Failure to do so means a player is liable to leave for a reduced figure such as Lewis Holtby when he moved to Tottenham this time last year. On other occasions a player and his club may prefer to wind down his contract, letting him leave for nothing in the summer. Arsenal were the beneficiaries in the summer when Matthieu Flamini's contract with A.C. Milan expired.
There are many big names in the Premier League who's contracts are expiring and with many clubs struggling to justify why they should spend millions more their wages, some players that have become synonymous with their club could be leaving.
I have already given you a clue with Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra (pictured above), continue to read below to see who might be leaving your club.
Bendtner - Has hinted many times his dislike for Arsenal and how he sees his future away from the club. However, he has seen his playing time increase in recent times, coming to Arsenal's aid in a few matches before his injury at Hull. Besides, as positive as his confidence may be, teams of Arsenal's caliber will not be interested, yet alone Barcelona and Real Madrid. He is decent back-up but if Arsenal get the striker they need, Bendtner is out.
Fabianski - Will only ever be a back-up goalkeeper for club and country considering how Szczensy has overshadowed his whole career. Contract signing depends on ambition.
Frimpong - He will be gone by summer. Had a brilliant start but seems more interested in a career as Lethal Bizzle's hype man. A strange decision, considering football plays the bills better than a mediocre music career. I guess the heart wants what it wants.
Sagna - You would have thought Arsenal would have tied this one down as quickly as possible, could Arsenal's dreaded one year contract policy for players aged 30+ be dissuading Sagna? Either way Wenger is confident of a deal being done.
Cole - For whatever reason, Mourinho and Cole have had a falling out and it has jeoparised his Chelsea future. At 33 he is not getting any younger - something alluded to by his falling performances. With Ryan Bertrand, Cesar Azpilicueta and a bag of money, Chelsea could easily replace Cole. This could very well be his last season at Stamford Bridge.
Eto'o - For Barcelona and Inter Milan Eto'o was arguably the best striker in the world - definitely the most consistent between 2004 and 2011. However, with age and a with Eto'o booking an early retirement in Russia, Eto'o is no longer the player that frightened defenders with searing pace and skill. One gets the feeling he was brought to fill a hole Rooney was supposed to fill. Given the massive wages he is on, I would not bet on his deal being extended.
Lampard - With each season Lampard defies his age by putting in strong performances. He may no longer be the goal-scoring machine was, but he means more to Chelsea than that. He may not be the captain, but he is far more reliable than John Terry due to never being involved in scandals or rarely being injured - ironically he is out for a month. With Mourinho being a big fan and Lampard playing more than enough games to justify his large wages, no doubt he will re-sign.
Schwarzer - This deal baffled me and many others when it was concluded. He is a very good goalkeeper, but considering he wanted first team football, he had to have known Cech was always going to start ahead of him. Him staying on will hinge on whether Courtois chooses to stay at Atletico Madrid - where he has progressed in a world class goalkeeper - or moves back to Chelsea to battle Cech for the position of number one goalkeeper.
Terry - No chance of him leaving.
Distan - At 36 it is a surprise Distan is still going strong, but it is testament to his dedication to fitness that he has played 19 of his side's 20 Premier League games. Given his age, I would be inclined to think this will be the last season Distan plays as a first time regular. He would be a fantastic deputy and for that reason I expect Everton to offer him another contract.
Heitinga - West Ham's bid may have failed but his days as an Everton player are all but over.
Hibbert - He may have the talent of a League One player, but his spirit and drive saw him flourish under David Moyes. However, under Martinez Everton have progressed beyond a team that relies on brute strength. He has not played a single minute this season, that alone suggests his future lies elsewhere. Hibbert will struggle to find Premier League football again.
Lescott - With Kompany, Demichelis and Nastasic ahead of Lescott, it is highly unlikely City will want to pay his heft wages. He is nonetheless one of the best defenders in the league and would be perfect for a team trying to edge their way into the top four. City are likely to reject any bids that come their way as they need depth to compete on four fronts.
Wright - Richard Wright is City's third choice goalkeeper and at 36 has no future at the club.
Evra - Was once one of the best left backs in the world, between 2006 and 2011, arguably only Ashley Cole and Lahm were his equal. Since then, he has become something of a weak-link for opposition managers and players to target. Despite this, he remains a good player, if rumours of Baines and Coentrao are true, Evra would easily find another top team - he certainly would not play second fiddle and that is the vibe he has given off.
Fabio - He was supposed to be even better than his twin brother Rafael, yet whilst one has firmly established himself in the first team, the other is floundering in the reserves. Not for the want of trying, Fabio is always injured, and when he is not injured at United, he is injured in the team he has been loaned too. Nonetheless, I expect Fabio to sign a new deal as long as what he asks for is not extortionate. He is a good player and if he can ever overcome his injuries he would solve their left back problem.
Ferdinand - For the best part of ten years Ferdinand has been integral to every success United have enjoyed, if we stretch it back to his Leeds United days he has been world class for almost 15 years. The trouble with football is, it is short. Within the space of a few years, Ferdinand went from being regarded as the glue to United's defence, to being a complete liability. He has apparently been put on a trial run, whatever that means, judging from his injury woes he will not last more than two seasons before he retires.
Giggs - A fantastic player, however, as each season goes by, the more obscure his place at United becomes. He is already a player-coach, one wonders how long it will be before he drops the playing side.
Vidic - Despite his injury problems I would expect him to sign a new contract. With Ferdinand's position untenable, United cannot afford to lose two experienced center backs. Jones is yet to be tested as a center back for a long period, Smalling is proving to be more of a utility player, rather than a player that is a first team regular. They could buy a new center back, though they will perhaps like to save that money for the other positions that need refurbishing.
Guly do Prado
Friedel - Kudos to Friedel for being a goalkeeper at 42. It is not easy playing in a role that requires amazing reflexes and supple agility, but he is living proof it can be done well into the 40s. Reports suggest this may be his last season.
Gomes - Pretty much the forgotten man of football, but when he was playing we remembered him for the wrong reasons. Gomes was a fantastic shot-stopper, terrible at everything else. Will leave without anyone knowing he left. Tell the truth, did you know he was still at Tottenham?
Kaboul - Injury has really halted his career and although he has played decently, Spurs have three central defenders and may quite their losses after the season.