List of most expensive association football transfers

The following is a list of most expensive association football transfers, which details the highest transfer fees ever paid for players, as well as transfers which set new world transfer records. The first recorded record transfer was of Willie Groves from West Bromwich Albion to Aston Villa for £100 in 1893[1] (equivalent to £12,000 in 2021). This occurred just eight years after the introduction of professionalism by the Football Association in 1885.[2] The current transfer record was set by the transfer of Neymar from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain for €222 million (£190 million) in August 2017.[3][4]

Neymar, who completed the most expensive transfer ever

Highest transfer payments in association footballEdit

Most of the transfers on this list are to clubs under UEFA's jurisdiction and most of the purchasing clubs are from England, France, Italy and Spain.

Romelu Lukaku appears on this list three times for moves to Manchester United, Internazionale and Chelsea. Two players appear on the list twice: Cristiano Ronaldo and Matthijs de Ligt. All of the players on the list are of European (UEFA), South American (CONMEBOL) and African (CAF) origin. There are currently no players on the list from the remaining regions; North America (CONCACAF), Asia (AFC) and Oceania (OFC).

As of 31 August 2022
  Fee broke the world football transfer record at the time of the transfer
  Fee broke the record for a teenager at the time of the transfer
  Fee broke the national league record at the time of the transfer
  Fee broke the record for a South American player at the time of the transfer
  Fee broke the record for an African player at the time of the transfer
  Fee broke the record for a goalkeeper at the time of the transfer
  Fee broke the record for a defender at the time of the transfer
Top 50 most expensive association football transfers
Rank Player From To Position Fee
(€ mln)
Fee
(£ mln)
Year Ref.
1   Neymar   Barcelona   Paris Saint-Germain Forward €222[a] £198 2017 [3][4]
2   Kylian Mbappé   Monaco   Paris Saint-Germain Forward €180 £163 2018[b] [5]
3   Philippe Coutinho   Liverpool   Barcelona Midfielder €145 £105[c] 2018 [6]
4   João Félix   Benfica   Atlético Madrid Forward €126 £112.9 2019 [7]
5   Antoine Griezmann   Atlético Madrid   Barcelona Forward €120[a] £107 2019 [8]
6   Jack Grealish   Aston Villa   Manchester City Forward €117 £100 2021 [9]
7   Romelu Lukaku   Inter Milan   Chelsea Forward €115 £97.5 2021 [10]
8   Ousmane Dembélé   Borussia Dortmund   Barcelona Forward €105[d] £97 2017 [11]
  Paul Pogba   Juventus   Manchester United Midfielder €105[e] £89 2016 [12][13]
10   Eden Hazard   Chelsea   Real Madrid Forward €100 £89[f] 2019 [14]
  Cristiano Ronaldo   Real Madrid   Juventus Forward €100 £88 2018 [15]
  Gareth Bale   Tottenham Hotspur   Real Madrid Forward €100 £86 2013 [16]
