The Most Expensive Transfers in 2021 (So Far)


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Jan 17, 2015
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Ipswich Town
The highest-profile football transfer of the year 2021 was certainly Lionel Messi’s departure from Barcelona to Paris Saint Germain. Considering that he was a free agent at the time, so his transfer cost PSG nothing… except his certainly hefty fee. Pretty much nobody expected to see record-breaking transfer fees to be paid this summer, not after the devastating year 2020 that left the purses of football clubs almost empty. The transfer market has proven them wrong - while no records were broken, expensive players did switch teams in the current transfer season.

Honourable mention: Achraf Hakimi (Inter to PSG)​

PSG is a football club with a seemingly bottomless purse when it comes to transfers - it paid the two highest transfer fees ever to sign Neymar and Mbappé. This year - aside from signing Messi, a move that instantly bent the odds in their favour at any reputable betting site - they only made one major acquisition: Spanish right-wing Achraf Hakimi.

The 22-year-old made his debut at Real Madrid’s reserve team in 2017 - one year later, he went on to the first team. After an extensive loan spell with Borussia Dortmund, he was signed by Inter Milan in 2020. His tenure here was short, though - this year, he was signed by PSG in a transfer pegged at €60 million (£51.3 million).

3. Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund to Manchester United)​

There were quite a few clubs with an eye on Sancho for quite some time - he was linked to Liverpool and Manchester United, among others. The latter was the one to make the move, signing the 21-year-old midfielder for €85 million (£73 million). A South London native, Sancho was signed by Borussia Dortmund right out of Manchester City’s youth academy. He spent four seasons with the German club, making it to the Bundesliga Team of the Season twice, and earning the Bundesliga Player of the Month title three times.

2. Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan to Chelsea)​

The Belgian striker returned to his second-ever senior team in a transfer worth €115 million (£97.5 million). Chelsea signed him from Anderlecht in 2011 and held on to him for three seasons - with two of them on loan. His second loan spell to Everton ended with a transfer in 2014. Since then, he played with Manchester United and Inter, making a name for himself in the process. Now, he returned to Chelsea and became the most expensive player of all time with his cumulative transfer fees adding up to a total of over £285 million.

1. Jack Grealish (Aston Villa to Manchester City)​

With £100 million (€117 million), 25-year-old winger Jack Grealish is the most expensive transfer this year so far. Except for a season-long loan spell with Notts County, Grealish spent his entire career with Aston Villa, playing in almost 100 Premier League matches with the club. In the 2014-2015 season, he was named the Aston Villa Young Player of the Season, and in the 2019-2020 season, the Aston Villa Player of the Season.

As a youth, Grealish represented Ireland internationally - once he went senior, though, he started to play for England. He was capped for the U-21 team 7 times, and for the senior team 12 times so far - he played in the Three Lions’ Euro 2020 Round of 16 match against Germany on 29 June, contributing to both goals scored in the game.
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