Top 10 Most Expensive Football Transfers By Position in History
|Top 10 Most Expensive Transfers By Position in History|
|Table of Content|
FootballTransfers' transfer valuations are calculated in collaboration with SciSports, a world-leading football analytics agency that assesses the relative transfer valuations of over 60,000 professional footballers worldwide.
The curtain has only just fallen on the 2021-22 season but the summer transfer window will soon be open for clubs to trade ahead of the new campaign.
Bear in mind too that wages and commission also affect the cost of a transfer and they're not reflected here: those numbers are often even less public. Consider too the disparity of resources: €60 million for Fiorentina or Everton is a ton of money, for a Real Madrid or Manchester United less so.
Let's look at the 10 most expensive transfers by position -- goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders and forwards -- through 2021.
When does the summer transfer window open?
The transfer window opens for Premier League clubs on Friday, June 10, though international deals, such as Haaland to City, will go through from July 1.
Across Europe, the transfer window for Ligue 1 clubs will also open on June 10, but in Spain, Germany and Italy, July 1 is the key date as clubs eye up their summer targets.
When does the summer transfer window close?
Save the date - September 1 will be transfer deadline day at the end of the summer window.
Premier League clubs will have until 11pm BST, while Italy and Germany have a 5pm local time deadline. Spain’s transfer window comes to an end at 10:59pm, an hour earlier than in France. Nothing’s ever easy.
Can clubs do business after the deadline?
Yes — via a deal sheet, which gives clubs additional time to get late transfers over the line.
The deal sheet, which cannot be submitted before 9pm BST, allows a club to confirm before the deadline that a deal has been reached, and then gives them an extra two hours — or until 1am — to submit the full paperwork.
That applies to domestic deals but if a club is looking to complete an international transfer, they must still comply with the FIFA Transfer Matching System (TMS) deadline of midnight.
Clubs who don't get deals done in this window will have another opportunity when the winter window opens on January 1, 2023.
How many loan players are Premier League clubs allowed?
The Premier League Handbook sets out the rules surrounding loan signings.
The 2021-22 Handbook stated that Premier League clubs may not register more than two players on loan at any one time.
The maximum number of loans a club can register in the same season is four and they cannot borrow more than one player from the same club at any one time.
Additionally, the rules say that Premier League clubs cannot loan to another Premier League club a player they have signed in that transfer window.
Top 10 Most Expensive Football Transfers By Position in History
After a shaky first season at Santiago Bernabeu, Courtois has now retained his status as one of the best around.
It seems like the Belgian has been around forever, having featured for Atletico, Chelsea and now Real Madrid, but he is still only 29 which contributes to his high value at €85.4m.
Ederson is the second most valuable goalkeeper.
The Man City man is not number one for his country but is valued at €71.2m and plays a crucial sweeper-keeper role for Pep Guardiola.
Ederson's Brazil colleague Alisson is the third most valuable player at €69m.
The Liverpool shot-stopper played a pivotal role in the club winning the Champions League and then the Premier League in successive seasons.
Paris Saint-Germain pulled off a coup last summer when they signed Gianluigi Donnarumma on a free transfer from Juventus. He is valued at €59.2m in fourth place, so certainly an outstanding piece of business from the French giants.
1. Kepa Arrizabalaga (Athletic Bilbao to Chelsea in 2018, £71m)
2. Alisson Becker (AS Roma to Liverpool in 2018, £65m)
3. Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea to Real Madrid in 2018, £35m)
4. Ederson Moraes (Benfica to Manchester City in 2017, £34.7m)
5. Gianluigi Buffon (Parma to Juventus in 2001, £32.6m)
6. Jordan Pickford (Sunderland to Everton in 2017, £25m)
7. Manuel Neuer (Schalke to Bayern Munich in 2011, £21m)
8. Bernd Leno (Bayer Leverkusen to Arsenal in 2018, £19.2m)
9. David de Gea (Atletico Madrid to Manchester United in 2011, £18.9m)
10. Francesco Toldo (Fiorentina to Inter Milan in 2001, £23.85m)
With a move from Real Madrid to Manchester United all but done for a transfer fee close to €50m, Raphael Varane becomes the joint 10th most expensive centre-back of all time.
The 28-year-old, who spent the last 10 seasons at Real Madrid, won every single trophy in Spain including four Champions Leagues and three La Liga titles. He won a total of 18 titles at Santiago Bernabeu and is one of the most accomplished defenders of the current generation.
English international Harry Maguire is the most expensive central defender of all time after he moved to Manchester United in the summer of 2019 for a record fee of €87.1m from fellow Premier League club Leicester City.
