Neymar Kylian Mbappe Declan Rice Top 100 Transfers GFXGetty

The 100 most expensive football transfers of all time

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 within a couple of seasons a number of clubs had recovered, particularly in England. Numerous players have been signed by Premier League clubs for huge money since 2021, including Declan Rice, Enzo Fernandez, Jack Grealish, Jadon Sancho, Mykhailo Mudryk, Antony, Darwin Nunez and Moises Caicedo.

Article continues below

Meanwhile, European giants such as Real Madrid have flexed their muscles with the high-profile signings of players like Jude Bellingham and Aurelien Tchouameni, while the usually prudent Bayern Munich have also got in on the act by acquiring Harry Kane.

Furtheremore, a new power has now emerged in the Middle East, with Saudi Pro League clubs having shaken up the transfer market in 2023 by signing the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Neymar.

So, could the current transfer record soon be broken? It certainly seems possible. For now, though, Neymar remains top of the list of the 100 most expensive players of all time...

Pos.PlayerClubsYearFee
1NeymarBarcelona - PSG2017€222m
2Kylian MbappeMonaco - PSG2017€145m (+€35m)
3Joao FelixBenfica - Atletico Madrid2019€126m
4Enzo FernandezBenfica - Chelsea2023€121m
=5Philippe CoutinhoLiverpool - Barcelona2018€120m (+€40m)
=5Antoine GriezmannAtletico Madrid - Barcelona2019€120m
=7Moises CaicedoBrighton - Chelsea2023€117m (+€17.5m)
=7Declan RiceWest Ham - Arsenal2023€117m (+€6m)
=7Jack GrealishAston Villa - Manchester City2021€117m
10Romelu LukakuInter - Chelsea2021€115m
=11Ousmane DembeleBorussia Dortmund - Barcelona2017€105m (+€40m)
=11Paul PogbaJuventus - Manchester United2016€105m (+€5m)
13Jude BellinghamDortmund - Real Madrid2023€103m (+€31m)
14Gareth BaleTottenham - Real Madrid2013€100.8m
=15Eden HazardChelsea - Real Madrid2019€100m (+€46m)
=15Harry KaneTottenham - Bayern Munich2023€100m (+€16m)
=15Cristiano RonaldoReal Madrid - Juventus2018€100m
18AntonyAjax - Manchester United2022€95m (+€5m)
=19Harry MaguireLeicester City - Manchester United2019€94m
=19Cristiano RonaldoManchester United - Real Madrid2009€94m
=21Gonzalo HiguainNapoli - Juventus2016€90m
=21NeymarPSG - Al-Hilal2023€90m
=21Josko GvardiolRB Leipzig - Manchester City2023€90m
24Romelu LukakuEverton - Manchester United2017€88m (+€17.5m)
25NeymarSantos - Barcelona2013€86.2m
26Jadon SanchoBorussia Dortmund - Manchester United2021€85m
27Virgil van DijkSouthampton - Liverpool2018€84.5m
28Luis SuarezLiverpool - Barcelona2014€82m
29Wesley FofanaLeicester City - Chelsea2022€80.5m (+€6m)
=30Aurelien TchouameniMonaco - Real Madrid2022€80m (+€20m)
=30James RodriguezMonaco - Real Madrid2014€80m
=32Kepa ArrizabalagaAthletic Club - Chelsea2018€80m
=33Lucas HernandezAtletico Madrid - Bayern Munich2019€80m
=33Romelu LukakuManchester United - Inter2019€80m
35Nicolas PepeLille - Arsenal2019€79m
36Alvaro MorataReal Madrid - Chelsea2017€78.9m
37Zinedine ZidaneJuventus - Real Madrid2001€77.5m
=38Darwin NunezBenfica - Liverpool2022€75m (+€25m)
=38Randal Kolo MuaniEintracht Frankfurt - PSG2023€75m (+€15m)
=38Matthijs de LigtAjax - Juventus2019€75m (+€10.5m)
=38Rasmus HojlundAtalanta - Manchester United2023€75m (+€9m)
=38Kevin De BruyneWolfsburg - Manchester City2015€75m
=38Frenkie de JongAjax - Barcelona2019€75m
=38Dusan VlahovicFiorentina - Juventus2022€75m
45Angel Di MariaReal Madrid - Manchester United2014€74.6m
46Alisson BeckerRoma - Liverpool2018€73m
47Arthur MeloBarcelona - Juventus2020€72m (+€10m)
48Kai HavertzChelsea-Arsenal2023€72m (+€3.5m)
49CasemiroReal Madrid - Manchester United2022€71m (+€11.8m)
=50Mykhailo MudrykShakhtar Donetsk - Chelsea2023€70m (+€30m)
=50Kai HavertzBayer Leverkusen - Chelsea2020€70m (+€9m)
=50Luka JovicEintracht Frankfurt - Real Madrid2019€70m
