The 100 most expensive football transfers of all time

Antony Haaland Nunez GFXGetty/GOAL

Paris Saint-Germain shook up the football world in the summer of 2017 when they signed Neymar from Barcelona and then promptly prised Kylian Mbappe away from Monaco.

They remain the two most expensive players of all time but there is no denying that PSG's sensational double swoop greatly inflated the transfer market.

Indeed, a number of massive moves quickly followed, with Barcelona looking to try to fill the void left behind by Neymar by signing the likes of Ousmane Dembele, Philippe Coutinho and Antoine Griezmann for nine-figure fees.

Also in Spain, Atletico Madrid splashed €126m on Benfica's prodigious attacking talent Joao Felix, while Real Madrid finally brought Eden Hazard to Santiago Bernabeu for €100m.

The Covid-19 pandemic briefly had a massive impact on the transfer market, but some clubs have seemingly now recovered, with the likes of Jack Grealish, Jadon Sancho, Antony, Darwin Nunez, Matthijs de Ligt, Wesley Fofana and Aurelien Tchoucameni moving for huge amounts.

More massive deals now look certain to follow, but you can see the current list of the world's most expensive footballers below...

On this page

  1. Most expensive British player
  2. Most expensive teenager
  3. Most expensive defender
  4. Most expensive goalkeeper
  5. Biggest transfer outside of Europe
Pos.PlayerClubsYearFee
1NeymarBarcelona - PSG2017€222m
2Kylian MbappeMonaco - PSG2017€145m (+€35m)
3Joao FelixBenfica - Atletico Madrid2019€126m
=4Philippe CoutinhoLiverpool - Barcelona2018€120m (+€40m)
=4Antoine GriezmannAtletico Madrid - Barcelona2019€120m
6Jack GrealishAston Villa - Manchester City2021€117m
7Romelu LukakuInter - Chelsea2021€115m
=8Ousmane DembeleBorussia Dortmund - Barcelona2017€105m (+€45m)
=8Paul PogbaJuventus - Manchester United2016€105m
10Gareth BaleTottenham - Real Madrid2013€100.8m
=11Cristiano RonaldoReal Madrid - Juventus2018€100m
=11Eden HazardChelsea - Real Madrid2019€100m (+€40m)
13AntonyAjax - Manchester United2022€95m (+€5m)
14Cristiano RonaldoManchester United - Real Madrid2009€94m
15Gonzalo HiguainNapoli - Juventus2016€90m
16Harry MaguireLeicester City - Manchester United2019€87.1m
17NeymarSantos - Barcelona2013€86.2m
18Jadon SanchoBorussia Dortmund - Manchester United2021€85m
19Romelu LukakuEverton - Manchester United2017€84.8m
20Virgil van DijkSouthampton - Liverpool2018€84.5m
21Luis SuarezLiverpool - Barcelona2014€82.3m
22Wesley FofanaLeicester City - Chelsea2022€80.6m
=23Aurelien TchouameniMonaco - Real Madrid2022€80m (+€20m)
=23James RodriguezMonaco - Real Madrid2014€80m
=23Kepa ArrizabalagaAthletic Club - Chelsea2018€80m
=23Lucas HernandezAtletico Madrid - Bayern Munich2019€80m
=23Romelu LukakuManchester United - Inter2019€80m
28Nicolas PepeLille - Arsenal2019€79m
29Alvaro MorataReal Madrid - Chelsea2017€78.9m
30Zinedine ZidaneJuventus - Real Madrid2001€77.5m
=31Darwin NunezBenfica - Liverpool2022€75m (+€25m)
=31Matthijs de LigtAjax - Juventus2019€75m (+€10.5m)
=31Kevin De BruyneWolfsburg - Manchester City2015€75m
=31Frenkie de JongAjax - Barcelona2019€75m
=31Dusan VlahovicFiorentina - Juventus2022€75m
36Angel Di MariaReal Madrid - Manchester United2014€74.6m
37Alisson BeckerRoma - Liverpool2018€73m
38Arthur MeloBarcelona - Juventus2020€72m (+€10m)
39CasemiroReal Madrid - Manchester United2022€71m (+€11.8m)
=40Kai HavertzBayer Leverkusen - Chelsea2020€70m (+€9m)
=40Luka JovicEintracht Frankfurt - Real Madrid2019€70m
=40RodriAtletico Madrid - Manchester City2019€70m
43Zlatan IbrahimovicInter - Barcelona2009€69.5m
44Raheem SterlingLiverpool - Manchester City2015€69.1m
45Ruben DiasBenfica - Manchester City2020€68m (+€3.6m)
46Riyad MahrezLeicester City - Manchester City2019€67.8m
47Matthijs de LigtJuventus - Bayern Munich2022€67m (+€10m)
48Diego CostaChelsea - Atletico Madrid2018€66m
49Marc CucurellaBrighton - Chelsea2022€65.1m (+€8.2m)
=50Alexander IsakReal Sociedad - Newcastle United2022€65m (+€5m)
=50Thomas LemarMonaco - Atletico Madrid2018€65m
=50KakaAC Milan - Real Madrid2009€65m
=50Aymeric LaporteAthletic Club - Manchester City2018€65m
=50Joao CanceloJuventus - Manchester City2019€65m (inc. Danilo)
55Edinson CavaniNapoli - PSG2013€64.5m
56Christian PulisicBorussia Dortmund - Chelsea2019€64m
57Pierre-Emerick AubameyangBorussia Dortmund - Arsenal2018€63.75m
58David LuizChelsea - PSG2014€62.5m
59Angel Di MariaManchester United - PSG2015€61.6m
60OscarChelsea - Shanghai SIPG2017€60.3m
=61Achraf HakimiInter - PSG2021€60m (+€11m)
=61Miralem PjanicJuventus - Barcelona2020€60m (+€5m)
=61Erling HaalandBorussia Dortmund - Manchester City2022€60m
=61Naby KeitaRB Leipzig - Liverpool2018€60m
=61Luis FigoBarcelona - Real Madrid2000€60m
=61Tanguy NdombeleLyon - Tottenham2019€60m
=67RaphinhaLeeds United - Barcelona2022€59m (+€6m)
=67Fernando TorresLiverpool - Chelsea2011€59m
=69FredShakhtar Donetsk - Manchester United2018€58.9m
=69JorginhoNapoli - Chelsea2018€58.9m
=69HulkZenit - Shanghai SIPG2016€58.6m
=69Ben WhiteBrighton - Arsenal2021€58.6m
73Benjamin MendyMonaco - Manchester City2017€58.2m
=74RicharlisonEverton - Tottenham2022€58m (+€12m)
=74John StonesEverton - Manchester City2016€58m
76Kyle WalkerTottenham - Manchester City2017€56.7m
77Raheem SterlingManchester City - Chelsea2022€56.2m
78Ben ChilwellLeicester City - Chelsea2020€55.8m
79Lisandro MartinezAjax - Manchester United2022€55.3m (+€12.5m)
=80Bruno FernandesSporting C.P. - Manchester United2020€55m (+€25m)
=80Hernan CrespoParma - Lazio2000€55m
=80Ferran TorresManchester City - Barcelona2021€55m
=83Alexandre LacazetteLyon - Arsenal2017€53m (+€7m)
=83Timo WernerRB Leipzig - Chelsea2020€53m
85Gabriel JesusManchester City - Arsenal2022€52.3m
86Gianluigi BuffonParma - Juventus2001€52m
87Eliaquim MangalaPorto - Manchester City2014€51.7m
88Jules KoundeSevilla - Barcelona2022€50m (+€10m)
=89Alex TeixeiraShakhtar Donetsk - Jiangsu Suning2016€50m
=89Bernardo SilvaMonaco - Manchester City2017€50m
=89FabinhoMonaco - Liverpool2018€50m
=89Eder MilitaoPorto - Real Madrid2019€50m
=89Aaron Wan-BissakaCrystal Palace - Manchester United2019€50m
=89Thomas ParteyAtletico Madrid - Arsenal2020€50m
=89Victor OshimhenLille - Napoli2020€50m
96Anthony MartialMonaco - Manchester United2015€49.3m
97Gylfi SigurdssonSwansea City - Everton2017€49.2m
=98Leroy SaneManchester City - Bayern Munich2020€49m (+€11m)
=98Christian VieriLazio - Inter1999€49m
100Kalvin PhillipsLeeds United - Manchester City2022€48.8m (+€3.5m)