Maguire's transfer overtook Liverpool's signing of Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk for €84.5m from Southampton which was the record transfer fee for centre-back until 2019.
1. Harry Maguire, (Leicester City to Manchester United, €87m, 2019)
2. Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax to Juventus. €85.5m, 2019)
3. Virgil van Dijk (Southampton to Liverpool, €84.6m, 2018)
4. Lucas Hernandez (Atletico Madrid to Bayern, €80m, 2019)
5. Ruben Dias (Benfica to Manchester City, €68m, 2020)
6. Aymeric Laporte (Athletic Bilbao to Manchester City, €65m, 2018)
7. Benjamin Mendy (Monaco to Manchester City, €57.5m, 2017)
8. John Stones (Everton Manchester City, €55.6m, 2016)
9. Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Crystal Palace to Manchester United, €55m, 2019)
10. Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur to Manchester City, €52.5m, 2017)
Tasked with linking the defense and attack, midfielders are perhaps the most important players in modern football. versatile footballers capable of doing a little bit of everything, midfielders are the ones that actually make things happen on the pitch, whether it is in creating goal scoring chances or stopping them. They also set the tempo of the game and control much of what happens during a match. Essentially the game of football is won by midfielders nowadays.
With some of the best teams around Europe, like the current Manchester City and Del Bosque’s Spain of the past decade literally having no forwards and as much as 6 midfielders in the starting lineup, the midfielders have become essentially the most important players in football today. And with that comes the astronomical sums that competitive clubs are willing to pay to lure certain midfielders.
1. Paul Pogba (Juventus to Manchester United, €105m, 2016)
2. Frenkie de Jong (Ajax to Barcelona, €86m, 2019)
3. Zinedine Zidane (Juventus to Real Madrid, €77.5m, 2002)
4. Kevin De Bruyne (Wolfsburg to Manchester City, €76m, 2016)
5. James Rodriguez (Monaco to Real Madrid, €75m, 2014)
6. Thomas Lemar (Monaco to Atletico Madrid, €72m, 2018)
7. Kaka (Milan to Real Madrid, €67m, 2009)
8. Bruno Fernandes (Sporting CP to Manchester United, €63m, 2020)
9. Rodri (Atletico Madrid to Manchester City, €62.7m, 2019)
10. Tanguy Ndombele (Lyon to Tottenham Hotspur, €60m, 2019)
10. Naby Keita (RB Leipzig to Liverpool, €60m, 2018)
Nobody will argue with Ronaldo's move to Madrid or, especially now that he has stuck around, Mbappe's move to PSG. Some might downgrade Ronaldo's move to Juve not through any fault of his own necessarily, but because it tied up huge resources at a time when the club should probably have been transitioning.
The rest, frankly, is a horror show. Neymar hasn't been poor for PSG, but his world-record fee was out of whack with market logic to begin with and the fact that he has missed more than half of the club's league starts in his five years there doens't help him.
Bale's Champions League exploits have to be considered, but the fee, the acrimony and leaving on a free have to be considered too. Joao Felix might still rise over time, but after three years, he's behind the progress curve. Dembele's many injuries -- and, at the time of writing, his impending exit on a free -- count against that move, while Coutinho simply never fit in. Griezmann was relatively productive at first, but nowhere near enough to justify his fee, wages or the fact that he's now on loan at a rival. As for Hazard, that move is made worse by his injuries and, especially, the fact that he was a year away from free agency when Madrid signed him.
1. Neymar (Barcelona to PSG, €222m, 2017)
2. Kylian Mbappe (Monaco to PSG, €180m, 2017)
3. Ousmane Dembele (Dortmund to Barcelona, €140m, 2017)
4. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool to Barcelona, €135m, 2018)
5. Joao Felix (Benfica to Atletico Madrid, €127.5m, 2019)
6. Antoine Griezmann (Atletico to Barcelona, €120m, 2019)
7. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid to Juventus, €117m, 2018)
8. Eden Hazard (Chelsea to Real Madrid, €115m, 2019)
9. Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur to Real Madrid, €101m, 2014)
10. Cristiano Ronaldo (Man United to Real Madrid, €94m, 2009)
When does the 2022-23 Premier League season start?
The Premier League has confirmed that the new season will start on August 6, 2022, with the campaign dates adjusted for the World Cup in Qatar.
The league will break for the tournament after match round 16 — played over the weekend of November 12-13 — and resume on Boxing Day, eight days after the World Cup final.
The final round of games will be played on May 28 2023.
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