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Top 10 Most Expensive Transfer Deals Of All Time

Joao Felix and Neymar
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The 2022 football transfer season is in full swing at the moment with Manchester City and Liverpool making big-money moves to sign strikers Erling Haaland and Darwin Nunez. The enormity of the football transfer market has grown with each passing year, and today we will be taking a trip down memory lane to look at the top ten most expensive football transfers of all time.

10. Gareth Bale (Tottenham to Real Madrid)


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Year: 2013
Fee: €101 million

Real Madrid broke the transfer fee record in the summer of 2013 when they purchased Gareth Bale for an eye-watering sum of €101 million from Tottenham. Bale went on to have a trophy-laden nine years in the Spanish capital, winning an impressive five Champions League trophies and scoring 106 goals.

9. Paul Pogba (Juventus to Manchester United)


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Year: 2016
Fee: €105 million

Manchester United spent over €100 million to bring back Paul Pogba to the club in 2016, but it’s fair to say the Frenchman failed to live up to his price tag in the six years he spent at the club. Pogba averaged only 25 league appearances a season in his second spell in Manchester, winning just two trophies in 2017 under Jose Mourinho.

8. Ousmane Dembele (Borussia Dortmund to Barcelona)


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Year: 2017
Fee: €105 million

Barcelona broke the bank to sign Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund in 2017 after Neymar left for PSG. However, just like Pogba, the Frenchman failed to live up to the expectations, scoring just 32 goals in 150 appearances for the Catalan club and struggling with injuries throughout his five seasons in Spain.

7. Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan to Chelsea)


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Year: 2021
Fee: €115 million

Romelu Lukaku overtook Neymar in 2021 as the player with the highest combined transfer fees of all time with his moves involving Anderlecht, Chelsea (twice), Everton, Manchester United and Inter Milan. The biggest of those transfers came last season, with the Belgian returning to Stamford Bridge in a deal worth €115 million.

6. Jack Grealish (Aston Villa to Manchester City)


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Year: 2021
Fee: €117 million

Jack Grealish became the most expensive Englishman of all time after Manchester City paid a whopping £100 million to sign the former Villa man last summer. While Grealish went on to win the league title in his first season in Manchester, the midfielder struggled to adapt to Pep Guardiola’s system for large parts of the season, finishing with just six league goals and assists.

5. Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid to Barcelona)


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Year: 2019
Fee: €120 million

Another big-money Barcelona signing which failed to pay dividends was the addition of Antoine Griezmann in 2019 for €120 million. Griezmann lasted just two seasons in Catalunya, scoring 22 goals in 74 appearances before moving back to Atletico Madrid on loan.

4. Joao Felix (AS Benfica to Atletico Madrid)


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Year: 2019
Fee: €126 million

After just one season in Benfica’s first team, Atletico Madrid broke their transfer record to purchase Portuguese wonderkid Joao Felix for an eye-watering sum of €126 million. This move made Felix the second-most expensive teenager of all time behind Kylian Mbappe, and after a rough first two years in Madrid, the Portuguese started to show his potential in 2021/22, winning Atletico’s player of the season award.

3. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool to Barcelona)


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Year: 2018
Fee: €145 million

The rest of Barcelona’s Neymar money went towards bringing in Brazilian superstar Philippe Coutinho, who became the most expensive January transfer of all time in 2018 when he pushed to leave Liverpool. However, Coutinho couldn’t replicate his Premier League success in La Liga alongside Messi and Suarez, making just 106 appearances for the club before departing for Aston Villa in 2022.

2. Kylian Mbappe (AS Monaco to PSG)


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Year: 2018
Fee: €180 million

PSG made Kylian Mbappe the most expensive teenager in the history of football after purchasing the French wonderkid for €180 million from AS Monaco. Due to financial fair play permutations, the deal involved the World Cup winner initially arriving on loan in 2017 before joining permanently 12 months later.

1. Neymar (Barcelona to PSG)


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Year: 2017
Fee: €222 million

PSG shocked the world and completely changed the landscape of European football in the summer of 2017 with their acquisition of Neymar from Barcelona. The French club activated Neymar’s Barcelona release clause of €222 million, a move which doubled the previous world record transfer fee at the time, Paul Pogba to Manchester United.