13   Antony   Ajax   Manchester United Forward €95[g] £82 2022 [17]
14   Cristiano Ronaldo   Manchester United   Real Madrid Forward €94 £80 2009 [18][19]
15   Gonzalo Higuaín   Napoli   Juventus Forward €90 £75.3 2016 [20]
16   Harry Maguire   Leicester City   Manchester United Defender €87 £80 2019 [21]
17   Romelu Lukaku   Everton   Manchester United Forward €85 £75[h] 2017 [22]
  Jadon Sancho   Borussia Dortmund   Manchester United Midfielder €85 £73[i] 2021 [23]
19   Virgil van Dijk   Southampton   Liverpool Defender €84.5 £75 2018 [24]
20   Kai Havertz   Bayer Leverkusen   Chelsea Midfielder €84 £72 2020 [25]
21   Luis Suárez   Liverpool   Barcelona Forward €82.3 £65 2014 [26]
22   Wesley Fofana   Leicester City   Chelsea Defender €80.5 £70 2022 [27]
23   Romelu Lukaku   Manchester United   Inter Milan Forward €80 £74 2019 [28]
  Nicolas Pépé   Lille   Arsenal Midfielder €80 £72 2019 [29]
  Kepa Arrizabalaga   Athletic Bilbao   Chelsea Goalkeeper €80[a] £71.6 2018 [30]
  Aurélien Tchouaméni   Monaco   Real Madrid Midfielder €80[j] £69.4 2022 [31]
  Lucas Hernandez   Atlético Madrid   Bayern Munich Defender €80[a] £68 2019 [32]
28   Zinedine Zidane   Juventus   Real Madrid Midfielder €76[k] £46.6 2001 [33][34]
29   Ángel Di María   Real Madrid   Manchester United Forward €75.6 £59.7 2014 [35]
30   Matthijs de Ligt   Ajax   Juventus Defender €75[l] £67.5 2019 [36]
  Frenkie de Jong   Ajax   Barcelona Midfielder €75[m] £65 2019 [37]
  Darwin Núñez   Benfica   Liverpool Forward €75 £64[n] 2022 [38]
  James Rodríguez   Monaco   Real Madrid Midfielder €75 £63 2014 [39]
  Kevin De Bruyne   VfL Wolfsburg   Manchester City Midfielder €75 £55 2015 [40]
35   Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang   Borussia Dortmund   Arsenal Forward €74.8 £63.5 2018 [41]
36   Zlatan Ibrahimović   Inter Milan   Barcelona Forward €74.3[o] £63 2009 [42]
37   Arthur   Barcelona   Juventus Midfielder €72[p] £66 2020 [43]
38   Victor Osimhen   Lille   Napoli Forward €70 £65 2020 [44]
  Rodri   Atlético Madrid   Manchester City Midfielder €70[a] £63 2019 [45]
  Thomas Lemar   Monaco   Atlético Madrid Midfielder €70 £63 2018 [46]
  Dušan Vlahović   Fiorentina   Juventus Forward €70[q] £58.3 2022 [47]
42   Rúben Dias   Benfica   Manchester City Defender €68 £61.64 2020 [48]
  Marc Cucurella   Brighton & Hove Albion   Chelsea Defender €68 £56[r] 2022 [49]
44   Riyad Mahrez   Leicester City   Manchester City Forward €67.8 £60 2018 [50]
45   Matthijs de Ligt   Juventus   Bayern Munich Defender €67 £60.3 2022 [51]
  Kaká   Milan   Real Madrid Midfielder €67[s] £56 2009 [52][53]
47   Álvaro Morata   Real Madrid   Chelsea Forward €65.5 £58[t] 2017 [54]
48   Aymeric Laporte   Athletic Bilbao   Manchester City Defender €65.2[a] £57 2018 [55]
49   João Cancelo   Juventus   Manchester City Defender €65 £60[u] 2019 [56]
50   Edinson Cavani   Napoli   Paris Saint-Germain Forward €64.5 £55 2013 [57]

