The 100 most expensive football transfers of all time

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Erling Haaland Darwin 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 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, Darwin Nunez 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
Naby Keita
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)
13Cristiano RonaldoManchester United - Real Madrid2009€94m
14Gonzalo HiguainNapoli - Juventus2016€90m
15Harry MaguireLeicester City - Manchester United2019€87.1m
16NeymarSantos - Barcelona2013€86.2m
17Jadon SanchoBorussia Dortmund - Manchester United2021€85m
18Romelu LukakuEverton - Manchester United2017€84.8m
19Virgil van DijkSouthampton - Liverpool2018€84.5m
20Luis SuarezLiverpool - Barcelona2014€82.3m
=21Aurelien TchouameniMonaco - Real Madrid2022€80m (+€20m)
=21James RodriguezMonaco - Real Madrid2014€80m
=21Kepa ArrizabalagaAthletic Club - Chelsea2018€80m
=21Lucas HernandezAtletico Madrid - Bayern Munich2019€80m
=21Romelu LukakuManchester United - Inter2019€80m
26Nicolas PepeLille - Arsenal2019€79m
27Alvaro MorataReal Madrid - Chelsea2017€78.9m
28Zinedine ZidaneJuventus - Real Madrid2001€77.5m
=29Darwin NunezBenfica - Liverpool2022€75m (+€25m)
=29Matthijs de LigtAjax - Juventus2019€75m (+€10.5m)
=29Kevin De BruyneWolfsburg - Manchester City2015€75m
=29Frenkie de JongAjax - Barcelona2019€75m
=29Dusan VlahovicFiorentina - Juventus2022€75m
34Angel Di MariaReal Madrid - Manchester United2014€74.6m
35Alisson BeckerRoma - Liverpool2018€73m
36Arthur MeloBarcelona - Juventus2020€72m (+€10m)
=37Kai HavertzBayer Leverkusen - Chelsea2020€70m (+€9m)
=37Luka JovicFrankfurt - Real Madrid2019€70m
=37RodriAtletico Madrid - Manchester City2019€70m
40Zlatan IbrahimovicInter - Barcelona2009€69.5m
41Raheem SterlingLiverpool - Manchester City2015€69.1m
42Ruben DiasBenfica - Manchester City2020€68m (+€3.6m)
43Riyad MahrezLeicester City - Manchester City2019€67.8m
44Diego CostaChelsea - Atletico Madrid2018€66m
=45Thomas LemarMonaco - Atletico Madrid2018€65m
=45KakaAC Milan - Real Madrid2009€65m
=45Aymeric LaporteAthletic Club - Manchester City2018€65m
=45Joao CanceloJuventus - Manchester City2019€65m (inc. Danilo)
49Edinson CavaniNapoli - PSG2013€64.5m
50Christian PulisicBorussia Dortmund - Chelsea2019€64m
51Pierre-Emerick AubameyangBorussia Dortmund - Arsenal2018€63.75m
52David LuizChelsea - PSG2014€62.5m
53Angel Di MariaManchester United - PSG2015€61.6m
54OscarChelsea - Shanghai SIPG2017€60.3m
=55Achraf HakimiInter - PSG2021€60m (+€11m)
=55Miralem PjanicJuventus - Barcelona2020€60m (+€5m)
=55Erling HaalandBorussia Dortmund - Manchester City2022€60m
=55Naby KeitaRB Leipzig - Liverpool2018€60m
=55Luis FigoBarcelona - Real Madrid2000€60m
=55Tanguy NdombeleLyon - Tottenham2019€60m
61Fernando TorresLiverpool - Chelsea2011€59m
=62FredShakhtar Donetsk - Manchester United2018€58.9m
=62JorginhoNapoli - Chelsea2018€58.9m
=62HulkZenit - Shanghai SIPG2016€58.6m
=62Ben WhiteBrighton - Arsenal2021€58.6m
66Benjamin MendyMonaco - Manchester City2017€58.2m
67John StonesEverton - Manchester City2016€58m
68Kyle WalkerTottenham - Manchester City2017€56.7m
69Ben ChilwellLeicester City - Chelsea2020€55.8m
=70Bruno FernandesSporting - Manchester United2020€55m (+€25m)
=70Hernan CrespoParma - Lazio2000€55m
=70Ferran TorresManchester City - Barcelona2021€55m
=73Alexandre LacazetteLyon - Arsenal2017€53m (+€7m)
=73Timo WernerRB Leipzig - Chelsea2020€53m
75Gianluigi BuffonParma - Juventus2001€52m
76Eliaquim MangalaPorto - Manchester City2014€51.7m
=77Alex TeixeiraShakhtar Donetsk - Jiangsu Suning2016€50m
=77Bernardo SilvaMonaco - Manchester City2017€50m
=77FabinhoMonaco - Liverpool2018€50m
=77Eder MilitaoPorto - Real Madrid2019€50m
=77Aaron Wan-BissakaCrystal Palace - Manchester United2019€50m
=77Thomas ParteyAtletico Madrid  - Arsenal2020€50m
=77Victor OshimhenLille - Napoli2020€50m
84Anthony MartialMonaco - Manchester United2015€49.3m
85Gylfi SigurdssonSwansea City - Everton2017€49.2m
=86Leroy SaneManchester City - Bayern Munich2020€49m (+€11m)
=86Christian VieriLazio - Inter1999€49m
=86Gaizka MendietaValencia - Lazio2001€48m
=86Ferland MendyLyon - Real Madrid2019€48m
90Mesut OzilReal Madrid - Arsenal2013€47m
=91Juan Sebastian VeronLazio - Manchester United2001€46m
=91Rio FerdinandLeeds United - Manchester United2002€46m
=91RonaldoInter - Real Madrid2002€46m
=91Juan MataChelsea - Manchester United2014€46m
=91Douglas CostaBayern Munich - Juventus2017€46m
96Christian BentekeAston Villa - Liverpool2015€45.8m
97Diogo JotaWolves - Liverpool2020€45.1m (+€4.4m)
=98James RodriguezPorto - Monaco2013€45m
=98Joao MarioSporting C.P. - Inter2016€45m
=98Granit XhakaBorussia Monchengladbach - Arsenal2016€45m
=98Tiemoue BakayokoMonaco - Chelsea2017€45m
=98RicharlisonWatford - Everton2018€45m
=98Vinicius JuniorFlamengo - Real Madrid2018€45m
=98RodrygoSantos - Real Madrid2019€45m
=98Mateo KovacicReal Madrid - Chelsea2019€45m
=98Sebastien HallerEintracht Frankfurt - West Ham2019€45m

Most expensive British player

Jack Grealish Manchester City 2021-22
Manchester 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 2019-20
Getty 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 SIPG
Getty 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?!