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FREE AGENT BARGAINS: Top 5 under-the-radar freebies Arsenal, Spurs and Liverpool are chasing

The summer market may've shut two weeks ago (or is that a week for Aston Villa and Tom Cleverley?), but the communication lines between Premier League clubs and agents remain wide open.

And we're not talking about preparations for the January window.

There's over 250 free agents, boasting top flight experience, available to Premier League clubs from across Europe.

tribalfootball.com broke the news of Innocent Emeghara's camp reaching out to the likes of West Ham United and Sunderland after his release from the bankrupt Siena. And it's emerged this week, with his defence hit hard by injury, that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is discussing with chief executive Ivan Gazidis making room in the budget for a free agent signing. Former Everton and Norwich City defender Joseph Yobo and released West Bromwich Albion centre-half Diego Lugano have been mentioned as candidates.

Wenger is also considering one of the gems of the free agency list, former Gooner Lassana Diarra, who was not registered by Lokomotiv Moscow after a blow-up with former coach Leonid Kuchuk. Kuchuk was shown the door last week.

If he is to return to England, Diarra will have to accept a major pay-cut on the wages he enjoyed at Loko and previously with Anzhi. There is also the chance of returning to Loko now with Kuchuk out of the picture.

Looking locally, Wenger could consider former West Ham United and Sunderland defender George McCartney. There is also former Leicester City centre-half Sean St Ledger.

The 29 year-old came off contract in June and remains without a club. But interested teams will have to move quickly, as St Ledger has been spending the week in Greece with his former Peterborough United teammate Luke Steele, who signed for Panathinaikos last month.

Jack Collison, cut loose by West Ham United, is in talks with Millwall and Ipswich Town, while former Besiktas striker Hugo Almeida has met with QPR boss Harry Redknapp to discuss terms and remains available after a round of talks with Italy's Cesena came to nothing.

Along with Portugal international Almeida, looking beyond England, there's some absolute jewels available for those managers willing to put the time and effort into making such free signings a success.

TOP FIVE (BELOW THE RADAR) FREE AGENTS:

1) Sotiris Ninis

Only 24, Ninis was released by Parma over the summer after failing to settle during two years in Italy. Before his move to Serie A, Ninis was regarded among the best young players in Europe - and the best of his generation in Greece. Blessed with explosive pace and wonderful dribbling ability, Ninis made his name with Panathinaikos, where he was a regular at just 16 years of age.

Playing with the Greek giants, Ninis attracted enquiries from Manchester United, Barcelona and Bayern Munich, but ended up choosing Parma in the hope of continuing his development at a higher standard. But it just didn't happen for the Greece international and he spent the end of last season on-loan with PAOK before his release by Parma in June.

2) Cristian Sapanaru

An experienced Romania defender, Sapanaru has long flirted with a move to England, particularly during his four years with Porto. Tottenham and Liverpool both made attempts for Sapanaru while he played in Portugal before the now 30 year-old moved to Spain two years ago with Real Zaragoza. A year later he joined Elche before being allowed to come off contract over the summer.

Sapanaru came close to signing for Crystal Palace before moving to Elche. He was desperate to see the switch to England happen and kept Elche waiting until it was clear Palace would not be making a firm offer. While primarily a right-back, Sapanaru, standing at 6ft 2in, can also play at centre-half and has the physique to handle the demands of the Premier League.

3) Krisztián Németh

A former Liverpool junior, striker Németh was allowed to cancel his contract at Roda JC over the summer by mutual consent and remains without a club. The 25 year-old spent three years inside Liverpool's academy after moving from former Hungarian partners MTK Budapest. He left Liverpool for Olympiakos in 2010 and has spent time in Greek, Hungarian and Dutch football, where he has scored goals wherever he has played. Hungarian observers believe Nemeth will only fulfil his potential once he settles down at one club, having played for eight teams in five years - almost as a gun for hire. A strong running centre-forward, Nemeth can also play as a second striker and feels he has unfinished business in England after his time on Merseyside was plagued by injury.

4) Leonel Galeano

Galeano, released by Rayo Vallecano over the summer, certainly has the ability to play in the Premier League. But he would still represent a gamble due to his recent injury record, which influenced Rayo's decision to cut him loose at the end of last season. Now 23, Galeano was capped by Argentina as a 19 year-old and played with Tottenham winger Erik Lamela and Newcastle United striker Facundo Ferreyra in the 2011 U20 World Cup. At home, where he came through the system at Independiente, Galeano was likened to Inter Milan legend Walter Samuel.

5) Gaby Mudingayi

Like Lassana Diarra, Belgium international Mudingayi looks a sure bet for any Premier League club. The midfielder, 32, left Inter Milan at the end of last season after failing to win over coach Walter Mazzarri. But in Italy his reputation remains intact, where he is still a hero for Lazio fans after three years with the Rome club. Mudingayi has kept Serie A clubs waiting as he pushes his agents to explore the Premier League market. QPR have been sounded out, as has Crystal Palace and Aston Villa over the past ten days.

Chris Beattie
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Chris Beattie

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