10 Most Expensive Transfers In Footballing History

The transfer window is upon us and if recent trends in the market are anything to go by we could be about to see some of the most expensive transfers in history!

At PledgeSports we are die-hard football fans and have helped many football players and teams, of every age and level, from all around the world, raise money through sports crowdfunding.

Before we see any more spending records broken this summer, here are the 10 most expensive transfers in footballing history to date.

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10. James Rodriguez – €79.8m

most-expensive-transfers-rodriguezAfter just one season at Monaco and a successful World Cup that saw Rodriguez lead Colombia into the quarter-finals, Real Madrid snapped up the youngster for an impressive amount of money.

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The transfer fee made it the most expensive transfer of a Colombian player in history.

9. Luiz Suarez – €82.3m

most-expensive-transfers-suarezAfter an incredible final year at Liverpool saw the Merseyside club go close in the Premier League in 2013-14, Suarez was a popular target in the 2014 transfer market. After the being handed a four-month ban for another bite while representing Uruguay at the 2014 World Cup, Barcelona would eventually snap up the talismanic striker.

8. Romelu Lukaku – €83m

Lukaku_Romelu_126231When the big Belgian announced he would not be extending his stay at Goodison Park in May he put many of Europe’s biggest clubs on red alert. 25 league goals for Rom last season is a testament to the prolific striker he has become.

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Naturally, such an amount of goals warrant a very sizeable price tag, and it was Manchester United who would ultimately pay an initial fee of £75 million to get their man. Will he live up to the billing? Only time will tell.

7. Virgil Van Dijk – €84.5m


On the 27th of December 2017, Virgil was signed by Liverpool from Southampton for a fee of over £75m which is to date the world record fee for a defender.

He scored on his debut in the Merseyside derby which proved to be the winning goal. Can he prove his worth all season?

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6. Gonzalo Higuain – €90m

most-expensive-transfers-higuainIn the summer of 2016, Juventus made a huge splash by buying Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain from Serie A side Napoli. Higuain immediately topped the charts of most expensive transfers in Italian history, coming off a season where he broke a 66-year old Serie A record for most goals, netting 36 times.

5. Cristiano Ronaldo – €94m

most-expensive-transfers-ronaldoIn six seasons at Manchester United, he won three Premiership titles, an FA Cup, and the Champions League in 2008. He scored 118 goals for the Red Devils.

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When Real Madrid offered a world-record fee for the Portuguese star, United felt they had no choice but to take the money and run.

4. Gareth Bale – €100m

most-expensive-transfers-baleAfter setting the Premier League alight for Tottenham, it was inevitable that a player of Bale’s calibre would leave the north London outfit behind. This was the sports’ worst kept secret for close to six months, and Manchester United is rumored to have been thinly outbid by Madrid for the services of the Welsh star. ultimately, he chose to join Los Blancos.

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=3. Paul Pogba – €105m

most-expensive-transfers-pogbaAfter letting an 18-year-old Pogba leave Manchester for Turin for free in the summer of 2012, the young French midfielder would develop into one of football’s hottest prospects. Unsurprisingly, when United decided to try and bring Pogba back to North England, Juventus’ asking price was a world record fee and a figure worthy of topping our list of the most expensive transfers in footballing history.

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=3. Ousmane Dembele – €105 million

d0cc0ac9bdada1710be237f85d7bf195_crop_exactThe 2016/17 season was a whirlwind for the 20-year-old attacker. Promising showings for Rennes landed him a move to German giants Borussia Dortmund.

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The Frenchman would make his name known to footballing fans around the world as he dazzled the Dortmund fans. His performances didn’t go unnoticed by the national side’s manager Didier Deschamps, and Dembele has since been capped seven times for France since 2016.

His move to Barcelona on August 28th was not only one of the most expensive transfers of 2017 but is also the joint-2nd most expensive signing of all time.

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2. Philippe Coutinho – €120 million


On 6 January 2018, Liverpool confirmed that they had reached an agreement with La Liga club Barcelona for the transfer of Coutinho. His transfer fee is reported to be an initial £106 million, which could rise to £142 million with various clauses being met. Very good business from Liverpool who made over £100m profit on the player.


1. Neymar Jr. – €220 million


Probably the biggest shock of any transfer window in recent memory, Qatar-fuelled PSG activated Neymar’s €222 million release clause, entitling them to bypass the Barcelona board and speak directly to the player about a possible transfer to the French capital.

One-third of the deadly MSN strike-force, many believed the move would never happen, and even after Neymar agreed to leave the Catalan giants it appeared La Liga would not accept the world-record smashing fee as it did not comply with FIFA’a “Financial Fair Play” rules.

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However, after much legal debate and negotiation, Neymar’s move was finalised and in becoming PSG’s new No. 10, he also became the most expensive transfer in the history of the sport by an incredible margin of £110 million.


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