What are the 10 most expensive transfers in football history?

Jack Grealish broke the English transfer record earlier in the summer when he signed for Manchester City

Sarah Rendell
Monday 06 September 2021 17:27
<p>Neymar joined PSG in 2017 </p>

Neymar joined PSG in 2017

The 2021 summer transfer window has been full of shocks, record deals and last-minute signings.

Not only did Lionel Messi leave his boyhood club Barcelona to join Paris Saint-Germain but Chelsea managed to bag Saul Niguez on loan from Atletico Madrid.

Money is always a central talking point of a transfer window but this year it was more in focus than before due to the eye-watering deals that were brokered.

So much so that two of the signings made this summer have made the top ten list of the most expensive players of all time.

But who is in the list? Here’s all you need to know about the highest price tags on the planet.

10: Gareth Bale - €100.8m (£86.6m)

Gareth Bale made the top ten with his transfer to Real Madrid (Nick Potts/PA)

Bale moved to Real Madrid from Tottenham Hotspur in 2013 for €100.8m and it seems to be money well spent.

At Real Bale has won four Champions League titles, two Spanish Super Cups, a Spanish Cup, two La Liga trophies and four Club World Cup titles.

The forward did fall out of favour under Zinedine Zidane and so he went out on loan back to Spurs for the 20/21 season. However, when Zidane was shown the door this summer, new manager Carlo Ancelotti welcomed Bale back.

9 and 8: Paul Pogba and Ousmane Dembele - €105m (£90.1m)

Pogba, left and Dembele were bought for the same amount of money

The French team-mates managed to bag deals worth the same amount to clock a joint spot in the top ten.

Paul Pogba joined Manchester United from Juventus in 2016 and at the time he broke the Premier League transfer record.

Many have criticised Pogba’s performances for the club, saying he plays better for France, but so far in the 21/22 season he has become the fastest player to get to five assists in a season. The midfielder clocked four against Leeds and added another against Southampton.

Meanwhile, Ousmane Dembele signed for Barcelona from Borussia Dortmund in 2017.

The defender has won two La Liga’s, two Spanish Cups and a Spanish Super Cups with the club.

7: Romelu Lukaku - €115m (£98.7m)

Romelu Lukaku’s return to Chelsea was a club transfer record (Nick Potts/PA)

Belgium international Romelu Lukaku broke Chelsea’s club transfer record when they signed him this summer from Inter Milan.

Lukaku had been linked to his former club throughout the summer with the forward initially denying a move was on the cards. He said he wanted to remain at the Italian club to help them retain the Serie A title.

However, when the Blues put in their third bid for the star he couldn’t refuse. He told HLN: “When Chelsea made their third offer I knew it was serious and I was no longer with my head in Milan.

“Chelsea offered €110m plus Zappacosta, but Inter said no. So I told Simone Inzaghi: Inter pulled me out of sh** but I wanna leave only because of Chelsea.”

6: Jack Grealish - €117m (£100m)

Jack Grealish broke the Premier League transfer record (Nick Potts/PA)

Jack Grealish’s boyhood club Aston Villa wanted to keep the star so much they wrote a £100m release clause into his contract when he re-signed in 2020.

Villa didn’t plan on Manchester City calling their bluff and forking out the league transfer record for the midfielder this summer.

“City are the best team in the country with a manager considered to be the best in the world - it’s a dream come true to be part of this club,” Grealish said upon signing for City.

“Over the past 10 seasons, they have won major trophies consistently. Pep (Guardiola) coming here has taken them to the next level and the football this team plays is the most exciting in Europe.”

5 and 4: Antoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho - €120m (£102.9m)

Antoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho have the same fee next to their names

Antoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho bagged their spots in the top ten for the same club - Barcelona.

Coutinho joined the Spanish giants in 2018 from Liverpool and the midfielder has so far won two La Liga’s, two Spanish Cups and one Spanish Super Cup.

While Griezmann signed for Barca in 2019 from Atletico Madrid but the forward has had a bumpy time at the club. He has been sent out on loan to his former club Atletico for the 21/22 season.

3: Joao Felix - €126m (£108.1m)

Joao Felix has shone at Atletico Madrid

Forward Joao Felix signed for Atletico Madrid for an eye-watering amount in 2019 from Benfica.

He has won a La Liga title at the club but he will have plenty of opportunity to bad more trophies as she signed a seven-year deal with the side.

The Portugal international also shines on the international stage as he has won the National League.

2: Kylian Mbappe - €145m (+€35m) (£124.4m +£30m)

Mbappe had a mixed season last term

French forward Kylian Mbappe signed for Paris Saint-Germain from Monaco in 2017 and he has impressed at the club despite a mixed 20/21 season.

He has won three Ligue 1 titles, three French Cups, three French Super Cups two French League Cups, was the 18/19 Player of the Season and is regarded as one of the best players in the world.

Real Madrid looked set to sign him for upwards of €150m this summer but could now sign him for nothing when his contract expires in the French capital next year.

1: Neymar - €222m (190.5m)

Neymar is the most expensive player of all time

Neymar tops our list and he is head and shoulders above the rest with a whopping €222m figure.

He signed for Paris Saint-Germain in 2017 from Barcelona and he has since won three Ligue 1 titles, three French Cups, three French Super Cups and two French League Cups.

He now also gets to play with former Barca teammate Lionel Messi who signed for the club this summer.

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