News Matches
Big spenders

Manchester United most expensive signings: How Red Devils splashed over £2 billion on incoming transfers

5:00 AM EDT 9/1/22
Manchester United big spenders GFX
Just how much have Manchester United spent on transfers this century? A lot!

Manchester United are one of the most decorated clubs in the history of English football.

The Red Devils have won more major trophies than any other English club and have clinched the most Premier League/English top division titles.

A major chunk of their successes came in the last three decades and mostly during the era of their legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who guided the team to multiple titles, including 13 Premier League, two Champions League, five FA Cups and four League Cups among many others

However, the Red Devils' success has come at a price as they have spent more than £2 billion in the 21st century years on player signings.

Just at the turn of the century, United spent £41.4m to sign Rio Ferdinand, which was the club's record signing until Angel Di Maria joined in 2014 for £ 67.5m from Real Madrid.

But most of their big spending came in the last decade when cash started flowing out of Old Trafford at an increasingly high pace. The likes of Antony, Casemiro, Paul Pogba, Harry Maguire and Jadon Sancho joined the club in the last 10 years for mammoth transfer fees.

Manchester United most expensive transfers by season

Season

Biggest purchase

Fee

Total spending

2022/23

Antony

£85.5m

£214m

2021/22

Jadon Sancho

£76.5m

£126m

2020/21

Donny van de Beek

£35m

£75.4m

2019/20

Harry Maguire

£78.3m

£211.3m

2018/19

Fred

£53.1m

£74.4m

2017/18

Romelu Lukaku

£76.2m

£178.6m

2016/17

Paul Pogba

£94.5m

£166.5m

2015/16

Anthony Martial

£54m

£140.4m

2014/15

Angel Di Maria

£67.5m

£175.8m

2013/14

Juan Mata

£40.3m

£69.4m

2012/13

Robin van Persie

£27.6m

£68.8m

2011/12

David de Gea

£22.5m

£56.1m

2010/11

Bebe

£7.9m

£26.4m

2009/10

Antonio Valencia

£16.9m

£24.6m

2008/09

Dimitar Berbatov

£34.2m

£40.7m

2007/08

Anderson

£28.4m

£95.9m

2006/07

Michael Carrick

£24.5m

£24.5m

2005/06

Nemanja Vidic

£9.5m

£28.6m

2004/05

Wayne Rooney

£33.3m

£55.1m

2003/04

Cristiano Ronaldo

£17.1m

£50.9m

2002/03

Rio Ferdinand

£41.4m

£43.7m

2001/02

Juan Sebastian Veron

£38.3m

£77.3m

2000/01

Fabien Barthez

£10.5m

£10.5m

Total

£2.04b (Approx)

*All figures are taken from Transfermarkt unless stated otherwise

Manchester United's top 10 most expensive signings

  • Fred Manchester United 2021-22

    #10 Fred | £53.1 million | Shakhtar Donetsk | 2018

    The Brazilian midfielder came to Manchester United in 2018 from Shakhtar Donetsk.

    In Ukraine, Fred won the Ukrainian Premier League thrice, the Ukrainian Super Cup twice and the Ukrainian Cup once. In 155 matches for Shakhtar, Fred scored 15 goals and provided 15 assists.

    At United, the midfielder has yet to win any silverware and has played over 150 matches in all competitions.



  • Anthony Martial Man Utd 2021-22

    #9 Anthony Martial | £54 million | AS Monaco | 2015

    The former Golden Boy award winner joined the Premier League giants in 2015 from AS Monaco for a record £54 million fee, making him the most expensive teenager ever.

    Unfortunately, Martial’s career graph went downhill in the last seven years as he failed to live up to the high epxectations, despite scoring over 75 goals and making over 260 appearances for the Red Devils.

    In January 2022, Martial was sent out on loan to Sevilla in an attempt to revive his career.

  • Bruno Fernandes Man Utd 2021-22

    #8 Bruno Fernandes | £56.7 million | Sporting Lisbon | 2019

    The Portuguese talisman was signed by Manchester United from Sporting Lisbon in the January transfer window of the 2019-20 season.

    In Portugal, Bruno Fernandes had won the league title twice and the Taca de Portugal once with Sporting. He was also the club’s Player of the Year in 2018 and 2019.

    Since joining Manchester United, he has become one of the club’s most important players, making over 125 appearances so far and becoming one of the club's main sources for goals and assists.



  • Casemiro Manchester United 2022-23

    #7 Casemiro | £63.6 million | Real Madrid | 2022

    United spent most of the summer of 2022 chasing Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong, but eventually switched their interest to Casemiro after it became clear the Dutchman had no intention of moving to Old Trafford.