World football transfer recordEdit

The first player to ever be transferred for a fee of over £100 was Scottish striker Willie Groves when he together with Jack Reynolds (£50) made the switch from West Bromwich Albion to Aston Villa in 1893,[2] eight years after the legalisation of professionalism in the sport. It took just another twelve years for the figure to become £1000, when Sunderland striker Alf Common moved to Middlesbrough.[58][59] It was not until 1928 that the first five-figure transfer took place. David Jack of Bolton Wanderers was the subject of interest from Arsenal, and in order to negotiate the fee down, Arsenal manager Herbert Chapman got the Bolton representatives drunk.[60][61] Subsequently, David Jack was transferred for a world record fee when Arsenal paid £10,890 to Bolton for his services, after Bolton had asked for £13,000, which was double the previous record made when Sunderland signed Burnley's Bob Kelly a fee of for £6,500.[59]

Diego Maradona and Ronaldo were twice transferred for world record fees.[62]

The first player from outside Great Britain to break the record was Bernabé Ferreyra, a player known as La Fiera for his powerful shot. His 1932 transfer from Tigre to River Plate cost £23k,[61] and the record would last for 17 years (the longest the record has lasted) until it was broken by Manchester United's sale of Johnny Morris to Derby County for £24k in March 1949. The record was broken seven further times between 1949 and 1961, when Luis Suárez Miramontes was sold by Barcelona to Inter Milan for £152k, becoming the first ever player sold for more than £100k.[59] In 1968, Pietro Anastasi became the first £500k player when Juventus purchased him from Varese,[61] which was followed seven years later with Giuseppe Savoldi becoming the first million pound player when he transferred from Bologna to Napoli.[59][61]

After Alf Common and David Jack, the third player to twice be transferred for world record fees is Diego Maradona.[59][61] His transfers from Boca Juniors to Barcelona for £3m, and then to Napoli for £5m, both broke the record in 1982 and 1984 respectively. In the space of 61 days in 1992,[61] three transfers broke the record,[59] all by Italian clubs: Jean-Pierre Papin transferred from Marseille to A.C. Milan, becoming the first ever £10m player.[61] Almost immediately, rivals Juventus topped that with the signing of Gianluca Vialli for a fee of £12m from Sampdoria. Milan then completed the signing of Gianluigi Lentini for a fee of £13m which stood as the record for three years.

