Top 10 Most Expensive Transfers in Football History (Updated 2022)

Most Expensive Transfers in Football History: These are the footballers for whom the largest transfer has been paid in the history of football. The largest transfers in the transfer market that has been surpassing season after season. 

These are the most expensive signings in football history to date. Transfers between clubs continue to move a large number of millions each transfer market in which -for several seasons- the Premier League is the one that spends the most.

25 Most Expensive Signings in Football History 2022

It should be noted that the transfers have an extra cost added by the premiums/commissions of the agents, but that we are going to include it in the final price of the sale. Representatives such as Jorge Mendes or Mino Raiola are the agents who have made this high commission in transfers fashionable.

LAST UPDATE: July 2022

1 Neymar 17/18 PSG Ligue 1 €222m
2 Kylian Mbappe 18/19 PSG Ligue 1 €180M
3 Ousmane Dembele 17/18 FC Barcelona LaLiga €140m
4 Philippe Coutinho 17/18 FC Barcelona LaLiga €135m
5 joao felix 19/20 Atletico Madrid LaLiga €127.2M
6 Antoine Griezmann 19/20 FC Barcelona LaLiga €120m
7 Jack Grealish 21/22 Manchester CityPremier League €117.5M
8 Cristiano Ronaldo 18/19 Juventus Serie A €117m
9 Eden Hazard 19/20 Real Madrid LaLiga €115m
10 Romelu Lukaku 21/22 ChelseaPremier League €113m
11 Paul Pogba 16/17 Manchester United premier league €105m
12 Gareth Bale 13/14 Real Madrid LaLiga €101m
13 Cristiano Ronaldo 09/10 Real Madrid LaLiga €94m
14 Gonzalo Higuain 16/17 Juventus Serie A €90M
15 Neymar 13/14 FC Barcelona LaLiga €88M
16 harry maguire 19/20 Manchester United Premier league €87m
17 Frankie de Jong 19/20 FC Barcelona LaLiga €86m
18 Matthijs de Ligt 19/20 Juventus Serie A €85m
19 Jadon Sancho 21/22 Manchester United premier league €85m
20 Romelu Lukaku 17/18 Manchester United premier league €84.7m
21 Virgil van Dijk 17/18 Liverpool Premier League €84.65m
22 Luis Suarez 14/15 FC Barcelona LaLiga €81.72m
23 Dusan Vlahovic 21/22 Juventus Serie A €81.6M
24 Aurelien Tchouameni 22/23 Real Madrid LaLiga €80M
25 Kai Havertz 20/21 ChelseaPremier League €80

Figures extracted from Transfermarkt

Top 10 Most Expensive Transfers in Football History

1. Neymar Jr – PSG  (222 Million Euros)

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  • Neymar Jr the most expensive signing of the history and of the PSG

Neymar Junior is the most expensive player in history after the transfer that PSG paid for FC Barcelona in the 2017/2018 season. The Parisian club deposited the Brazilian’s termination clause (222 million euros) to acquire one of the most promising footballers in the world.

Paris Saint – Germain has managed to retain the Rio star by extending his contract until 2025 and dispelling any doubts about his continuity. The possible call from Barça made Nasser Al-Khelaifi fearful, but with the renewal and the arrival of Lionel Messi at PSG, it will be difficult for Neymar to leave the French capital until he ends his contract.

2. Kylian Mbappe – PSG (180 Million Euros)

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Kylian Mbappé is another of the players who have broken the transfer market recently. PSG is determined to make a champion team and does not hesitate to sign the players it deems appropriate for it. For him, 145M have been paid to Monaco (+ 35M if he renews with PSG), where he has already shown signs of his enormous quality.

The young French striker is destined to be a legendary player, although only time will tell if he ends up being one. He has been linked to the future signings of Real Madrid in several transfer windows, with the intrigue of the non-renewal by the striker worrying Nasser Al-Khelaïfi.

3. Ousmane Dembele – FC Barcelona (140 Million Euros)

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Ousmane Dembélé arrived at FC Barcelona with the difficult task of making Neymar Jr. forget. His good performances at Borussia Dortmund made him stand out above his teammates with overflow and speed at just 20 years old. The French winger was a bet for the future of the culé entity looking for a new benchmark in the team.

The disbursement of 135 million for a player of his age is not something usual, only at the height of Kylian Mbappé or Joao Felix. The rush to find a replacement for Neymar Jr precipitated the operation that some branded as excessively expensive for the player in question.

4. Philippe Coutinho – FC Barcelona (135 Million Euros)

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Philippe Coutinho has been the most expensive footballer in the history of FC Barcelona. The Brazilian, who came from being the star of Liverpool in his last seasons as a network, came to Can Barça for a total of 160M (120M fixed + 40M variable). The level shown in the Premier League allowed him to enter the history of the Catalan team in the signing section.

