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With Silva joining Chelsea and Messi set to follow him to England – here’s the best free signings

What would be the most expensive free transfer ever is brewing with Lionel Messi plotting to leave Barcelona via a disputed clause in his contract.

Manchester City are favourites to sign Messi, but their Premier League rivals Chelsea have already made quite the free signing of their own after snapping up Thiago Silva from Paris Saint-Germain

The 35-year-old Brazilian signed a two-year deal at Stamford Bridge for no transfer fee earlier this week as Frank Lampard continues a £200million-plus overhaul of his Chelsea squad.

With Silva making the move to England – and with Messi on the brink of joining him, Sportsmail takes a look back at the best free transfers in Premier League history.

Thiago Silva joined Chelsea on a free transfer after signing a two-year deal this week

Lionel Messi is also agitating for a free and highly-controversial exit from Barcelona

Lionel Messi is also agitating for a free and highly-controversial exit from Barcelona

20. Teddy Sheringham – Manchester United to Tottenham 

Teddy Sheringham's return to Spurs in 2001 helped them finish in ninth-place in the top-flight

Teddy Sheringham’s return to Spurs in 2001 helped them finish in ninth-place in the top-flight

After being a goal machine at Tottenham in his first spell at the club, Teddy Sheringham joined Manchester United for £3.5million. After four seasons winning…