The 1996 transfer of Alan Shearer from Blackburn Rovers to Newcastle United, for a fee of £15m,[63] kickstarted a year-by-year succession of record breaking transfers: Ronaldo moved the following year to Inter Milan from Barcelona for a fee of £17m,[64] which was followed in 1998 by the shock transfer of his fellow countryman Denílson from São Paulo to Real Betis for a fee of approximately £21m.[59][61][65] In 1999 and 2000, Italian clubs returned to their record-breaking ways, with Christian Vieri transferring from Lazio to Inter Milan for £28m,[66] while Hernán Crespo's transfer from Parma to Lazio ensured he became the first player to cost more than £30m.[59][67] The transfer prompted the BBC to ask "has the world gone mad"?[68] It took two weeks for the record to be broken when Luís Figo made a controversial £37m move from Barcelona to rivals Real Madrid.[59][69] A year later, Real increased the record again with a signing of Zinedine Zidane for £48 million (150 billion lire).[70]

Zidane's record stood for 8 years, the longest since the 1940s. Real Madrid continued with the Galácticos policy by buying Kaká from Milan for €67 million (£56 million),[71] which was the world record in pound sterling. However, both world record in euro and in pound sterling were broken by Real themselves when signing Cristiano Ronaldo for £80m (€94m) from Manchester United in the same transfer window,[59][72] Four years later Real Madrid broke the record again after completed the signing of Gareth Bale from Tottenham Hotspur in 2013. Although Real initially insisted that the transfer cost €91.59 million, slightly less than the Ronaldo fee, the deal was widely reported to be around €100 million (around £85.1 million).[73][74] Documents leaked in 2016 by Football Leaks revealed that instalments brought the final Bale fee up to a total of €100,759,418.[59][75] In 2016, Manchester United eventually took the record away from Real Madrid, signing French midfielder Paul Pogba for €105 million (£89 million),[76] four years after having released him to Juventus for training compensation.

A year after the Pogba transfer, however, there was a major jump in the record fee. Paris Saint-Germain matched the €222 million buyout fee of Barcelona's Neymar, converted to a reported £198 million by different sources,[4] or £200 million[3] more than double the previous record. This was the first time that the record fee was paid by a French club.

Historical progressionEdit

Year Player Selling club Buying club Fee (£)
1893   Willie Groves   West Bromwich Albion   Aston Villa 100[2]
1903   Ben Green   Barnsley   Small Heath 500[77]
1904   Alf Common (1)   Sheffield United   Sunderland 520[78]
1904   Andy McCombie   Sunderland   Newcastle United 700[79]
1905   Alf Common (2)   Sunderland   Middlesbrough 1,000[80]
1913   Daniel Shea   West Ham United   Blackburn Rovers 2,000[81]
1913   Tommy Barber   Bolton Wanderers   Aston Villa 2,000[82]
1914   Percy Dawson   Heart of Midlothian   Blackburn Rovers 2,500[83]
1920   David Jack (1)   Plymouth Argyle   Bolton Wanderers 3,500[84]
1921   Tom Hamilton   Kilmarnock   Preston North End 4,600[85]
1922   Syd Puddefoot   West Ham United   Falkirk 5,000[86]
1922   Warney Cresswell   South Shields   Sunderland 5,500[87]
1925   Bob Kelly   Burnley   Sunderland 6,500[88]
1928   David Jack (2)   Bolton Wanderers   Arsenal 10,890[89]
1932   Bernabé Ferreyra   Tigre   River Plate 23,000[89]
1949   Johnny Morris   Manchester United   Derby County 24,000[88]
1949   Eddie Quigley   Sheffield Wednesday   Preston North End 26,500[88]
1950   Trevor Ford   Aston Villa   Sunderland 30,000[88]
1951   Jackie Sewell   Notts County   Sheffield Wednesday 34,500[88]
1952   Hans Jeppson   Atalanta   Napoli 52,000[89]
1954   Juan Schiaffino   Peñarol   Milan 72,000[89]
1957   Omar Sivori   River Plate   Juventus 93,000[89]
1961   Luis Suárez   Barcelona   Inter Milan 152,000[89]
1963   Angelo Sormani   Mantova   Roma 250,000[89]
1967   Harald Nielsen   Bologna   Inter Milan 300,000[90]
1968   Pietro Anastasi   Varese   Juventus 500,000[89]
1973   Johan Cruyff   Ajax   Barcelona 922,000[89]
1975   Giuseppe Savoldi   Bologna   Napoli 1,200,000[89]
1976   Paolo Rossi   Vicenza   Juventus 1,750,000[89]
1982   Diego Maradona (1)   Boca Juniors   Barcelona 3,000,000[89]
1984   Diego Maradona (2)   Barcelona   Napoli 5,000,000[89]
1987   Ruud Gullit   PSV Eindhoven   Milan 6,000,000[89]
1990   Roberto Baggio   Fiorentina   Juventus 8,000,000[89]
1992   Jean-Pierre Papin   Marseille   Milan 10,000,000[89]
1992   Gianluca Vialli   Sampdoria   Juventus 12,000,000[89]
1992   Gianluigi Lentini   Torino   Milan 13,000,000[89]
1996   Ronaldo (1)   PSV Eindhoven   Barcelona 13,200,000[89]
1996   Alan Shearer   Blackburn Rovers   Newcastle United 15,000,000[91]
1997   Ronaldo (2)   Barcelona   Inter Milan 19,500,000[89]
1998   Denílson   São Paulo   Real Betis 21,500,000[92][93]
1999   Christian Vieri   Lazio   Inter Milan 32,000,000[94]
2000   Hernán Crespo   Parma   Lazio 35,500,000[94]
2000   Luís Figo   Barcelona   Real Madrid 37,000,000[94]
2001   Zinedine Zidane   Juventus   Real Madrid 46,600,000[94]
2009   Kaká   Milan   Real Madrid 56,000,000[95]
2009   Cristiano Ronaldo   Manchester United   Real Madrid 80,000,000[96]
2013   Gareth Bale   Tottenham Hotspur   Real Madrid 86,000,000[97]
2016   Paul Pogba   Juventus   Manchester United 89,000,000[98]
2017   Neymar   Barcelona   Paris Saint-Germain 198,000,000[3][4]

