The top 20 biggest transfers in Europe in the 2022 summer transfer window

Ian Watson

Here are the top 2o deals of the 2022 summer transfer window when it slammed shut at the start of September.

Players are ranked by size of the initial fee, with add-ons stated…


1) Antony
Ajax to Manchester United – £82m (plus £4.3m add-ons)
The original asking price was somewhere closer to £50m but as Ajax sensed Manchester United’s desperation, the price rose higher and higher for the Dutchman, who made it abundantly clear he wanted to join his fellow countryman at United. He is already one of his most trusted players.


2) Wesley Fofana
Leicester City to Chelsea – £70m (plus £5m add-ons)
Leicester attempted to play hardball – and it looked at one stage that Chelsea might have to pay Harry Maguire money for the Frenchman – but the Foxes relented when it was made clear that they would have a very unhappy player on their hands and no money in the bank if they remained stubborn.


3) Aurelien Tchouameni
Monaco to Real Madrid – £68.3m (plus £17m add-ons)
Real fended off intense Premier League interest from Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United by offering Monaco a package potentially worth £85.3million. PSG were keen too but they backed away when it became clear that the 22-year-old was only interested in Real. Monaco stand to make a profit just shy of £70million, having bought Tchouameni from Bordeaux for £16million in January 2020.


4) Darwin Nunez
Benfica to Liverpool – £64m (plus £21m add-ons)
Liverpool moved decisively for last season’s top scorer in the Portuguese league by agreeing to a deal that could rise to €100million if Nunez triggers all the add-ons. The Reds will be liable for the first £12.8million worth of extra payments once Nunez has made 60 appearances, with £4.3million due after just 10 games. Once Nunez meets that 60-appearance threshold, he’ll become Liverpool’s most expensive player ever, before you even factor in the other £8.5million that is linked to individual and team performance.


5) Casemiro
Real Madrid to Manchester United – £60m (plus £10m add-ons)
A massive fee for a 30-year-old but Manchester United were in a massive amount of trouble, having lost their opening two Premier League games of the season and having failed to sign Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona and seen a move for Adrien Rabiot break down.


6) Alexander Isak
Real Sociedad to Newcastle United – £59m (plus £4.2m add-ons)
A Newcastle United record transfer but a sensible one with the Swedish striker only 23 and not qualified to play in the World Cup. Seen as a sensible decision from Dan Ashworth, who has swapped looking for sell-on value for Brighton for looking for push-on value at Newcastle.


7) Matthijs de Ligt
Juventus to Bayern Munich – £57m (plus £8.5m in add-ons)
Chelsea were chasing but ultimately De Ligt wanted to play for Bayern Munich and the Blues had to gracefully bow out. The same could be said of Jules Kounde. Which is perhaps why they went so big for this next fella…


8) Marc Cucurella 
Brighton to Chelsea – £56m (plus £7m in add-ons)
City refused to meet Brighton’s £50million demand for the Spaniard but Chelsea rocked up and paid the full asking price plus a hefty sweetener to avoid being gazumped again this summer. The Seagulls have played a blinder, while new Chelsea boss now has two £50million left-backs to choose between.


9) Erling Haaland
Borussia Dortmund to Manchester City – £51m
City have got a bargain thanks to Mino Raiola arranging a clause in Haaland’s Dortmund contract that made him available for £51million this summer. But the champions’ bill for Haaland will reportedly come to a total £85.5million when you factor in representatives’ fees – Alfie stands to trouser a few quid – and other costs. Still a bargain.


10) Richarlison
Everton to Tottenham – £50m (plus £10m add-ons)
The Toffees took what Spurs were offering to get the deal done in time to be included in last season’s accounts. Watford could also pocket around £2million having inserted a sell-on clause when they sold the Brazilian in 2018.


11) Raphinha
Leeds to Barcelona – £49m (plus £7.6m add-ons)
The Brazilian had been quite clear all summer that Barca was his preferred destination, despite intense interest from Chelsea and Arsenal. Thankfully for the winger, Barca have somehow mustered up enough cash to pay a hefty amount up front.


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12) Lisandro Martinez
Ajax to Manchester United – £48.5m (plus £8.5m add-ons)
The Butcher of Amsterdam became the smallest centre-back in the Premier League – not that a lack of height stopped this lot. Erik ten Hag reportedly opted for Martinez over the board’s recommendation of Pau Torres, who just wasn’t Ajax enough.


13) Raheem Sterling
Manchester City to Chelsea – £47.5m
Chelsea are very pleased with themselves for taking Sterling from City, but it also represents good business on behalf of the champions, who’ve basically got their money back for the winger despite him having only a year remaining on his deal.


14) Gabriel Jesus
Manchester City to Arsenal – £45m
City also got top whack for another player a year from free agency, one who was by no means guaranteed a place in Pep Guardiola’s team. Jesus struggled to be a regular last season when City had no strikers, so the arrivals of Haaland and Julian Alvarez would have restricted his playing time even further. But Arsenal are delighted with the deal, so everyone is happy. Which is nice.


15) Gleison Bremer
Torino to Juventus – £42.8m
Juve replaced De Ligt with the Brazilian centre-back while pocketing a difference potentially worth £20million. It’s great business too for Torino. When Liverpool were linked with Bremer in 2020/21, the defender was reportedly available for around £6million. Even in the spring, towards the end of a season in which he was named Serie A Defender of the year, the prices being touted were around the £20-25million mark.


16) Robert Lewandowski
Bayern Munich to Barcelona – £42.5m
Barca may be mortgaging their future income to fund their spending, and they still owe the players they’ve got wages they deferred to keep the club in business. But Lewandowski and Raphinha are a couple of spanking signings.


17) Jules Kounde 
Sevilla to Barcelona – £42.1million (plus £10.5m add ons)
The France defender seemed destined for Chelsea when the Blues agreed a fee with Sevilla but something changed, allowing Barca to swoop with their credit card.


18) Kalvin Phillips
Leeds to Manchester City – £42m (plus £3m add-ons)
City massively strengthened in two key areas by signing Haaland and Phillips for roughly what they raked in for two players a year away from walking away for nothing. Leeds weren’t helped by the fact there wasn’t a bidding war. Manchester United were interested but Phillips would never have done the dirty on his hometown club.


19) Christian Romer0
Atalanta to Tottenham – £41m (plus £4.25m add-ons)
It was always a question of when rather than if Tottenham would trigger a permanent deal for the Argentine international centre-half they tried before they, erm, buyed.


20) Matheus Nunes
Sporting Lisbon to Wolves – £38m (plus £4.3m add-ons)
Described by Pep Guardiola as “one of the best players in the world today” so he might now be regretting moving to Wolves, especially as the manager who signed him has now been sacked.