The 2023 summer transfer window has been a bit mental, with three of the four biggest deals all involving English players. Not you, Jordan Henderson.
Here are the biggest deals of a mental summer. Players are ranked by size of the initial fee, with add-ons stated.
1) Moises Caicedo (Brighton to Chelsea) – £100m plus £15m add-ons
After Liverpool had a £110m bid accepted, Chelsea rescued young Moises Caicedo and finally agreed a deal with Brighton after several bids and many more ‘updates’ from Fabrizio Romano.
2) Declan Rice (West Ham to Arsenal) – £100m plus £5m add-ons
Arsenal got their man, beating Man City – or did they? – to the England midfielder. Rice will surely fare better than Arsenal’s last record signing.
3) Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund to Real Madrid) – £88m plus £25.6m add-ons
We actually think this might be a bargain. Bellingham is a phenomenal footballer and is still only 20.
4) Harry Kane (Tottenham to Bayern Munich) – £86m plus £14m add-ons
Some late shenanigans were not going to stop Bayern completing a club and Bundesliga record signing once Kane “felt like it was the time to leave” his boyhood club.
5) Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain to Al-Hilal) – £86.3m
In one of the least surprising developments of the summer, Brazil international Neymar left PSG to move to the Saudi Pro League. He will earn over £129m a year in the Middle East. Mental.
6) Josko Gvardiol (RB Leipzig to Manchester City) – £77m
Pep Guardiola is hardly short of options at centre-back, but he could not turn down the opportunity to sign one of the best young defenders around for a fee £20m lower than his reported release clause.
7) Kai Havertz (Chelsea to Arsenal) – £65m
Yet another player to switch from Chelsea for Arsenal, joining ex-teammate Jorginho six months after he moved to the Emirates. This move is a bit strange considering how poor Havertz has been for the Blues, but Mikel Arteta seems to know what he is doing so we will give him the benefit of the doubt.
8) Randal Kolo Muani (Eintracht Frankfurt to PSG) – £64.2m plus £12.2m add-ons
The France star made a late dash for this list, completing a move to his hometown club on deadline day after doing all he could to force Eintracht Frankfurt to accept what PSG were offering. Kolo Muani refused to train at one point when it looked like he might miss ‘a unique chance for me’ but Frankfurt relented with PSG upped their bid.
9) Rasmus Hojlund (Atalanta to Manchester United) – £64m plus £8m add-ons
Man Utd needed to sign a striker this summer and while most of their supporters would have preferred Harry Kane, they have settled on a relatively untested 19-year-old as a cheaper alternative. This is a massive gamble.
10) Dominik Szoboszlai (Leipzig to Liverpool) – £60m
Newcastle had a good old look but as Szoboszlai’s Leipzig release clause neared expiration, Liverpool signed the attacking midfielder within a few days of their firm interest being reported.
11) Jeremy Doku (Rennes to Man City) – £55.4m
West Ham, Tottenham and Chelsea were all said to be in for Doku but the 16-cap Belgium winger became City’s third summer signing after almost three years at Rennes, who made a fat profit on the £22million they paid Anderlecht in 2020.
12) Mason Mount (Chelsea to Manchester United) – £55m plus £5m add-ons
It seems like a lot for a player with just a year remaining on his contract but for that money, Manchester United are getting a Champions League winner who is still only 24. The add-ons are said to be very much in United’s favour and are trophy-dependent.
13) Romeo Lavia (Southampton to Chelsea) – £53m plus £5m add-ons
After having a summer 2022 deadline day £50m bid predictably and understandably rejected by Southampton, Chelsea returned one year and a Saints relegation later to find the price had only slightly risen for them to do two of their favourite things: 1) sign a footballer and 2) hijack Liverpool’s attempts to sign a footballer.
14) Matheus Nunes (Wolves to Manchester City) – £53m
After he effectively went on strike, Wolves really had no choice but to sell the midfielder to City, just a year after signing from Sporting in a club-record £42m deal. There are no add-ons on this transfer but Wolves will receive 10 per cent of any profit City make on Nunes.
15) Sandro Tonali (AC Milan to Newcastle) – £52m plus £8m add-ons
There is some dispute over how much Milan will receive for the Italy midfielder, but the general consensus seems to be that Newcastle will cough up £52million up front, with another £8million to follow in potential add-ons. Regardless, it was an offer Milan and Tonali felt unable to turn down, with the 23-year-old signing up for five years at St James’ Park.
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16) Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig to Chelsea) – £52m
Finally, Chelsea have confirmed what we all knew already: French forward Nkunku has signed a six-year contract with the Stamford Bridge club after a 16-goal season that made him the joint-top Bundesliga scorer. So it will be fascinating to see how Chelsea cock this up.
17) Malcom (Zenit to Al-Hilal) – £51.4m
From Russia to Saudi for the Brazil winger. Al Hilal disclosed no financial details while welcoming Malcom but Zenit let slip that they’ll receive €60million for the 26-year-old ex-Barca star.
18) Otavio (Porto to Al Nassr) – £51.4m
Just another casual massive-money move completed for another Portuguese international by Ronaldo’s club.
19) Manuel Ugarte (Sporting to Paris Saint-Germain) – £51.2m
Uruguay midfielder Ugarte was wanted by Chelsea, who were reluctant to pay his release clause, opening the door for the French champions to move in early July.
20) Brennan Johnson (Nottingham Forest to Tottenham) – £47.5million
The new Spurs striker just scrapes in, with Forest in receipt of an offer on deadline day that came close to the £50million they had been demanding all summer for the 22-year-old. Forest also demanded a 10 per cent sell-on clause as part of their highest-ever sale.