Top 10 Most Expensive Football Transfers
The astronomical amounts of money that are involved with 21st century football teams are widely-publicised and nothing quite proves this like a transfer window. These windows give teams the chance to improve their squads by buying players from rival teams at home and abroad and can often turn into bidding wars with millions of pounds being splashed left, right and centre. January 2018 was no exception, as we saw English Premier League clubs spend a record £419.5m. So, let’s take a look at the top 10 most expensive football transfers of all time!
10. Neymar Jr
Santos to Barcelona – £58.3m
In the summer of 2013 Barcelona completed the signing of the boy from Santos, Neymar Jr, in what was a controversial move for the Brazilian. Barcelona initially said they had paid £48.6 million for the player but this turned out to be over £58 million!
9.Virgil van Dijk
Southampton to Liverpool – £75m
The Dutch centre back became the most expensive defender in the history of football when his transfer surpassed the previous record held by Manchester City, who last summer paid over £50 million for Benjamin Mendy. The move became inevitable when the Dutch defender handed in a transfer request at Southampton citing the chance to win trophies as his reason.
8. Romelu Lukaku
Everton to Manchester United – £75m
The Belgian’s move is the British transfer record and was set in 2017. Despite Everton willing to make Lukaku their highest paid player ever, he opted for a change to Manchester to play with best friend, Paul Pogba. One newspaper in Ireland caused outrage as they announced the transfer on their back page with a photo of famous rapper Stormzy instead of Lukaku!
7. Gonzalo Higuain
Napoli to Juventus – £75.3m
Juventus swooped in for Higuain in the summer of 2016, after the Argentine scored 36 goals for Napoli. This transfer is currently the highest domestic move in the world, only just surpassing Lukaku to Manchester United. Higuain spent 3 seasons with Napoli, signing for them for £34.5 million from Spanish giants Real Madrid.
6. Cristiano Ronaldo
Manchester United to Real Madrid – £80m
Arguably the most famous footballer ever, Ronaldo finally got his move to Real Madrid in 2009. The £80 million fee was a new world record and saw Ronaldo become the highest earner in the world, earning himself a cool £11 million a year. Since swapping Manchester for Madrid, Ronaldo has gone on to win the Ballon D’Or 4 times!
5. Gareth Bale
Tottenham Hotspur to Real Madrid – £86m
4 years after Madrid welcomed Ronaldo, a new world record signing was being unveiled at the Bernabeu. Bale made the move following a great season with Tottenham and described it as ‘a dream come true’. Spurs were quick to reinvest the fee buying 7 players with it, many of whom have already left the club!
4. Paul Pogba
Juventus to Manchester United – £89m
Pogba’s return to Manchester was one of the 2016 summer transfer window’s worst kept secret. Manchester United had to part with nearly £90 million to bring Pogba back to Old Trafford after he had left on a free 4 years earlier. Pogba earns himself a weekly wage of £290,000 per week, however, this looks set to rise after the arrival of Alexis Sanchez. He is also the first footballer to have his own emoji!
3. Ousmane Dembele
Borussia Dortmund to Barcelona – £97m
Having lost Neymar, Barcelona moved fast to find a replacement. Ousmane Dembele ticked all the boxes and in August 2017 they unveiled him at the Nou Camp. The initial fee was £97 million but this could rise to over £135 million with add-ons. He is the youngest player on the list, born in the year 1997!
2. Philippe Coutinho
Liverpool to Barcelona – £105m
Despite Liverpool’s best efforts, rejecting multiple bids, Coutinho got the move he so desperately wanted in January 2018. Barcelona’s winning bid was £105 million upfront and a further £37 million in realistic add-ons. One thing Liverpool can be happy with, however, is that they purchased Coutinho for £8.5 million, meaning that, if all add-ons are paid, Liverpool will have made £133.5 million!
1. Neymar Jr
Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) – £198m
A man who has already featured in the top 10, Neymar Jr is the most expensive player in the history of football. In the summer of 2017, the Brazilian completed his record move to PSG following 4 seasons in Spain. Not only did PSG have to part with £198 million, but they also offered to pay Neymar a whopping £782,000 a week (before tax)!
All information in this article is correct at time of publishing
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