Top ten most expensive transfer deals this summer

Ian Watson

These are the ten most expensive transactions to have been agreed to take place this summer…


10) Simone Verdi: Bologna to Napoli – £21.8m
The latest move in a career during which the Italy forward has already come perilously close to journeyman status sees the 25-year-old rock up at Napoli with Carlo Ancelotti.

Verdi was made Bologna captain in January after he snubbed a move to Naples but the Serie A runners-up have got their man six months later with the deal said to have cost 25million euros. Apparently that’s what ten Serie A goals buys in 2018.


9) Lautaro Martinez: Racing to Inter Milan – £21.8million
The Argentina striker was in Milan last month to undergo his medical and sign his Inter contract but the deal said to be worth around 25million euros is yet to be rubber-stamped, despite the 20-year-old speaking openly about his excitement at moving to Serie A from Racing.

“It’s crazy how much Inter have paid for me,” Martinez said. “We thought my €9million release clause was high. Now I’d like to play with Mauro Icardi.” Inter swooped after reports of interest from Real Madrid, while Atletico had a deal lined up last summer which eventually fell through.


8) Geoffrey Kondogbia: Inter Milan to Valencia – £22.9m
Valencia know exactly what they are getting for their investment, which is said to be worth around 25million euros, with Kondogbia having spent last season on loan at Los Che from Inter.

The midfielder rebuilt his reputation following a disastrous spell at the San Siro and his performances made it an easy decision for the La Liga side to exercise their ‘right to buy’ option. Kondogbia, so often linked with Premier League sides, now has a release clause of £70m.


7) Douglas Costa: Bayern Munich to Juventus – £35.2m
Another loan deal that was made permanent with 40million euros changing hands between Juventus and Bayern Munich over the next two financial years.

That figure was agreed last year but there are suggestions that Juve could make a swift and hefty profit on the Brazil winger, with Man City credited with interest in a deal that would see the Serie A champions double their money.


6) Vinícius Junior: Flamengo to Real Madrid – £40.5m
The teenager had just a single senior Flamengo appearance under his belt when Real Madrid agreed a deal last year worth €46m – then £39.6m. It was arranged that the wonderkid would become a Real player this July when he turns 18, though it was expected that Vinicius would stay in Brazil for another year beyond this summer.

But he will head to Madrid for pre-season to be assesed by Julen Lopetegui, who will make a decision on whether to keep Vinicius around or loan him back to Brazil.


5) Fabinho: Monaco to Liverpool – £43.7m
This was one of those rare, out-of-the-blue deals that no one outside of Anfield had even an inkling might happen before it was announced 48 hours after Liverpool’s Champions League final defeat.

Apparently, the Reds had pursued Fabinho hard since February, with their seduction techniques proving more effective than Manchester United, Manchester City, Juventus, Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan and PSG.


4) Fred: Shakhtar Donetsk to Man Utd – £52m
It has been a fortnight since Manchester United announced that they had agreed a deal with Shakhtar Donetsk for the midfielder, with the 25-year-old having undergone his medical at Carrington and presumably played nice with the bright sparks who dream up the all-important unveiling gimmicks.

Since then, nothing. There were conflicting reports last week with the Manchester Evening News suggesting that final details over personal terms were yet to be agreed, while Sky Sports said it was an issue with the Brazilian’s work permit. Either way, no one is panicking. Yet…


3) Naby Keita: RB Leipzig to Liverpool – £52.75m
The 23-year-old midfielder will finally become a Liverpool player on July 1 despite his transfer being announced a year ago.

The only matter to be resolved was the fee. Had RB Leipzig had qualified for the Champions League next term, Liverpool would have had to fork out £59million, while had the Bundesliga side missed out on Europe all together, that figure would be £11million less. A sixth-placed finish and a place in the Europa League means Liverpool will pay somewhere in between.


2) Thomas Lemar: Monaco to Atletico Madrid – £63m
It’s been a decent summer for Atletico Madrid. Before emerging as the only winner from ‘The Decision’ made by Antoine Griezmann, the Rojiblancos had reached a preliminary agreement with Monaco for Griezmann’s France team-mate.

“Over the next days both clubs will work to close the agreement for the definitive transfer,” Atletico said last Tuesday. It has now been sealed, with Lemar costing Atletico 70m euros, which is a record transfer for the Spanish club. They mean business.


1) Kylian Mbappe: Monaco to PSG – £166m
You’d forgotten that Mbappe has been on loan at PSG from Monaco for the last year, hadn’t you? The deal was set up that way to help PSG get around FFP regulations but now the Ligue 1 champions have to cough up.

The only way out of paying a reported sum of 180million euros – £166.4m last summer and currently around £157.5m – would for PSG to have been relegated, which became mathematically impossible on February 17 this year. Mbappe becomes the second most expensive transfer of all time behind Neymar.


Ian Watson