    Casemiro on the other hand was keen on a new challenge after absolutely dominating Europe with Real Madrid during his time at the Santiago Bernabeu.

    Man Utd ended up paying over £60 million on the holding midfielder, which seems like a lot for a 30-year-old, but quality comes at a price.

    Casemiro is arguably one of the best in the world in his position and adds some much-needed grit and determination to the United midfield.

  • Angel Di Maria Manchester United QPR Premier League 14092014

    #6 Angel Di Maria | £67.5 million | Real Madrid | 2014

    The Argentine winger won every major trophy at Real Madrid in the three seasons he spent at the Spanish capital and was an integral part of Real Madrid’s La Decima (10th UEFA Champions League) winning team.

    He scored 36 goals and provided 84 matches in the 190 matches he played for Los Blancos in four years.

    In 2014, Manchester United signed Di Maria for a massive £67.5 million which was a club-record transfer fee at that time, but things didn't quite work out for him in Manchester.


  • Romelu Lukaku Manchester United ICC

    #5 Romelu Lukaku | £76.2 million | Everton | 2017

    The Belgian striker, who made his Premier League debut for Chelsea, blossommed into a much-vaunted striker during his stint at Everton. Lukaku spent three seasons at Everton scoring 87 goals in 166 appearances in all competitions.

    In the 2016-17 season, Lukaku scored 25 league goals and finished second in the race for the Premier League Golden Boot behind Harry Kane, prompting Manchester United to shell out a big sum of money to sign the forward.

    At Manchester United, he started well, but ultimately failed to have a great impact. Lukaku spent just two seasons at the club and scored 42 goals in 92 matches, without winning any trophies.



  • Jadon Sancho Manchester United

    #4 Jadon Sancho | £76.5 million | Borussia Dortmund | 2021

    The English youngster made his professional debut for Borussia Dortmund in 2017 after graduating from the Manchester City academy. He spent four seasons at the German club and won two trophies - DFB Pokal (2021-22) and DFB Super Cup (2019).

    He won several individual awards, like the DFB Pokal 2020-21 top goalscorer and the Bundesliga Goal of the Month Award in February 2019, and also featured in Bundesliga Team of the Season in 2018-19 and 2019-20. 

    In 137 matches for the club over four years, Sancho netted 50 goals and provided 64 assists. Having turned the heads of many Premier League giants with his displays at Dortmund, it were the Red Devils who finally bought him for a massive transfer fee of £76.5 million in the summer of 2021.



  • Harry Maguire Manchester United Leicester Premier League 2021-22

    #3 Harry Maguire | £78.3 million | Leicester City | 2019

    The Englishman became the most expensive defender of all time when Manchester United spent £78.3 million to sign him from Leicester City ahead of the 2019/20 season.

    Harry Maguire has so far appeared in over 140 matches in all competitions for the Red Devils.

    Within six months of his arrival at the club, the English international was appointed as the club's captain by then coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Under his leadership, the Red Devils are yet to win a trophy.

  • HIC_ANTONY-AJAX_16-9

    #2 Antony | £85.5 million | Ajax | 2022

    The Brazil international made his way to Old Trafford after a prolonged transfer saga late in the 2022 summer window, with United eventually spending over £85 million on the winger.

    Antony had impressed at Ajax the previous two seasons, with his performances in the Champions League in particular sparking interest from Europe's finest.

    It was his relationship with Erik ten Hag that made the difference in United's favour, though, with the attacker even going as far as to effectively go on strike at Ajax in order to be reunited with his former boss.

    Antony's pace and trickery made him a joy to watch in the Eredivisie and the United faithful will be hopeful the former Sao Paulo wonderkid can replicate that form in the Premier League.

  • Paul Pogba Manchester United 2021-22

    #1 Paul Pogba | £94.5 million | Juventus | 2016

    The Manchester United youth product returned to the club ahead of the 2016-17 season from Juventus for a club record transfer fee of £94.5 million. Pogba had made his professional debut for the club in 2011 but headed to Serie A to join Juventus after just one season.

    The Frenchman played a key role in Juventus winning eight trophies in four seasons, which include four back-to-back Serie A titles and two Coppa Italia trophies. In 178 appearances for the Serie A giants, Pogba scored 34 goals and provided 40 assists. His stellar performances in Italy prompted the Red Devils to splash the cash to procure his services.

    During his six seasons at United, Pogba played 227 matches where he scored 39 goals and provided 51 assists. He managed to win only two trophies (Europa League and EFL Cup), which came in his first season at the club.