Number of record players by countryEdit

Country Player records Record selling Record buying
  England 15 19 18
  Italy 8 14 18
  Argentina 5 3 1
  Brazil 5 1 0
  France 3 1 1
  Scotland 3 1 1
  Netherlands 2 3 0
  Wales 2 0 0
  Portugal 2 0 0
  Spain 1 5 9
  Uruguay 1 1 0
  Denmark 1 0 0
  Sweden 1 0 0

Cumulative transfersEdit

[99][100]

Player Transfers Fees
(£ mln)
  Romelu Lukaku 5 £293.5
  Neymar 2 £246.6
  Cristiano Ronaldo 4 £204.2
  Kylian Mbappé 1 £165.7
  Eden Hazard 2 £162
  Álvaro Morata 4 £156.8
  Philippe Coutinho 3 £150.5
  Ousmane Dembélé 2 £148.5
  Matthijs de Ligt 2 £135.5
  Antoine Griezmann 2 £131

ManagersEdit

For football managers, the list is as follows:

Rank Manager From To Transfer fee Year Ref.
£ million million
1   Julian Nagelsmann   RB Leipzig   Bayern Munich £21.7 €25 2021 [101]
2   Graham Potter   Brighton & Hove Albion   Chelsea £20 €23 2022 [102]
3   André Villas-Boas   Porto   Chelsea £13.3 €15 2011 [103][104]
4   Brendan Rodgers   Celtic   Leicester City £9 €10.44 2019 [105]
5   Rúben Amorim   Braga   Sporting CP £8.65 €10 2020 [106]
6   José Mourinho   Inter Milan   Real Madrid £6.8 €8 2010 [107]
7   Adi Hütter   Eintracht Frankfurt   Borussia Mönchengladbach £6.5 €7.5 2021 [108]
8   Unai Emery   Villarreal   Aston Villa £5.25 €6 2022 [109]
9   Mark Hughes   Blackburn Rovers   Manchester City £5 €6.2 2008 [110]
  Brendan Rodgers   Swansea City   Liverpool £5 €6.2 2012 [111]
  Ronald Koeman   Southampton   Everton £5 €6 2015 [112]
  Maurizio Sarri   Chelsea   Juventus £5 €5.55 2019 [113]
13   Steven Gerrard   Rangers   Aston Villa £4.5 €5.2 2021 [114]
14   Marco Rose   Borussia Mönchengladbach   Borussia Dortmund £4.36 €5 2021 [115]
15   Peter Bosz   Ajax   Borussia Dortmund £4.3 €5 2017 [116]
  Julian Nagelsmann   1899 Hoffenheim   RB Leipzig £4.4 €5 2019 [117]
17   Marco Silva   Watford   Everton £4 €4.6 2018 [118]
  Frank Lampard   Derby County   Chelsea £4 €4.68 2019 [114]
19   Alan Pardew   Newcastle United   Crystal Palace £3.5 €4.4 2015 [119]
20   Manuel Pellegrini   Villarreal   Real Madrid £3.4 €4 2009 [120]
21   Carlo Ancelotti   Paris Saint-Germain   Real Madrid £3.3 €3.8 2013 [121]
22   Christophe Galtier   Lille   Nice £3 €3.5 2021 [122]
23   Steve Bruce   Birmingham City   Wigan Athletic £3 €3.4 2007 [123]
  Steve Bruce   Wigan Athletic   Sunderland £3 €3.4 2009 [124]
25   Lucien Favre   Nice   Borussia Dortmund £2.6 €3 2018 [125]
26   Leonardo Jardim   Sporting CP   Monaco £2.3 €3 2014 [126]
27   Harry Redknapp   Portsmouth   Tottenham Hotspur £2 €2.5 2008 [127]
  Roberto Martínez   Swansea City   Wigan Athletic £2 €2.5 2009 [128]
  Tony Mowbray   West Bromwich Albion   Celtic £2 €2.5 2009 [129]
  Roy Hodgson   Fulham   Liverpool £2 €2.5 2010 [130]
  Alex McLeish   Birmingham City   Aston Villa £2 €2.2 2011 [131]
  Roberto Martínez   Wigan Athletic   Everton £2 €2.2 2013 [132]
  Gary Rowett   Derby County   Stoke City £2 €2.2 2018 [133]
  Graham Potter   Swansea City   Brighton & Hove Albion £2 €2.2 2019 [134]
35   Niko Kovač   Eintracht Frankfurt   Bayern Munich £1.9 €2.2 2018 [135]
36   José Mourinho   Porto   Chelsea £1.7 €2.5 2004 [136]
  Paulo Fonseca   Shakhtar Donetsk   Roma £1.7 €2 2019 [137]
38   Steve Cooper   Swansea City   Nottingham Forest £1.2 €1.39 2021 [138]

WomenEdit

Two players appear on the list twice: Sofie Svava and Crystal Dunn, the latter for two separate moves in one day. The players on the list include at least one from each of the continental regions: Europe (UEFA), North America (CONCACAF), South America (CONMEBOL), Africa (CAF), Asia (AFC) and Oceania (OFC). However, most are European or North American; the purchasing clubs are all European, North American, or Asian. While more of the players on the list play as forwards than in any other position, most of the top ten (including all of those who achieved world record fees) are midfielders.

This list only includes transfers where a fee amount is reported publicly. Fees are in thousands.

