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The 100 most expensive football transfers of all time

6:00 PM MYT 31/01/2022
Jack Grealish Jadon Sancho Manchester City Manchester United GFX
After a quiet start to the summer window, Jack Grealish, Jadon Sancho and Achraf Hakimi are among those to have made big-money moves in 2021

Paris Saint-Germain shook up the football world in the summer of 2017 when they signed Neymar from Barcelona  for a staggering €222 million  and then promptly prised  Kylian Mbappe away from Monaco for €145m plus €35m in bonuses.

They remain the two most expensive players of all time but there is no denying that PSG's sensational double swoop greatly inflated the transfer market.

Indeed, a number of massive moves quickly followed, with Barcelona looking to try to fill the void left behind by Neymar by signing the likes of Ousmane Dembele ($105m), Philippe Coutinho and Antoine Griezmann (both €120m).

Also in Spain, Atletico Madrid splashed €126m on Benfica's prodigious attacking talent Joao Felix, while Real Madrid finally brought Eden Hazard to the Santiago Bernabeu for €100m.

The pandemic has since had a massive impact on the transfer market but some clubs remained largely unaffected, as underlined by Manchester City signing Jack Grealish for a British-record €117m in August 2021. 

That came hot on the heels of neighbours Manchester United finally managing to land Grealish's compatriot, Jadon Sancho, at a cost of €85m, while Chelsea also splashed out €115m to bring Romelu Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge from Inter ahead of the 2021-22 campaign.

More massive deals now look certain to follow but you can see the current list of the world's most expensive footballers below...

On this page

  1. Most expensive British player
  2. Most expensive teenager
  3. Most expensive defender
  4. Most expensive goalkeeper
  5. Biggest transfer outside of Europe
Pos.PlayerClubsYearFee
1NeymarBarcelona - PSG2017€222m
2Kylian MbappeMonaco - PSG2017€145m (+€35m)
3Joao FelixBenfica - Atletico Madrid2019€126m
=4Philippe CoutinhoLiverpool - Barcelona2018€120m (+€40m)
=4Antoine GriezmannAtletico Madrid - Barcelona2019€120m
6Jack GrealishAston Villa - Manchester City2021€117m
7Romelu LukakuInter - Chelsea2021€115m
=8Ousmane DembeleBorussia Dortmund - Barcelona2017€105m (+€45m)
=8Paul PogbaJuventus - Manchester United2016€105m
10Gareth BaleTottenham - Real Madrid2013€100.8m
=11Cristiano RonaldoReal Madrid - Juventus2018€100m
=11Eden HazardChelsea - Real Madrid2019€100m (+€40m)
13Cristiano RonaldoManchester United - Real Madrid2009€94m
14Gonzalo HiguainNapoli - Juventus2016€90m
15Harry MaguireLeicester City - Manchester United2019€87.1m
16NeymarSantos - Barcelona2013€86.2m
17Jadon SanchoBorussia Dortmund - Manchester United2021€85m
18Romelu LukakuEverton - Manchester United2017€84.8m
19Virgil van DijkSouthampton - Liverpool2018€84.5m
20Luis SuarezLiverpool - Barcelona2014€82.3m
=21James RodriguezMonaco - Real Madrid2014€80m
=21Kepa ArrizabalagaAthletic Club - Chelsea2018€80m
=21Lucas HernandezAtletico Madrid - Bayern Munich2019€80m
=21Romelu LukakuManchester United - Inter2019€80m
25Nicolas PepeLille - Arsenal2019€79m
26Alvaro MorataReal Madrid - Chelsea2017€78.9m
27Zinedine ZidaneJuventus - Real Madrid2001€77.5m
=28Matthijs de LigtAjax - Juventus2019€75m (+€10.5m)
=28Kevin De BruyneWolfsburg - Manchester City2015€75m
=28Frenkie de JongAjax - Barcelona2019€75m
=28Dusan VlahovicFiorentina - Juventus2022€75m
32Angel Di MariaReal Madrid - Manchester United2014€74.6m
33Alisson BeckerRoma - Liverpool2018€73m
34Arthur MeloBarcelona - Juventus2020€72m (+€10m)
=35Kai HavertzBayer Leverkusen - Chelsea2020€70m (+€9m)
=35Luka JovicFrankfurt - Real Madrid2019€70m
=35RodriAtletico Madrid - Manchester City2019€70m
38Zlatan IbrahimovicInter - Barcelona2009€69.5m
39Raheem SterlingLiverpool - Manchester City2015€69.1m
40Ruben DiasBenfica - Manchester City2020€68m (+€3.6m)
41Riyad MahrezLeicester City - Manchester City2019€67.8m
42Diego CostaChelsea - Atletico Madrid2018€66m
=43Thomas LemarMonaco - Atletico Madrid2018€65m
=43KakaAC Milan - Real Madrid2009€65m
=43Aymeric LaporteAthletic Club - Manchester City2018€65m
=43Joao CanceloJuventus - Manchester City2019€65m (inc. Danilo)
47Edinson CavaniNapoli - PSG2013€64.5m
48Christian PulisicBorussia Dortmund - Chelsea2019€64m
49Pierre-Emerick AubameyangBorussia Dortmund - Arsenal2018€63.75m
50David LuizChelsea - PSG2014€62.5m
51Angel Di MariaManchester United - PSG2015€61.6m
52OscarChelsea - Shanghai SIPG2017€60.3m
=53Achraf HakimiInter - PSG2021€60m (+€11m)
=53Miralem PjanicJuventus - Barcelona2020€60m (+€5m)
=53Naby KeitaRB Leipzig - Liverpool2018€60m
=53Luis FigoBarcelona - Real Madrid2000€60m
=53Tanguy NdombeleLyon - Tottenham2019€60m
58Fernando TorresLiverpool - Chelsea2011€59m
=59FredShakhtar Donetsk - Manchester United2018€58.9m
=59JorginhoNapoli - Chelsea2018€58.9m
=59HulkZenit - Shanghai SIPG2016€58.6m
=59Ben WhiteBrighton - Arsenal2021€58.6m
63Benjamin MendyMonaco - Manchester City2017€58.2m
64John StonesEverton - Manchester City2016€58m
65Kyle WalkerTottenham - Manchester City2017€56.7m
66Ben ChilwellLeicester City - Chelsea2020€55.8m
=67Bruno FernandesSporting - Manchester United2020€55m (+€25m)
=67Hernan CrespoParma - Lazio2000€55m

