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Barcelona most expensive player sales - How Catalans earned over €1.4 billion in outgoing transfers

14:00 SAST 2022/09/09
Transfer gurus Barcelona Neymar Alexis Sanchez
Barcelona have made some shrewd sales this century, even if it's not all been good business for the Catalans

Barcelona have mainly been making headlines for their lavish spending over the course of the last few seasons, but they have managed to earn plenty of cash as well.

That was not necessarily always by choice, though.

There was the infamous departure of Luis Figo to Real Madrid at the start of the century, which did not go down particularly well at Camp Nou.

And then there was Neymar's "betrayal" in 2017, which quite possibly caused an even bigger uproar.

More recently, they offloaded Arthur to Juventus in a deal that can only be described as a bit of creative accounting, before selling Philippe Coutinho at a significant loss just to get him off the books.

Still, it's earned them a nice bit of change over the course of the 21st century!

Barcelona most expensive sales by season


Biggest sale


Total sales


Philippe Coutinho




Emerson Royal




Arthur Melo
















Claudio Bravo








Alexis Sanchez








Ibrahim Afellay




Zlatan Ibrahimovic




Yaya Toure




Samuel Eto'o








Juliano Belletti




Mark van Bommel




Juan Roman Riquelme




Luis Garcia




Fabio Rochemback




Mikel Arteta








Luis Figo





*All figures are taken from Transfermarkt unless stated otherwise.

FC Barcelona top 10 most expensive player sales

  • Yerry Mina Everton

    #10 Yerry Mina | €30.25 million/£27.23 million | Everton | 2018

    Barcelona signed Yerry Mina from Palmeiras for €12.40 million (£11.16 million) in January 2018, but the centre-back failed to make an impact at the club.

    He made just six appearances in all competitions amid tough competition in defence and was eventually offloaded to Everton for a decent profit just seven months into his Barcelona career for €30.25m (£27.23m).

  • Nelson Semedo Wolves GFX

    #9 Nelson Semedo | €32 million/£28.80 million | Wolves | 2020

    Barcelona dived into the transfer market in the summer of 2017 in order to strengthen their right-back position, leading them to Benfica star Nelson Semedo.

    The Catalan giants had to pay a fee of €35.70 million (£32.13 million) in order to sign the Portugal international.

    Semedo made 124 appearances for Barcelona in all competitions over his three-year spell at the club, before being sold to Premier League side Wolves in the summer of 2020 for €32 million (£28.80 million).

  • Cesc Fabregas Chelsea

    #8 Cesc Fabregas | €33 million/£29.70 million | Chelsea | 2014

    Cesc Fabregas forced a move to his boyhood club Barcelona from Arsenal back in 2011, with the Catalans paying €34 million (£30.60 million) to bring him back home.

    His time at Barcelona was quite successful as he made 151 appearances, scoring 42 goals and providing 50 assists over his five seasons at the club.

    With tremendous competition in Barcelona's midfield, Fabregas was eventually sold to Chelsea in the summer of 2014 for €33m (£29.70m).

  • Jasper Cillessen Barcelona

    #7 Jasper Cillessen | €35 million/£31.50 million | Valencia | 2019

    Barcelona were in need of a back-up goalkeeper in the summer of 2016 when they brought in Jasper Cillessen from Ajax for €13 million (£11.70 million).

    During his three seasons at the club, Cillessen largely played the role of understudy to Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, making just 32 appearances, conceding 25 goals and keeping 14 clean sheets.

    In the summer of 2019, Barcelona parted ways with the Dutchman for a huge premium for a goalkeeper when Valencia agreed to pay €35m (£31.50m) for his services.

  • Malcom Barcelona Roma ICC 2018

    #6 Malcom | €40 million/£36 million | Zenit | 2019

    Barcelona were searching for additional options in their attacking department back in 2018 when they brought in Malcom from Bordeaux.

    The Catalans paid a fee of €41 million (£36.90 million) for the winger, who featured for just six months before being shipped to Zenit for €40m (£36m) in 2019.

    Fair to say the move to Camp Nou didn't work out well for the Brazilian!

    Malcom featured in 24 games for Barcelona, scoring four goals, two of which were against Real Madrid and Inter respectively. He provided two assists in his time at the club.

  • Paulinho Barcelona Deportivo LaLiga 17122017

    #5 Paulinho | €42 million/£37.80 million | Guangzhou FC | 2018

    After completely flopping at Tottenham Hotspur previously, it came as a surprise when Barcelona paid a whopping €40 million (£36 million) for Paulinho when they signed him from Evergrande in 2017.

    But, Paulinho was surprisingly good in the 49 games he played for Barcelona, scoring nine goals and providing three assists.

    However, Barcelona still loaned the Brazilian back to his former Chinese Super League club in the summer of 2018, before permanently selling him to them for €42m (£37.80m) in the January transfer window of 2019.

  • Alexis Sanchez Barcelona 2014

    #4 Alexis Sanchez | €42.5 million/£38.25 million | Arsenal | 2014

    In 2011, Barcelona made a move for a talented youngster from Udinese called Alexis Sanchez, signing the attacker for €26 million (£23.40 million).

    Despite some very good performances, including a winner in El Clasico, Sanchez never quite became an undisputed starter due to the level of competition at the club.

    Sanchez still made 141 appearances for Barcelona, scoring 46 goals and providing 37 assists, which is quite an incredible return in terms of goal contributions.

    The Chilean left Barcelona when Luis Suarez arrived, joining Arsenal for €42.5m (£38.25m) in 2014.

  • Luis Figo Barcelona

    #3 Luis Figo | €60 million/£54 million | Real Madrid | 2000

    One of the most controversial transfers in the history of football occurred when Luis Figo committed the ultimate sin, leaving Barcelona to join arch-rivals Real Madrid in 2000.

    Figo joined Los Blancos for a then world-record fee of €60 million (£54 million) and he ended up winning one Ballon d'Or, two La Liga titles and a Champions League at the Santiago Bernabeu.

    The Portuguese maestro eventually moved to Italian giants Inter as a free agent in the summer of 2005, before retiring from professional football in 2009.

  • Arthur Melo Barcelona 2018-19

    #2 Arthur Melo | €76 million/£68.40 million | Juventus | 2020

    Barcelona and Juventus came up with arguably one of the most remarkable deals in the history of transfers in 2020.

    The Catalans let go of highly-rated midfielder Arthur Melo for €76 million (£68.40 million), with Miralem Pjanic arriving at the Camp Nou for €60m (£54m) around the same time.

    This deal was pretty controversial and was also subject to investigation over whether it was in fact little more than an accounting trick.

    In essence, the only money exchanged between the two teams was €16m (£14.40m).

    However, in accounting terms, a club spreads every new player's transfer fee over the length of the contract that they sign for.

    Thus, despite having a €16m (£14.40m) difference in the values of Pjanic and Arthur, both clubs earned close to €52m (£44.6m) from this deal in terms of capital gains for that financial year.

  • Neymar PSG 2017-18

    #1 Neymar | €222 million/£199.80 million | PSG | 2017

    The world of football transfers changed forever when Paris Saint-Germain signed Neymar from Barcelona for €222 million (£199.80 million), smashing the world-record fee by a mile in the summer of 2017.

    The Brazilian was one of the crown jewels of Barcelona's attack alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez and he seemed destined to become a club legend at Camp Nou, but the lure of a big paycheck at PSG proved to be too much for the former Santos man.

    Even though Barcelona did receive an incredible fee, they ended up spending it on players who never really quite lived up to the high expectations such as Philippe Coutinho and Antoine Griezmann.