Five best players in the Championship who will be out of contract in the summer

The Championship has been described, on numerous occasions, as among the toughest leagues in the world.

For a team to reach the promised land of the Premier League they must endure the gruelling 46 game season, with the chance of three more fixtures should the side enter the lottery of the playoffs.

And on top of that, sides have to deal with Premier League sides circling to cherry-pick the top talent from the division.

So keeping players on their team's books is a high priority in England's second tier.

And Daily Star Sport is looking at five players whose deals run out next summer.

Ben Brereton Diaz

Since discovering his Chilean alter-ego Ben Brereton Diaz has gone from Ben from Stoke with 17 career goals to the talk of the town with 14 goals in 18 outings.

Sevilla are reportedly tracking the striker, while interest from the Premier League looks set to resurface.

And with Brereton Diaz's contract expiring next summer, Blackburn Rovers could struggle to hold onto their star.

However, Blackburn have an ace up their sleeve – Brereton Diaz's contract comes with the option of a years extension.

Do you think any Premier League sides will pick up one of the players on this list? Let us know in the comments section

Jean Michael Seri

Once upon a time, Fulham forked out top dollar to take Jean Michael Seri away from OGC Nice with the promise of Premier League football.

Seri's time at Craven Cottage hasn't been plain sailing and the Ivorian has spent time away on loan at Galatasaray and Bordeaux.

However, Seri has finally started to show his worth for the Cottagers this season, and they do have an option to extend his deal.

But should Seri leave next year, it would represent one of the London sides worst transfers in history.

Sam Johnstone

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Sam Johnstone generated a fair bit of interest over the summer when West Brom slipped out of the top flight.

However, the shot-stopper remained in the Midlands.

Johnstone's stay may be cut short, and the 28-year-old's contract is up in June while Tottenham Hotspur are keeping tabs on the keeper as a potential replacement for Hugo Lloris.

Johnstone has seven clean sheets this season, and he has only conceded 14 goals in 17 games.

Jed Wallace

Jed Wallace has been a talismanic figure for Millwall over the past couple of seasons, but the Lions are preparing for life without him.

The winger's influence on the side has seemingly grown year-on-year, but the in-demand Wallace is looking increasingly likely to move to pastures new.

"There was a conversation a few months ago [about a new contract] and that’s been documented. I’m just doing what I do best, really.

“I don’t have much expertise in contracts and negotiations. I’m just concentrating on playing football, playing the best I can."

Tom Lawrence

Tom Lawrence was once again Wayne Rooney's most valuable asset over the weekend as he inspired Derby to a 3-2 win over high-flying Bournemouth.

The result took Derby to 0 points, and now released from the shackles of minus points, the Rams face a new problem.

Lawrence could be sold in January as the club looks to desperately scrape together some cash.

And it would be a better option than to see Lawrence walk away from Pride Park on a free next summer.

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