=67

Ferran Torres

Manchester City - Barcelona

2021

=67Alexandre LacazetteLyon - Arsenal2017€53m (+€7m)
=67Timo WernerRB Leipzig - Chelsea2020€53m
72Gianluigi BuffonParma - Juventus2001€52m
73Eliaquim MangalaPorto - Manchester City2014€51.7m
=74Alex TeixeiraShakhtar Donetsk - Jiangsu Suning2016€50m
=74Bernardo SilvaMonaco - Manchester City2017€50m
=74FabinhoMonaco - Liverpool2018€50m
=74Eder MilitaoPorto - Real Madrid2019€50m
=74Aaron Wan-BissakaCrystal Palace - Manchester United2019€50m
=74Thomas ParteyAtletico Madrid  - Arsenal2020€50m
=74Victor OshimhenLille - Napoli2020€50m
81Anthony MartialMonaco - Manchester United2015€49.3m
82Gylfi SigurdssonSwansea City - Everton2017€49.2m
=83Leroy SaneManchester City - Bayern Munich2020€49m (+€11m)
=83Christian VieriLazio - Inter1999€49m
=83Gaizka MendietaValencia - Lazio2001€48m
=83Ferland MendyLyon - Real Madrid2019€48m
87Mesut OzilReal Madrid - Arsenal2013€47m
=88Juan Sebastian VeronLazio - Manchester United2001€46m
=88Rio FerdinandLeeds United - Manchester United2002€46m
=88RonaldoInter - Real Madrid2002€46m
=88Juan MataChelsea - Manchester United2014€46m
=88Douglas CostaBayern Munich - Juventus2017€46m
93Christian BentekeAston Villa - Liverpool2015€45.8m
94Diogo JotaWolves - Liverpool2020€45.1m (+€4.4m)
=95James RodriguezPorto - Monaco2013€45m
=95Joao MarioSporting C.P. - Inter2016€45m
=95Granit XhakaBorussia Monchengladbach - Arsenal2016€45m
=95Tiemoue BakayokoMonaco - Chelsea2017€45m
=95RicharlisonWatford - Everton2018€45m
=95Vinicius JuniorFlamengo - Real Madrid2018€45m
=95RodrygoSantos - Real Madrid2019€45m
=95Mateo KovacicReal Madrid - Chelsea2019€45m
=95Sebastien HallerEintracht Frankfurt - West Ham2019€45m

Most expensive British player

Jack Grealish became the most expensive British player in football history when Manchester City agreed to meet the buy-out clause of €117m in the England international's Aston Villa contract.

The record had previously belonged to Wales winger Gareth Bale, who joined Real Madrid from Tottenham in 2013 for €100.8m.

Before Grealish's move to the Etihad, Harry Maguire was the costliest English player ever, on account of his €87.1m move from Leicester to Manchester United in 2019.

Most expensive teenager

Kylian Mbappe is the most expensive teenager ever, as he joined PSG on a loan-to-buy deal in 2017 that will be worth €180m after bonuses.

Joao Felix is the second-most expensive teenager, having been signed by Atletico from Benfica for €126m in 2019.

Most expensive defender

Harry Maguire became the most expensive defender of all time when Manchester United forked out €87.1m the England centre-half's services in 2019.

Maguire overtook Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk in the process, but only marginally, as the Netherlands international set the Reds back €84.5m when he arrived from Southampton the year before.

Most expensive goalkeeper

Kepa Arrizabalaga is the most expensive goalkeeper in history. Chelsea spent €80m to meet his Athletic Club release clause in 2018.

For a long time, former Juventus captain Gianluigi Buffon held this mark, having joined the Turin outfit from Parma for €52m, which is a colossal fee when inflation is taken into account.

Then, within a matter of weeks, Buffon's record was shattered twice. First, Liverpool brought in Roma's Alisson Becker for €73m, to temporarily take the mark as the world's most expensive keeper.

Not to be outdone, Chelsea snapped up Kepa not even a month later, propelling the Spain international into top spot. 

Biggest transfer outside of Europe

The most a non-European club has ever paid for a player is €60.3m, which Shanghai SIPG handed over to Chelsea for Brazil midfielder Oscar in 2016.

However, with the way the market is going, who knows which record will be shattered next?!