As of 26 September 2022
  Fee broke the women's world football transfer record at the time of the transfer
  Fee broke the domestic transfer record for a female player at the time of the transfer
Rank Player From To Position Transfer fee Year Ref.
£ thousand thousand $ thousand
1   Keira Walsh   Manchester City   Barcelona Midfielder £400[v] €470[v] $457 2022 [141][142]
2   Pernille Harder   VfL Wolfsburg   Chelsea Midfielder £250[w] €280[w] $334 2020 [145][144]
3   Alex Morgan     Orlando Pride   San Diego Wave Forward £206[x] €240 $275[x] 2021 [146]
4   Milene Domingues   Fiammamonza   Rayo Vallecano Midfielder £200 €235 $310 2002 [145][147][148]
5   Lauren James   Manchester United   Chelsea Forward £200[y] €234 $270 2021 [145][150]
6   Crystal Dunn     OL Reign   Portland Thorns Midfielder £189[z] €211 $250[z] 2020 [152][151]
7   Sofie Svava   VfL Wolfsburg   Real Madrid Defender £173 €200 $228 2022 [147]
8   Hanna Bennison   Rosengård   Everton Midfielder £185 €160 $189 2021 [147]
9   Victoria Pickett     KC Current   Gotham Midfielder £169[aa] €199 $200[aa] 2022 [153]
  Kristie Mewis     San Diego Wave   Gotham Midfielder £151[ab] €177 $200[ab] 2021 [154]
  Lynn Williams     NC Courage   KC Current Forward £147[ac] €176 $200[ac] 2022 [154]
  Sofia Jakobsson   Bayern Munich   San Diego Wave Forward £147 €175 $200 2022 [155]
13   Abby Dahlkemper     NC Courage   San Diego Wave Defender £143 €170 $195 2022 [156]
14   Ebony Salmon     Racing Louisville   Houston Dash Forward £143[ad] €166 $190[ad] 2022 [153]
15   Tabitha Chawinga   Kvarnsvedens   Jiangsu Forward £137 €154 $171 2018 [157]
16   Kadidiatou Diani   Juvisy   Paris Saint-Germain Forward £134 €150 $177 2017 [158]
  Jackie Groenen   Manchester United   Paris Saint-Germain Midfielder £130[ae] €150[ae] $150 2022 [159]
18   Lina Hurtig   Juventus   Arsenal Forward £125 €136 $136 2022 [160]
19   Filippa Angeldahl   BK Häcken   Manchester City Midfielder £120 $142 $166 2021 [161]
20   Caprice Dydasco     Gotham   Houston Dash Defender £113[af] €147 $150[af] 2022 [153]
  Becky Sauerbrunn     Utah Royals   Portland Thorns Defender £111[ag] €140 $150[ag] 2020 [162]
22   Crystal Dunn     NC Courage   OL Reign Midfielder £105[z] €118 $140[z] 2020 [152]
  Emily Sonnett     Orlando Pride   Washington Spirit Defender £105[ah] €115 $140[ah] 2020 [152]
24   Ally Watt     OL Reign   Orlando Pride Forward £104[ai] €123 $125[ai] 2022 [153]
25   Yui Hasegawa   West Ham   Manchester City Midfielder £100+[aj] €114+ $114+ 2022 [163]
26   Isabell Herlovsen   Lillestrøm SK Kvinner   Jiangsu Forward £98[ak] €110 $130 2017 [164]
27   Kailen Sheridan     Gotham   San Diego Wave Goalkeeper £98[al] €115 $130[al] 2021 [154]
28   Ellie Carpenter   Portland Thorns   Lyon Defender £98 €110 $123 2020 [145]
29   Griedge Mbock Bathy   EA Guingamp   Lyon Defender £89 €100 $113 2015 [165]
  Valérie Gauvin   Montpellier   Everton Forward £85 €100 $122 2020 [145]
  Damaris Egurrola   Everton   Lyon Midfielder £89 €100 $121 2021 [166]
  Nikita Parris   Lyon   Arsenal Forward £86[am] €100 $119 2021 [167]
33   Lena Oberdorf   SGS Essen   VfL Wolfsburg Midfielder £85[an] €100[an] $110 2020 [168]
  Freja Olofsson   Racing Louisville   Real Madrid Midfielder £85+[ao] €100+ $100+[ao] 2022 [153]
35   Sofie Svava   Rosengård   VfL Wolfsburg Defender £84 €99 $121 2020 [169]
36   Lotta Schelin   Göteborg   Lyon Forward £86 €96 $126 2008 [170]
37   Ramona Bachmann   Rosengård   VfL Wolfsburg Forward £85 €95 $105 2015 [171]
38   Megan Rapinoe   Philadelphia Independence   magicJack Midfielder £80[ap] €90 $100[ap] 2011 [172]
39   Rose Lavelle     Washington Spirit   OL Reign Midfielder £76+[aq] €84+ $100+[aq] 2020 [152]
40   Sydney Leroux     Orlando Pride   Angel City Forward £71[ar] €93 $95[ar] 2022 [153]
41   Haley Hanson     Houston Dash   Orlando Pride Defender £62[as] €74 $75[as] 2022 [153]
  Darian Jenkins     KC Current   Orlando Pride Forward £55[at] €66 $75[at] 2022 [173]
43   Maya Le Tissier   Brighton & Hove Albion   Manchester United Defender £55[au] €60 $60 2022 [174]
44   Fran Kirby   Reading   Chelsea Forward £50[av] €67 $76 2015 [175]
45   Alex Greenwood   Manchester United   Lyon Defender £50[aw] €60[aw] $67 2019 [176]
46   Taylor Kornieck     Orlando Pride   San Diego Wave Midfielder £49 €55 $65 2021 [177]
47   Marie-Laure Delie   Montpellier   Paris Saint-Germain Forward £43 €50 $66 2013 [178]
  María León   Atlético Madrid   Barcelona Defender £46 €50 $59 2017 [179]
  Carolin Simon   Lyon   Bayern Munich Defender £45 €50 $56 2019 [180]
  Dominique Janssen   Arsenal   VfL Wolfsburg Defender £45 €50 $56 2019 [181]
  Ángela Sosa   Atlético Madrid   Real Betis Midfielder £43 €50 $55 2020 [182]
  Hanna Lundqvist   Hammarby   Atlético Madrid Defender £42 €50 $57 2022 [183]

PairsEdit

Occasionally, two players can be traded in one deal.

