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Bayern Munich most expensive player sales - How Bavarians made over €580 million in outgoing transfers

08:00 BST 30/08/2022
Transfer Gurus: Bayern Munich
Bayern might be a buying club in general, but they have also sold well in the past

Bayern Munich are not a selling club by default.

In fact, their sporting ambitions and success mean they are more of a buying club.

But that is not to say big players do not leave Bayern for pastures new. While some may have been looking for new challenges, some might be moving for sporting or economical reasons.

In the summer of 2022, they sold Robert Lewandowski to Barcelona for €45 million in what was a high-profile transfer saga.

It must be noted that while they've sold players like Lewandowski and Toni Kroos, a few like David Alaba and Niklas Sule have left on free transfers.

But still, Bayern have raked in over €580 million in transfer sales since the turn of the century.

Bayern Munich most expensive sales by season


Biggest Sale

Transfer Fee

Total Sales


Robert Lewandowski




Michael Cuisance








Mats Hummels




Douglas Costa




Medhi Benatia




Mario Gotze




Xherdan Shaqiri




Toni Kroos




Luiz Gustavo




Nils Petersen (Loan)




Mehmet Ekici




Martin Demichelis




Lukas Podolski




Marcell Jansen




Owen Hargreaves




Paolo Guerrero




Torsten Frings




Piotr Trochowski




Giovane Elber




Carsten Jancker




Patrik Andersson




David Jarolim





*All figures are taken from Transfermarkt unless stated otherwise

Bayern Munich top 10 most expensive sales

  • Arturo Vidal Barcelona unveiling

    #10 Arturo Vidal | €18 million | FC Barcelona | 2018

    Bayern Munich were certainly happy to get €18m from Barcelona for then 31-year-old Arturo Vidal in 2018, despite the fact they were making a loss on the outlay on him.

    The impulsive Chilean came to Munich from Juventus for almost €40 million and did have some strong performances in midfield for Bayern, especially in the Champions League.

    But in the end, Vidal, known for his tempestuous nature, lacked the consistency to become an integral part of the first team.

  • Renato Sanches Bayern München 06082016

    #9 Renato Sanches | €20 million | LOSC Lille | 2019

    Golden Boy award winner Renato Sanches came to Bavaria with huge expectations, but lived up to his talent and hype only sporadically at Bayern.

    One of Bayern's most expensive buys, he came to the club at the age of 18 in 2016 and it seemed he had made the move too early. He saw his playing time limited and grew more and more unhappy. The price tag of €35 million was an additional burden for the young Portuguese, and a loan to Swansea didn't help either.

    In 2019, the Portuguese was sold to LOSC Lille, where he was able to live up to his potential and convinced PSG of a transfer in 2022.


    #8 Mario Mandzukic | €22 million | Atletico Madrid | 2014

    Mario Mandzukic joined Bayern in 2012 from Wolfsburg for about €13 million. A striker who always created nuisance for the opposing defenders, Mandzukic played a valuable role in Bayern's treble-winning 2012-13 season.

    But after a season under Pep Guardiola, whom the Croatian never quite warmed up to, his story at Bavaria was over. Mandzukic went to Atletico Madrid in 2014. However, it was a good deal economically for Bayern.


    #7 Mario Götze | €22 million | Borussia Dortmund | 2016

    The spell of talented Mario Gotze will probably be regarded as a failure by most at Bayern.

    His transfer to in 2013 was a spectacular development, given that Bayern had poached him from arch-rivals Borussia Dortmund by triggering his €37 million release clause.

    The attacking midfielder was seen as the top talent in German football at the time, yet he never really got going at Bayern.

    Despite scoring the goal that won Germany the 2014 World Cup, Gotze continued to struggle with his club.

    And so his transfer back to Dortmund in 2016 did not come as a major surprise, even if it represented a loss economically.

  • Thiago Bayern Munich FC Porto Champions League 21042015

    #6 Thiago | €22 million | FC Liverpool | 2020

    Bayern decided to sell Thiago to Liverpool after giving in to the player's request to be allowed to leave. 

    The Spaniard was keen to take on a new challenge after seven trophy-laden years at Bayern, including the extremely successful 2019-20 season where he helped the club win the treble.

    The fee seemed accommodating for a player who was in his prime as a footballer and, when fit, is arguably one of the best playmakers in the world.

  • Owen Hargreaves Bayern München 2006

    #5 Owen Hargreaves | €25 million | Manchester United | 2007

    At the time, the sale of Owen Hargreaves to Manchester United was regarded as a shrewd move for Bayern.

    Hargreaves was signed as a 16-year-old by Bayern way back in 1997 and by 2007, he had grown into a dependable midfielder. However, he did have injury issues at times.

    In 2007, the Englishman moved to Manchester United for 25 million euros, which was considered a hefty fee at the time.

    This made him more expensive than Thierry Henry, for example, who joined Barcelona from Arsenal for slightly less in the same summer. 

  • kroos

    #4 Toni Kroos | €25 million | Real Madrid | 2014

    The sale of Toni Kroos to Real Madrid for €25 million was one of the deals that generated a lot of debate in that transfer window.

    Even though the transfer fee in the summer of 2014 was substantial for a player with a year left on his contract, Bayern were not happy to sell Kroos who they considered as one of the best midfielders in the world.

    The Germany star made it clear he had no intention of signing a new contract, though, and a departure was inevitable.

    Many fans and officials are still annoyed that the midfield strategist could not be convinced to stay. 

    Kroos, however, will have had little regrets as he won the Champions League four times with Madrid.


    #3 Mats Hummels | €30.5 million | Borussia Dortmund | 2019

    Mats Hummels was a Bayern academy graduate before the club sold him cheaply to Borussia Dortmund.

    He flourished at Dortmund and became one of Germany's best defenders, which prompted Bayern to bring the centre-back back years later for a whopping €35 million as they looked to put together a team that could win the Champions League.

    Hummels also desperately wanted European success with Bayern, but that didn't quite work out.

    For almost €5m less, he went back to BVB in 2019, where he is still under contract until 2023.

  • Douglas Costa Bayern Munchen 16092015

    #2 Douglas Costa | €40 million | Juventus | 2018

    Douglas Costa was Bayern Munich's most expensive sale until Robert Lewandowski left for Barcelona in 2022.

    In 2018, Bayern sold the Brazilian to Juventus for €40 million, with the winger having already plied his trade in Turin on loan the previous season after he struggled to find consistency at the Bundesliga giants.

    Costa briefly returned to Bayern during the 2020-21 campaign on a one-year loan deal, but to little success.

    The attacker has now landed at LA Galaxy in the USA.

  • Lewandowski-2022-23-Barca

    #1 Robert Lewandowski | €45 million | FC Barcelona | 2022

    The Polish striker absolutely dominated the Bundesliga for almost eight years with Bayern, scoring goals galore.

    He was recognised as one of the best footballers in the world during his time at Bayern and helped the club win the treble in 2020.

    In the summer of 2022, however, he was keen to seek a new challenge and publicly pushed for a move to Spain to FC Barcelona.

    Bayern eventually gave in and Lewandowski moved in a deal that saw him become the German club's most expensive sale.