Free agents and transfer bargains are one of the best aspects of Football Manager 2020, allowing you to be a pragmatist when it comes to finding the best players available. This is especially important if you take charge of a team in the lower half of the Premiership or from a lower league entirely.
But it's also helpful if you want to pinch pennies and save more of your budget for other players and expenses. There is, of course, the easier route which is that you take control of a Manchester City-like club, where money becomes highly disposable - but even then a cheeky freebie could be the signing that makes the difference.
Below, we've compiled a list of FM20's best free transfers and bargain buys you can get hold of in the latest edition of Football Manager.
If you're after some players with a chance to really improve, mind, our page on FM20 wonderkids and the highest potential young players is the place to go.
FM20 free agents and bargain transfers: the best free and cheap players in Football Manager 2020
Are you able to spot any familiar names here? We can. Here's our list of cracking cheap options, arranged by cost from lowest to highest.
FM20 free agents and bargain transfers list:
|Name||Age||Position||Club||Trasnfer fee (£M)||Current wage (£k p/w)|
|Ignazio Abate||32||D/WB (R)||N/A||Free||None|
|Pau Cendros||32||D (RC), WB (R)||N/A||Free||None|
|Aboubacar Doumbia||24||D, M (R)||N/A||Free||None|
|Emanuele Rovini||24||AM (RLC), S (C)||N/A||Free||None|
|Aaron Niguez||30||M (L), AM (LC)||N/A||Free||None|
|Harem Ben Arfa||32||AM (RC), S (C)||N/A||Free||None|
|Nicolas Garmendia||21||M/AM (C)||N/A||Free||None|
|Ezequiel||28||M (L), AM (RLC)||N/A||Free||None|
|Abdelhak Belahmeur||27||M/AM (C), AM (RL)||N/A||Free||None|
|Jay Emmanuel-Thomas||28||AM (RLC)||N/A||Free||None|
|Omar Santana||28||M/AM (C)||N/A||Free||None|
|Wilfried Bony||30||S (C)||N/A||Free||None|
|Alassane N'Diaye||29||DM/M (C)||N/A||Free||None|
|Fran Oller||25||M/AM (C)||Poli. Almeria||0||0|
|Adam Desbois||18||GK||Brighton U23s||0.285||0.35|
|Kevin Ruegg||20||D (R), DM/M (C)||Zurich||1.6||6.25|
|Francis||23||D/WB (R)||Real Hispalis||2.4||7.75|
|Bruno Gaspar||26||D/WB (R), D (L)||Olympiakos||2.4||7.5|
|Costel Pantilimon||32||GK||Nottingham Forest||3.2||20|
How we chose our list of the best free agents and bargains in FM20
Through the in-game scouting system, we compiled a list of the best free or cheap players that hold ratings of at least 15 (out of 20) in two or more ability fields, and over 10 in two others. These cover mental, physical and technical abilities, which define how each player performs in the game.
The maximum age limit is set to 33, so you can at least get a few good years from any of the players below. There are a few goalies this year that are worth your time, particularly the French Willy Maeyens, who is this year's only free goalkeeper worth snapping up. They were filtered out by focussing on the handling scores, the most important ability for that position since FM's inception. But 20-year-old Ezequiel Muth from Argentina is this year's best pick, with a potential handling score of 19, a rarity for a free agent.
The best defenders seem to be wing backs, which would mean an incredibly help if you're intending to play a tactically aggressive team during your managerial career. However, I must note that Zurich's Kevin Ruegg is by far the best cheap buy in this area in FM20, particularly given his physical strength and a potential ability for determination marked at 20 in the beginning of the game.
At the attacking end of the pitch, Emanuele Rovini seems like a good bet. The 24-year-old is a freebie with numerous abilities having a potential score above 15, including his passing and first touch skills. Another one to sign up quickly is the 30-year-old Aaron Niguez, whose range shouldn't be ignored. In fact, of the 38 abilities that are scored for each player, his current or potential scores reach at least 15 (out of 20) for 13 criteria. For a free agent? Definitely high marks.
For more like this, our guide to FM20 wonderkids and the highest potential young players could come in very handy.