Rank Player From To Transfer fee Year Ref.
£ thousand thousand $ thousand
1   Cece Kizer
  Addisyn Merrick  
  Racing Louisville   KC Current £130[ax] €163 $175[ay] 2022 [153]
2   Simone Charley
  Tyler Lussi  
  Portland Thorns   Angel City £75[az] €89 $100[ba] 2021 [154]
3   Ashlyn Harris
  Ali Krieger  
  Orlando Pride   Gotham £38[bb] €44 $50[bc] 2021 [154]

  Domestic moves in the American National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) are trades rather than transfers; where cash is involved, it comes from allocation money, a fixed but exchangeable asset of $400,000 per team that can be used to supplement player wages above the league salary cap, pay transfer fees to foreign clubs, or fund other player-focused improvements in order to attract talent and create competition.[184][185][186]

Record progressionEdit

The first transfer fee for a women's footballer known to be reported as a world record was the £200,000 ($310,000; €235,000)[148][147] paid for Milene Domingues in 2002. At the time, there was little to no money in women's football and financial news focused on player salaries; Domingues received greater attention for the reported record salary she was to receive, though she ended up never playing for Rayo Vallecano, the club that signed her, due to non-Spanish players being unable to play in the Spanish women's league at the time. However, Domingues was not a particularly skilled player, instead being a popular figure as the personable wife of Ronaldo, and her record signing was made more for promotional reasons. She fulfilled promotional duties at Rayo while returning to play for her previous team, Fiammamonza, without salary.[187]

This transfer sum was not overtaken until September 2020, when Pernille Harder was bought by Chelsea for £250,000 ($334,000; €280,000).[144] When, almost a year prior to Harder's transfer, Sam Kerr had also moved to Chelsea, focus was still on her large salary.[188][189][190] In beating the near 20-year record by her transfer, Harder said she hoped it would help start to show that women's football can also be a club business like men's football and receive more money.[191]

Harder gave similar comments when her record was beaten two years later by Barcelona buying Keira Walsh from Manchester City for £400,000 ($457,000; €470,000).[141] Walsh instead was coy, saying she did not think about the record much, that she wanted to play at the club and "it just so happens that's what they paid for [her]."[192] The Athletic and BBC Sport wrote that Walsh's transfer "shifted the ecosystem" and would likely have a significant impact on the market of women's football,[193][194] that it showed "even the top clubs are not immune to the risk of losing their best players to rivals who are now willing to spend".[194] It marked exponential growth for the transfer market;[193][194] spending in transfer windows had been growing, with the winter 2021–22 window setting a then-record for global transfers in one season at a total of around £364,000 ($488,000; €432,000).[195] Walsh's fee alone in the summer 2022 window eclipsed this, with further high transfer fees being paid as a domino effect supplementing the season total.[163]

The American NWSL introduced allocation money (capped at $400,000) beginning with the 2020 season, allowing cash as an asset to be involved in player trades.[184][196] A significant number of players in this league then began being traded for cash assets, though none to overtake the record, between Harder and Walsh's signings.[154]

Cumulative transfersEdit

Top 10 female players with the highest total fees over all transfers.

Player Transfers Fees total
(£ thou.)
  Keira Walsh 1 £400
  Crystal Dunn 2 £291
  Sofie Svava 2 £257
  Pernille Harder 1 £250
  Alex Morgan 1 £206
  Milene Domingues 1 £200
  Lauren James 1 £200
  Sofia Jakobsson 2 £187
  Hanna Bennison 1 £185
  Victoria Pickett 1 £169

