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5 Championship stars who will be free agents this summer

Saturday 31st March 2018

We are edging towards that time. Championship sides are panicking over certain players' contract situations. Managers hate such unwanted distractions, especially during the campaign's most critical period. Nevertheless, several talented second-tier players will be out of contract in June, available to sign with any club on a free transfer, and many clubs are paying attention. Who wouldn't want to sign a difference-maker with only his wages having to go on the books? 

Here are five players your club could sign.

Andy Yiadom

The 26-year-old right-back joined Barnsley last summer from League Two side, Barnet. Despite never playing at Championship level in his career, he adapted very well to life at Oakwell. Some would argue he's the best fullback in the division. 

Yiadom was linked to Premier League sides Huddersfield Town and Swansea City before signing with Barnsley and again in January.  He remained at Barnsley. His contract expires in the summer, and he has proved himself for a full season. He may be ready to take the next step.

Abel Hernandez, Hull City

The Uruguayan international has proven himself a top striker in the Championship. Although he struggled for goals in his two Premier League seasons with Hull, he has been prolific for the Tigers in the second division. 

Hernandez scored 22 goals in the 2015/16 promotion season under Steve Bruce. He has delivered a good return on the £10 million Hull spent to lure him from Serie A side Palermo in 2014.

The bad news? He sustained a knee injury in August and only returned to action last month. Nevertheless, he has bagged six goals in as many games. His contract is up at the end of the season. Hernandez ought to be on the radar at several other clubs.

Aron Gunnarsson, Cardiff City

The Icelander has been a great servant to the Bluebirds but is expected to leave when his deal expires in June. He has played exactly 250 matches for Cardiff since joining from Coventry City in 2011, both at right back and in midfield. 

He will be in the Iceland squad for the World Cup in Russia this summer.  The tournament is often an excellent showcase. Ask James Rodriguez.  Gunnarsson has already signalled his intention to leave Cardiff, but that could change if they are promoted.

Joe Ledley, Derby County

Ledley was released by Premier League side Crystal Palace last summer. He took his time choosing his next career move. The Rams swooped to sign the Wales international in August on a short-term contract, then extended the deal until season's end. He reportedly had offers from China, Turkey, and Spain, but opted for a move to the Championship. It will be interesting to see where he ends up if he does leave Derby in June.

Ryan Fredericks, Fulham

The talented right-back has been pivotal in Fulham's rise to promotion contention. However, he hasn't expressed a commitment to the Cottagers beyond this campaign. Swansea and Everton are both rumoured suitors. His future at Fulham could well depend on whether they are promoted.

Harry Mail

A big Hull City fan from Manchester. Keep an eye on leagues across Europe, the MLS and non-league in England.

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