Football is business and it has to be treated as such.
With clubs doing all they can to boost their sides in the coming campaign, big European clubs are expected to break the bank for some of their targets with Jadon Sancho to Manchester United being the talk of the window.
Should the deal go through, he might be just one of the most profitable business Dortmund has made in recent seasons. But which are the most profitable transfer in football history?
- 10. Virgil van Dijk – £62million
Many had questioned the money Liverpool paid for the defender while roping him from Southampton. But after leading the club to the Premier League, the Champions League and a series of titles, many feel the money was worth it. Southampton had bought the Dutch captain from Celtic for £13m in 2015.
- 9. Nicolas Pepe – £63milion
Lille paid £9m to Angers in 2017 for the Ivory Coast international then sold the same player for a book price of £72m to Arsenal two years later.
- 8. Cristiano Ronaldo – £67.76million
At 17, Ronaldo joined United for £12.24million from Sporting Lisbon using the money they had used in selling David Beckham to Real Madrid in 2003. In six years, United once again shipped Ronaldo to Madrid on an £80million deal.
- 7. Harry Maguire – £68million
To turn a £12m defender into an £80m world-record-breaking defender in two years was quite the trick for Leicester.
- 6. Gareth Bale – £75million
Bale moved to Tottenham Hotspur in 2007 for an eventual £10 million fee from Charlton. The Welshman became the world’s most expensive ever in 2013 when Real Madrid agreed to pay Spurs £85million.
- 5. Antoine Griezmann – £83.6million
On 28 July 2014, Atlético Madrid reached an agreement with Real Sociedad for the transfer of Griezmann, for a fee believed to be close to his €30 million. Five years later, Barcelona met the striker’s £107m buy-out clause to lure him to Camp Nou.
- 4. Eden Hazard – £87million
The Real Madrid winger was waved off by Chelsea with their warmest wishes and not just because of the massive wedge the Blues made on their star player signed from Lille for £32million in 2012.
There are claims that by winning the Laliga title, Madrid will pay an additional £60million in addition to the £89million Chelsea they had paid earlier for the Belgian services.
- 3. Philippe Coutinho – £120million
Liverpool paid Inter Milan £8.5million for the Brazil playmaker in January 2013 and in January 2018, Barca agreed on a deal which may eventually add up to £142million. According to reports at the time, the Catalans coughed up £106million up front, with other triggers around appearances and Champions League participation bumping the total up. Should those add-ons be accurate, Barca’s total bill so far comes to around £128.5 million.
- 2. Ousmane Dembele – £123.8million
In the wake of selling Neymar in 2017, Barca coughed a sum of £135.5million (plus add ons) to Dortmund for the services of the Frenchman who joined the club only a year before from Rennes for around £11.7million.
- 1. Neymar – £128.5million
Barca had won the race to sign Neymar from Santos in a deal reported to have been worth £48.6million in 2013. Having lived in Messi’s shadows for four years, he was to move to PSG after the French giants met his release clause said to have been worth €222 million. It remains the most expensive transfer ever.