GalleryEdit

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f The purchasing club carried out this transfer paying the player's buyout clause against the will of the origin club.
  2. ^ On loan since 2017, permanent move in July 2018
  3. ^ Initial £105 million plus reported £37 million bonuses
  4. ^ Initial €105 million plus reported €40 million bonuses
  5. ^ Fee was to be paid over time with an initial €105 million, plus another €5 million in additional bonuses; Pogba's agent Mino Raiola also received a reported €27 million from Juventus, from a portion of aforementioned transfer fee from Manchester United.
  6. ^ Initial £89 million plus reported £60 million bonuses
  7. ^ Initial €95 million plus reported €5 million bonuses
  8. ^ Fee was to be paid over time with an initial £75 million, plus another £15 million in additional bonuses.
  9. ^ The deal includes £5 million in add-ons.
  10. ^ Initial €80 million plus reported €20 million bonuses
  11. ^ Fee originally in 150 billion lire; the fixed exchange rate between euro and lire was 1:1936.27
  12. ^ Initial €75 million, payable in 5 financial years, plus additional €10,5 million broker fee
  13. ^ Initial €75 million plus reported €11 million bonuses
  14. ^ Initial £64 million plus reported £21 million bonuses
  15. ^ Fee includes €20 million valuation of Samuel Eto'o who was transferred to Inter Milan in a swap deal
  16. ^ Initial €72 million plus reported €10 million bonuses. Swap deal, Barcelona received Miralem Pjanić (valued at €60 million) and €12 million.
  17. ^ Initial fee of €70 million with reported performance related bonuses of €10 million.
  18. ^ Initial £56 million plus reported £7 million bonuses
  19. ^ The fee broke the world record in pound sterling, but not in euro (Zinedine Zidane was the most expensive in euro at that time); as the fee was paid in installments, the accountant that prepared the financial report adjusted the value to €66.073 million as the present value to reflect the loss in interest
  20. ^ Fee was to be paid over time with an initial £58 million, plus another £12 million in additional bonuses.
  21. ^ Cancelo's transfer equates to €65 million as part-exchange deal, where Danilo would be sent to Juventus.
  22. ^ a b Including bonuses up to €70,000 / £61,000. Initial fee of €400,000 / £348,000 would be a record in itself.[139] Forbes reported a fee of €500,000[140] but the approximately £400,000 figure is most consistently reported and accepted.[139]
  23. ^ a b Some preemptive reports placed Harder's fee as high as €350,000;[143] the official record of her signing was given as £250,000.[144]
  24. ^ a b Allocation money of $275,000 as part of a trade deal that also saw Angharad James swap clubs with Morgan.[146]
  25. ^ Including bonuses. Initial fee was around £70,000.[149]
  26. ^ a b c d On October 22, 2020, Crystal Dunn was traded to OL Reign in exchange for Casey Murphy and $140,000 in allocation money. Later that day, she was traded to the Portland Thorns in exchange for an international roster slot, a 2022 first round draft pick, and $250,000 in allocation money.[151]
  27. ^ a b Allocation money of $200,000 in a trade that also involved draft picks.
  28. ^ a b Allocation money of $200,000.
  29. ^ a b Allocation money of $200,000 in a trade that also involved Katelyn Rowland swapping clubs and other draft picks.
  30. ^ a b Allocation money of up to $190,000 (pending conditions met). Base cash was $175,000.
  31. ^ a b Including unspecified bonuses.[159]
  32. ^ a b Allocation money of up to $150,000 (pending conditions met). Base cash was $120,000.
  33. ^ a b Allocation money of up to $150,000 (pending conditions met) as part of a trade deal that also included Elizabeth Ball swapping clubs. Base cash was $100,000.
  34. ^ a b Allocation money of $140,000 in a trade deal that also involved Meggie Dougherty Howard swapping clubs as well as draft picks.
  35. ^ a b Allocation money of $125,000.
  36. ^ A six-figure transfer fee in GBP was paid, plus bonuses. Reported to be the highest known transfer fee between two Women's Super League teams, excluding bonuses.[163]
  37. ^ 1 million Norwegian krone
  38. ^ a b Allocation money of $130,000 in a trade deal that also involved other assets.
  39. ^ Including bonuses; base fee was £67,000
  40. ^ a b Reported as around a six-figure fee in Euros.
  41. ^ a b A six-figure transfer fee in USD was paid.
  42. ^ a b Fee described as "cash considerations"
  43. ^ a b Allocation money of $100,000 (that could rise pending conditions met) as part of a trade deal that also included draft picks.
  44. ^ a b Allocation money of up to $95,000 (pending conditions met) in a trade that also involved draft picks. Base cash was $75,000.
  45. ^ a b Allocation money of $75,000 in a trade that also involved draft picks.
  46. ^ a b As a trade involving $75,000 allocation money and a future draft pick.
  47. ^ Acquiring club paid release clause of between £50,000 and £60,000
  48. ^ Transfer fee was reported as various figures between £40,000 and £60,000
  49. ^ a b Fee of €40,000 with bonuses up to €20,000
  50. ^ Allocation money of up to $175,000 (pending conditions met) in a trade that also involved other assets. Base cash was $150,000.
  51. ^ Allocation money of up to $175,000 (pending conditions met) in a trade that also involved other assets. Base cash was $150,000.
  52. ^ Allocation money of $100,000 in a trade deal that also involved draft picks and other assets.
  53. ^ Allocation money of $100,000 in a trade deal that also involved draft picks and other assets.
  54. ^ Allocation money of $50,000 in a trade deal that also involved draft picks.
  55. ^ Allocation money of $50,000 in a trade deal that also involved draft picks.

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