Paris Saint-Germain are set to wave goodbye to centre-back Thiago Silva this summer after eight years of stellar service.
The 35-year-old Brazilian, who was in the FIFPro World 11 as recently as 2015, will let his contract expire and walk away for free, and in a world in which free transfers are more valuable than ever, he may still have plenty of options to consider.
Here are 11 teams who should consider a move for Silva.
A source has confirmed to 90min that Everton are one of five English sides who are considering a move for Silva, and the Toffees have one main advantage in the race for Silva’s signature – manager Carlo Ancelotti.
Ancelotti and Silva have a fantastic relationship which stems back to the Brazilian’s first year with AC Milan. They grew close and reunited at PSG in 2012, and Silva has made no secret of his respect for the Italian.
“I’ve worked with a lot of coaches in my career, but one man stands out, and that’s Mr Ancelotti,” he said (via ESPN) in 2013.
“It wasn’t easy for me to find my feet when I first arrived in Europe. When I joined AC Milan I didn’t play for six months. But I was training under a great coach in Carlo Ancelotti. I can’t stress how important those six months were – they changed my life.”
2. Newcastle United
If/when Newcastle United’s takeover goes through, the Magpies will be looking for some big names to kick-start their revolution. Silva did that in Paris and he could do it again on Tyneside.
Sure, a soon-to-be 36-year-old isn’t exactly the dream signing, but Silva’s name still carries a lot of weight. Being the ones to sign him would be a huge statement for Newcastle.
Silva’s obviously not the elite talent that Newcastle would like, but in terms of long-term impact, he could be the most valuable signing available.
3. Wolverhampton Wanderers
Having risen from Championship dreamers to Europa League hopefuls, Wolverhampton Wanderers are on the hunt for big names to take them to the next level.
90min has learned that Wolves chiefs see Silva as the kind of player for the job as he comes with plenty of top-level experience in both domestic leagues and the Champions League.
Should Wolves manage to book a spot in Europe’s top competition, they would likely prove to be an intriguing option for Silva.
4. West Ham United
West Ham United are yet to see the rewards for their significant investment in the playing squad. They have found themselves in a relegation battle this season, so finding some experienced help at the back is a must for David Moyes’ side.
Silva’s years of practice at the highest level would work wonders for 23-year-old Issa Diop, who has long been seen as one of the Premier League’s most promising youngsters. That mentorship could be all the Frenchman needs.
Affording his wages would not be a problem, and the fact that he would walk into the first team may make West Ham an attractive proposition.
Arsenal are on the hunt for free transfers this summer, and 90min has learned that Silva is one of the players on their wish list.
With doubts over the long-term future of Silva’s former teammate David Luiz’s future at the club, the Gunners are eager to ensure they can find a replacement at an affordable price.
A number of loan deals and free transfers and under consideration, but they don’t come much bigger than Silva.
6. AC Milan
If a reunion with Ancelotti isn’t on the cards, a return to Milan could be Silva’s preferred move.
Silva spent three excellent years with I Rossoneri, winning the Serie A title in the 2010/11 campaign, and there was a sense that he was only sold because Milan needed money.
“I hope to follow Kaká’s footsteps by one day, even if not right now, coming back to Milan,” he told Sky Sport Italia (via the Daily Mail) shortly after his departure.
“Milan was a wonderful time for me. I send the fans a big kiss, hoping to see each other again soon.”
Let’s be clear, Liverpool do not need a new starting centre-back. Virgil van Dijk and a combination of Joe Gomez and Joël Matip have got things covered at Anfield.
However, behind that trio, things aren’t so good.
Dejan Lovren has struggled this year and might even be on his way out the door this summer, and Silva could be a smart low-budget replacement. He’s no Kalidou Koulibaly, but he doesn’t need to be.
Whenever Silva’s name has been mentioned in transfer rumours over the last decade, Barcelona have never been far away. La Blaugrana have tried to sign Silva on a number of occasions, and this could be the time to strike.
Mundo Deportivo recently revealed that Silva dreams of playing alongside Lionel Messi before he retires, so much so that he would be willing to reject all other offers if Barcelona put a contract on the table.
Samuel Umtiti has been touted as a potential replacement for Silva at PSG, and replacing the Frenchman with Silva on a free transfer would be smart business for the cash-strapped Spaniards.
It’s up to Silva what he wants to do next. He’ll have plenty of high-profile offers, but if he’s ready to start winding down, a return to Fluminense could be on the cards.
He was a hugely popular figure during his time with the Brazilian side, with his form there ultimately earning him his move to Europe.
A return has long been on the cards, with former international teammate Fred leading the charge to bring Silva back this summer. Watch this space.
10. Manchester City
Manchester City need a whole host of new centre-backs. Faith in Nicolás Otamendi and John Stones is dwindling, Aymeric Laporte has battled injury and Fernandinho is a 35-year-old midfielder playing out of position.
Signing Silva to become a starter is a bit of a stretch, but he might just make a reliable backup in Pep Guardiola’s side. His love for passing would fit in perfectly at the Etihad Stadium.
Despite his age, Silva has still been a near-permanent starter for PSG this season, so he’s obviously still able to play when called upon. He could offer City a few years of cheap service before being traded in for a younger model.
11. Tottenham Hotspur
José Mourinho loves his golden oldies. He has never been afraid to sign older players, so Silva might be one to put on the radar at Tottenham Hotspur.
With Jan Vertonghen leaving this summer, finding a new centre-back is important for Spurs, and being able to do so without paying a transfer fee is a dream come true for Daniel Levy’s side.
Would they pay his wages? Probably not happily, but there might not be any better options for Spurs.
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