The performance of the Brazilian midfielder at Barça has been quite irregular, with a loan to Bayern Munich in between and a blank season (2020/2021) due to injuries. This season it is expected that the Brazilian will have more minutes to recover the best version of him.

5. Joao Felix – Atletico Madrid (127.2 Million Euros)

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Atlético de Madrid threw the house out the window for one of the young European talents in the 2019/2020 season. This is the Portuguese Joao Félix and has been the most expensive signing in the history of Atleti. The reason has been a total of 127.6 million and he arrived with the hope of being the replacement for Griezmann who was sold that same summer to Barça.

6. Antoine Griezmann – FC Barcelona (120 Million Euros)

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Antoine Griezmann has been one of the leading players in the transfer market in recent years. His transfers have led to endless rumors that placed him between FC Barcelona and Atlético de Madrid.

The signing of Griezmann by Barça in the 2019/2020 season was a historical sales record for the rojiblanco team (120 million euros) and also one of the most expensive signings in the history of FC Barcelona. After two seasons with lights and shadows, the Little Prince has returned to the team led by Cholo Simeone in 2021/2022 in the form of a loan with a purchase option of 40 million euros.

7. Cristiano Ronaldo-Juventus (117 Million Euros)

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The fourth most expensive player in football history is none other than Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese player, a Real Madrid legend and considered one of the best players in history, was involved in one of the most controversial transfers in recent seasons.

The bad relationship between CR and Florentino Pérez, as well as the problems with the treasury in Spain, caused the Portuguese to head to Turin for a total of 117M (100M transfer + 10M formation Sporting Portugal and United + 7 million to Jorge Mendes).

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Cristiano Ronaldo has been a reinforcement of the highest level for the Vecchia Signora but in August 2021 he left. His destination is once again Manchester where he will once again wear the ‘7’ for the Red Devils. The best Portuguese of all time is still a coveted piece despite his age.

8. Eden Hazard – Real Madrid ( 115 Million Euros)

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Eden Hazard was the great protagonist of the summer transfer window of the 2019/2020 season. Real Madrid went after the Chelsea star, wishing that it came from years ago and that they finally decided to close. The Belgian was coming off a season in which he had performed at a good level, winning the Europa League with the London team.

The transfer figure is 115 million euros (initially it was said to be 100M), although there are some sources that raise the transfer to 165M. The Belgian newspapers that say so defend the theory that Real Madrid has made three payments for the talented attacker: the first amount of 40 million euros in 2019, a second of 56 million in 2020, and the third of 64 million euros in 2021

9. Paul Pogba – Manchester United ( 105 Million Euros) 

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Paul Pogba was the most expensive signing in history at the time the transfer to Manchester United was finalized in the 2016 season. The Red Devils had to pay Juventus 105 million euros in order to have the French midfielder. He was also related to Real Madrid, but it was finally the English who ended up closing the incorporation of the Frenchman.

Despite the fact that Pogba’s performance has not been as good as expected, from Manchester he does not intend to part with one of his most important players. They would not consider a sale unless the offer was irrefutable.

10. Gareth Bale – Real Madrid ( 101 Million Euros)

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Gareth Bale closes the top 10 of the most expensive signings in football history. The Welshman exceeded the record amount that Real Madrid had paid for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2008, taking the figure to 101 million euros. The Cardiff Express convinced Florentino Pérez to sign a transfer of his own for the Galacticos from Real Madrid.

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His stage in the white team has been full of successes, leaving in memory the Chilean goal in the Champions League final in Kiev against Liverpool in the 2017/2018 season. He is currently facing the last year of his contract at Real Madrid under Carlo Ancelotti, the coach with whom he won the Champions League in the 2014/15 season.

Transfer Price Evolution and Market Value

The world of football evolves and continues to break its own records in the form of millionaire transfers between teams that are less and less close to their fans. The most expensive signings in history have all been forged in the last 12 years, consolidating the idea of modern football and moving away from the conception that is extolled in books such as I hate modern football.

The irruption of teams like PSG or Manchester City has caused the already inflated prices that were being paid to be absurdly high. The difference in economic potential between teams like Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, ​​Bayern Munich, or Liverpool and the rest of the teams is enormous, but every year it is more so because of how this new sport works.

Despite the fact that access to the Champions League offers a great economic prize and that the television cast of the major leagues ( Premier League, LaLiga, Bundesliga, Serie A…) is becoming more equitable, it is increasingly rare to see teams that apparently they do not aspire to be among the favorites for a title, winning it.

In fact, the growth in the price of transfers collides with the reality of financial Fair Play which seeks to limit spending and that clubs get into debt. At present, new formulas and competitions are even being considered to restructure the economy of the world of football, such as the Super League or the change in the Champions League system.

Do you think that in the current transfer market we will see changes in the 30 most expensive transfers in history? Will we see a new record in the transfer of a footballer?

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