The 18 Most Expensive Incoming Transfers (By League)
Ajax recently agreed to sell winger Hakim Ziyech to Chelsea for $43.4 million, with the 26-year-old moving to Stamford Bridge in the summer. While this number doesn’t even break the top 50 most expensive transfers of all time, it would be a blockbuster deal in most other leagues around the world. This list consists of the 18 most expensive incoming transfers across different leagues.
#1. Ligue 1: PSG bought Neymar for $240.7 million
ON THIS DAY, in 2017, PSG announced the signing of Neymar for a Word Record fee of €222 million! pic.twitter.com/F8vih7Wamx— Nitwik Football (@NitwikFootball) August 3, 2018
The most expensive transfer to date is the historic 2017 move of Neymar from Barcelona to PSG. Even with the most expensive transfer in football history, poor Ligue 1 hasn’t tasted Champions League glory in decades. Apparently money doesn’t solve all your problems.
#2. LaLiga: Atletico Madrid bought Joao Felix for $136.6 million
IT'S OFFICIAL!19-year-old Joao Felix completes his transfer to Atletico Madrid for €126 million!
It's the biggest transfer of the summer. pic.twitter.com/fBytscaN9H
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) July 3, 2019
The wonder boy who's still trying to find his feet in Spain comes in at number two on the list. It's surprising that neither Barcelona nor Real Madrid lead LaLiga with the highest incoming transfer.
#3. Serie A: Juventus bought Cristiano Ronaldo for $121.4 million
Other than his horrifying animatronic, Ronaldo is living large with his new Italian side that broke the bank for him.
#4. Premier League: Manchester United bought Paul Pogba for $115.5 million
At the time of the transfer in 2016, this was the world’s most expensive transfer. Now Pogba and Manchester United are desperate to split paths as the journey hasn’t exactly panned out.
#5. Bundesliga: Bayern Munich bought Lucas Hernandez for $86.7 million
Official: Bayern Munich have confirmed the signing of Lucas Hernández on a 5 year contract. 23 years of age. Signing fee €80m. pic.twitter.com/SbvajzR1Qu— 360Sources (@360Sources) March 27, 2019
One of the most expensive defenders in the world tops the Bundesliga for most expensive transfer after Bayern acquired Hernandez from Atletico in 2019.
#6. Chinese Super League: Shanghai SIPG bought Oscar for $66.1 million
— From The Fans (@From_The_Fans) January 1, 2018
The CSL comes in as the best of the rest outside of Europe’s “Big Five” spenders. I’m sure Oscar is enjoying his money almost as much as he enjoys belting the ball into opposing players.
#7. Russian Premier League: Zenit bought Hulk, Malcom and Axel Witsel for $43.3 million
Zenit has a three-way tie with itself for most expensive incoming transfer. If they aren’t spending money, then the club is probably finding a new way to be racist.
#8. Qatar Stars League: Al Duhail bought Shoya Nakajima for $37.9 million
2001: Hidetoshi Nakata moves to Parma for $29 million
2019: Shoya Nakajima moves to Al-Duhali for $40 millionJapan's new most expensive footballer of all time. pic.twitter.com/dpqiUvhG9v
— Goal (@goal) February 4, 2019
Qatar might be horrible at hosting a World Cup, but the country’s league comes in with the eighth most expensive incoming transfer.
#9. Ukrainian Premier League: Shakhtar Donetsk bought Bernard for $27.1 million
— Eric Pittman (@espitt) August 8, 2013
The speedy Brazilian leads Ukraine as its most expensive incoming transfer. I’m sure he enjoyed arriving in Ukraine in 2013 and then having to deal with the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution. Bernard now plays for Everton.
#10. Primeira Liga (Portugal): Benfica bought Raul Jimenez for $24.2 million
Mexico’s super striker is currently on the books at Wolverhampton in the Premier League where he is the joint-ninth leading scorer with 11 goals this season.
#11. Serie A (Brazil): Flamengo bought Gabriel Barbosa for $19.2 million
After being loaned out from Inter Milan, Barbosa found his new home with Brazilian club Flamengo. The club decided to go forth with the decision to buy Barbosa in January 2020.
#12. Turkish Super Lig: Galatasaray bought Jardel for $18.4 million
The now retired Jardel still holds the Turkish Super Lig record for his transfer to Galatasaray in 2000. He played for one season and finished with a tally of 34 goals.
#13. Saudi Professional League: Al-Nassr bought Ahmed Musa for $17.89 million.
Ahmed Musa has become the Most Expensive Player in Saudi Arabia. He has been signed by one of the biggest clubs in Saudi Arabia, Al Nassr for £17.5 million from Leicester City. The deal could rise to as much as £24 million because of add-ons. pic.twitter.com/BfS6bQF7I8— Africa Facts Zone (@AfricaFactsZone) August 3, 2018
Musa’s finest hour came at the 2018 World Cup with his brace during Nigeria’s 2-0 win against Iceland in the group stage. The Nigerian is still looking for similar success at the club level after spells with CSKA Moscow and Leicester City. He now plays with Al-Nassr.
#14. Eredivisie (Netherlands): Ajax bought Miralem Sulejmani for $17.88 million
Sadly, for the Eredivisie it's a one-way street of enormous transfers departing the Netherlands. With Chelsea confirming the purchase of Ziyech, nearly all of the league’s major stars have been bought by bigger clubs.
#15. Arabian Gulf League (UAE): Al-Ahli bought Moussa Sow for $17.6 million
— The National Sport (@NatSportUAE) August 29, 2015
You are in the same boat as me if you didn’t expect the Arabian Gulf League to appear on this list. Oh, the luxuries of oil-money. Sow might not be remembered for his time in the Gulf League, but instead for his bicycle kicks.
#16. Liga MX: Chivas bought Rodolfo Pizarro for $16.23 million
North America alert! The new Inter Miami – or whatever the club will have to be called – signing holds the record for the most expensive signing in Liga MX.
#17. Major League Soccer: Atlanta United bought Ezequiel Barco for $15 million
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 19, 2018
Atlanta United leads MLS when it comes to transfers. The 2018 signing holds the current record for the most expensive transfer in MLS history. As the league continues to grow and expand, that number will most likely go up.
#18. Superliga Argentina: River Plate bought Lucas Pratto for $12.65 million
Surprisingly, with massive clubs like River Plate and Boca Juniors, Argentina comes in at number 18 for most expensive transfer. Pratto’s 2018 transfer from Sao Paulo to River Plate stands as the highest transfer in the league’s history.