Most expensive British player

Jack Grealish Manchester City 2021-22Manchester City

Jack Grealish became the most expensive British player in football history when Manchester City agreed to meet the buy-out clause of €117m in the England international's Aston Villa contract.

The record had previously belonged to Wales winger Gareth Bale, who joined Real Madrid from Tottenham in 2013 for €100.8m.

Before Grealish's move to the Etihad, Harry Maguire was the costliest English player ever, on account of his €87.1m move from Leicester to Manchester United in 2019.

Most expensive teenager

Kylian Mbappe France 2017

Kylian Mbappe is the most expensive teenager ever, as he joined PSG on a loan-to-buy deal in 2017 that will be worth €180m after bonuses.

Joao Felix is the second-most expensive teenager, having been signed by Atletico from Benfica for €126m in 2019.

Most expensive defender

Harry Maguire Manchester United 2019-20Getty Images

Harry Maguire became the most expensive defender of all time when Manchester United forked out €87.1m the England centre-half's services in 2019.

Maguire overtook Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk in the process, but only marginally, as the Netherlands international set the Reds back €84.5m when he arrived from Southampton the year before.

Most expensive goalkeeper

Kepa Arrizabalaga Athletic Bilbao

Kepa Arrizabalaga is the most expensive goalkeeper in history. Chelsea spent €80m to meet his Athletic Club release clause in 2018.

For a long time, former Juventus captain Gianluigi Buffon held this mark, having joined the Turin outfit from Parma for €52m, which is a colossal fee when inflation is taken into account.

Then, within a matter of weeks, Buffon's record was shattered twice. First, Liverpool brought in Roma's Alisson Becker for €73m, to temporarily take the mark as the world's most expensive keeper.

Not to be outdone, Chelsea snapped up Kepa not even a month later, propelling the Spain international into top spot. 

Biggest transfer outside of Europe

Oscar Shanghai SIPGGetty Images

The most a non-European club has ever paid for a player is €60.3m, which Shanghai SIPG handed over to Chelsea for Brazil midfielder Oscar in 2016.

However, with the way the market is going, who knows which record will be shattered next?!