both have been fringe players at the tournament and were left on the bench in Tuesday's 2-1 win over Austria in the last 16, though Tosun scored the winning goal against the Czech Republic in the group stage.

Romania had two free agents, goalkeeper Florin Nita and defender Andrei Burca, in the lineup that lost to the Netherlands, while Slovakia and Norbert Gyomber were seconds away from creating a big shock against England in the round of 16 on Sunday, but instead lost 2-1 in extra time. The defender left Italian club Salernitana by mutual agreement the next morning and is now a free agent.

Scotland was the first team eliminated from Euro 2024 on June 23. Four of its players became free agents a week later. They are forward Che Adams, whose Southampton contract expired, defender Scott McKenna and midfielders Ryan Jack and Stuart Armstrong.

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AP Euro 2024: https://apnews.com/hub/euro-2024

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