=50RodriAtletico Madrid - Manchester City2019€70m
=50Sandro TonaliAC Milan - Newcastle United2023€70m
=50Dominik SzoboszlaiRB Leipzig - Liverpool2023€70m
56Zlatan IbrahimovicInter - Barcelona2009€69.5m
57Raheem SterlingLiverpool - Manchester City2015€69.1m
58Ruben DiasBenfica - Manchester City2020€68m (+€3.6m)
59Riyad MahrezLeicester City - Manchester City2019€67.8m
60Matthijs de LigtJuventus - Bayern Munich2022€67m (+€10m)
61Diego CostaChelsea - Atletico Madrid2018€66m
62Marc CucurellaBrighton - Chelsea2022€65.1m (+€8.2m)
=63Alexander IsakReal Sociedad - Newcastle United2022€65m (+€5m)
=63Thomas LemarMonaco - Atletico Madrid2018€65m
=63Jeremy DokuRennes - Manchester City2023€65m
=63KakaAC Milan - Real Madrid2009€65m
=63Aymeric LaporteAthletic Club - Manchester City2018€65m
=63Joao CanceloJuventus - Manchester City2019€65m (inc. Danilo)
69Edinson CavaniNapoli - PSG2013€64.5m
70Christian PulisicBorussia Dortmund - Chelsea2019€64m
71Mason MountChelsea - Manchester United2023€63.9m (+€5.8m)
72Pierre-Emerick AubameyangBorussia Dortmund - Arsenal2018€63.75m
=73David LuizChelsea - PSG2014€62m (+€6m)
=73Romeo LaviaSouthampton - Chelsea2023€62m (+€6m)
=73Matheus NunesWolves - Manchester City2023€62m
76Angel Di MariaManchester United - PSG2015€61.6m
=77Achraf HakimiInter - PSG2021€60m (+€11m)
=77Miralem PjanicJuventus - Barcelona2020€60m (+€5m)
=77OscarChelsea - Shanghai SIPG2017€60m
=77Christopher NkunkuRB Leipzig - Chelsea2023€60m
=77Manuel UgarteSporting CP - PSG2023€60m
=77Erling HaalandBorussia Dortmund - Manchester City2022€60m
=77Naby KeitaRB Leipzig - Liverpool2018€60m
=77Luis FigoBarcelona - Real Madrid2000€60m
=77Tanguy NdombeleLyon - Tottenham2019€60m
=77MalcomZenit - Al-Hilal2023€60m
=77OtavioPorto - Al-Nassr2023€60m
88RaphinhaLeeds United - Barcelona2022€59m (+€6m)
89Fernando TorresLiverpool - Chelsea2011€59m
=90FredShakhtar Donetsk - Manchester United2018€58.9m
=90JorginhoNapoli - Chelsea2018€58.9m
=92HulkZenit - Shanghai SIPG2016€58.6m
=92Ben WhiteBrighton - Arsenal2021€58.6m
94Benjamin MendyMonaco - Manchester City2017€58.2m
=95RicharlisonEverton - Tottenham2022€58m (+€12m)
=95John StonesEverton - Manchester City2016€58m
97Kyle WalkerTottenham - Manchester City2017€56.7m
98Raheem SterlingManchester City - Chelsea2022€56.2m
99Ben ChilwellLeicester City - Chelsea2020€55.8m
100Lisandro MartinezAjax - Manchester United2022€55.3m (+€12.5m)

Most expensive British player

Declan Rice Arsenal 2023 pre-seasonGetty

Declan Rice became the most expensive British player in football history when he moved from West Ham to Arsenal in July 2023 in a whopping deal worth €116m.

Previously, the record belonged to Jack Grealish, whom Manchester City signed from Aston Villa for €117m in the summer of 2021.

Before Grealish's big move, Gareth Bale was football's most expensive Brit, with Real Madrid breaking the world transfer record to sign the Welshman from Tottenham in 2013 for €100.8m.

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

For a long time, former Juventus captain Gianluigi Buffon held this honour, 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 in 2018, Buffon's record was shattered twice. First, Liverpool brought in Roma's Alisson Becker for €73m, to temporarily take the title of the world's most expensive keeper.

But Chelsea snapped up Kepa less than a month later, propelling the Spain international into top spot by meeting the €80m release clause in his Athletic Club contract.

Biggest transfer outside of Europe

Neymar Hilal 2023Getty

For seven years, the most a non-European club had paid for a player was the €60.3m that Shanghai SIPG handed over to Chelsea for Brazil midfielder Oscar. However, Neymar now also holds this record, having been signed by Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal in the summer of the 2023 for 90m.

Advertisement