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Top 10 Most Expensive Football Transfers of All Time

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The summer transfer window has rolled around once more, and with marquee singings such as Erling Haaland and Darwin Nunez already confirmed, we may yet see some record breaking fees being exchanged. Read on below to see the most expensive transfers in history and whether their price tag was indeed justified.

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Most Expensive Transfer Fees of All Time

Player Fee
Neymar (Barcelona to PSG) £198m
Kylian Mbappe (Monaco to PSG) £163m
Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool to Barcelona) £105m
Joao Felix (Benfica to Atletico Madrid) £107m
Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid to Barcelona) £104.1m
Jack Grealish (Aston Villa to Manchester City) £100m
Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan to Chelsea) £98m
Paul Pogba (Juventus to Manchester United) / Ousmane Dembele (Borussia Dortmund to Barcelona) £97m
Eden Hazard (Chelsea to Real Madrid) / Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid to Juventus) / Gareth Bale (Tottenham to Real Madrid) £90m

 

Neymar – Barcelona to PSG (2017)

A transfer of seismic proportions, Neymar’s switch to the French capital was a significant moment in football that would go on to have an irrepressible effect on transfer fees.

The mercurial Brazilian had just finished third in the Ballon D’or and Barcelona’s transcendent front three of him, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez looked an unbreakable, untouchable bond on and off the pitch.

Only an astronomical transfer fee could persuade Barcelona to sell and Neymar to move out of Lionel Messi’s shadow, and that’s just what PSG were prepared to do. While his time at PSG has been fruitful, winning four Ligue 1 titles and reaching a Champions League final, his performances haven’t quite matched the dizzying, dazzling goal and assist machine we saw at Barcelona.

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Kylian Mbappe – Monaco to PSG (2018)

The current most valuable player in the world, Kylian Mbpappe, recently pledged his loyalty to Paris Saint Germain by signing a new contract, just when it looked as if the 23-year-old was destined for a move to Real Madrid.

Since making the switch from Monaco in 2018, the enigmatic Frenchman has scored an incredible 170 goals in 216 games, and has certainly justified his enormous price tag winning the Ligue 1 golden boot in four of the five seasons he has been at the Parc de Princes.

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Philippe Coutinho – Liverpool to Barcelona (2018)

Certainly one of the more disastrous transfers on this list, but also one of the most expensive.

Philippe Coutinho’s start to life at Barcelona was emphatic, notching in nine goals and registering seven assists in 22 games during his first season in what looked to be a match made in heaven.

However, the Brazilian fell out of favour with manager Ernesto Valverde and his goal return massively suffered, along with his confidence.

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Joao Felix – Benfica to Atletico Madrid (2019)

One of the most sought after players in world football during his time at Benfica, many have questioned whether Diego Simeone’s defensive style was the right choice.

The Portuguese forward, still only 22, is often isolated in Atletico’s system meaning he has just 29 goals in 111 games thus far. While that is no means a poor return, it isn’t quite what you would expect for the fourth most expensive player of all time.

joao felix atletico madrid 2019

Antoine Griezmann – Atletico Madrid to Barcelona (2019)

Another big money investment from Barcelona that almost certainly contributed to their economic troubles we see today.

Nonetheless, Antoine Griezmann, although not quite living up to his hefty price tag, was a decent asset for Barcelona, scoring 33 goals in 101 games, mainly in a supporting role to Lionel Messi.

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Jack Grealish – Aston Villa to Manchester City (2021)

Time will tell whether Manchester City’s £100m investment in former Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish was worthwhile.

Despite coming under pressure in his debut season for not performing with the kind of consistent creativity we saw at Villa Park, next season should be different story for the 26-year-old as he settles into Guardiola’s demanding system.

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Romelu Lukaku – Inter Milan to Chelsea (2021)

Another very recent transfer, Romelu Lukaku’s dream return to Chelsea has been underwhelming to say the least.

The Belgian scored 15 goals overall in his first season back in the Premier League, but this was nothing compared to his emphatic 30 goal season in Inter Milan’s Serie A winning season in the previous campaign.

He is rumoured to be pushing for a move back to the Italian capital.

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Paul Pogba – Juventus to Manchester United (2016)

Paul Pogba’s return to Old Trafford, which is due to come to an end this summer after confirming he will leave, has been turbulent to say the least. The Frenchman has constantly been criticised for his lacklustre performances, with only glimpses of his magical Juventus performances shining through.

Paul Pogba sign contract Manchester United

Ousmane Dembele – Borussia Dortmund to Barcelona (2017)

Ousmane Dembele is certainly one of the most naturally gifted players in world football, but his time at Barcelona has been plagued by injury. Hopefully we will get to see more of the 25-year-old, who has looked a different player since Xavi’s arrival at the Nou Camp.

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Eden Hazard – Chelsea to Real Madrid (2019) 

Another transfer plagued by injuries, Eden Hazard’s self confessed dream move to the Bernabeu has been disastrous. The Belgian has been unavailable for 550 days so far, but he has recently expressed his desire to stay and prove his worth next season.

eden hazard at real madrid cyclonetimes

Cristiano Ronaldo – Real Madrid to Juventus (2018)

Cristiano Ronaldo called time on his iconic period at Real Madrid in search for a new challenge in 2019, and his moved to Juventus was fruitful to say the least, scoring 101 goals in 134 games for the Biaconeri.

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Gareth Bale – Tottenham to Real Madrid (2013)

Lastly, Gareth Bale, who will now leave Real Madrid this summer after nine years, can certainly be classed as a worthwhile singing. He became the most expensive player ever when he made the switch to the Spanish capital – 106 goals and five Champions Leagues later, the Welshman will go down as a Madrid legend.

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