Paul Pogba´s return to the Old Trafford in 2016 cost Manchester United a world-record fee of £89 million or €105m. For that reason, this transfer became the most expensive transfer currently. The club agreed to pay €105 million plus add on bonuses to Juventus where Pogba spent four years after he first left Manchester United in 2012.
Gareth Bale´s transfer from Tottenham Hotspur to Real Madrid in 2013 was the most expensive transfer until Pogba´s return home. The Welshman´s price was £85m which Real paid after their officials agreed that Ronaldo´s transfer from 2009 should not remain the most expensive one. Since then Bale made a great success and helped the team get two Champions League trophies in first three seasons.
Cristiano Ronaldo went from Manchester United to Real Madrid for £80m, which was the incredible sum of money at the time. However, since the football market is raging great sums are involved. At the same time being the third most expensive transfer and not the first one does not diminish the fact that Cristiano Ronaldo is both a United and a Real legend as well as one of the best players in the world.
Last year´s transfer of Gonzalo Higuain from Napoli to Juventus also became one of the most expensive transfers in the world and also the most expensive transfer in Italy. Juve paid Napoli £75.3m for 29-year-old Argentinean striker to reduce the loss of Paul Pogba.
The golden boy of Brazil, Neymar came from Santos to Barcelona in 2013 for £71.5m. Since then Neymar justified the amount of money which was invested in him and continues to play at the top of his abilities.
When Luis Suarez moved from Liverpool to Barcelona in 2014, the club paid £65m. The Uruguayan found himself in a productive area, and it is considered as one of the Barcelona´s key players.
After James Rodriguez had made a great success at the World Cup in Brazil, Real decided to buy this young and talented Colombian from Monaco for £63m. However, Rodriguez never found a real chance with Ronaldo and Bale already in the team, and he was often criticized for his work ethic as well as the lack of motivation in matches.
In 2009 Barcelona was trying to get Zlatan Ibrahimovic from Inter Milan so desperately that the club´s officials paid £40m and sent fan favorite player Samuel Eto’o to Italy. It was expected that Ibrahimovic-Messi would be a deadly partnership at the Nou Cam which never happened. After only one season in Catalonia Ibra moved back to Milan, this time choosing the AC Milan.
Angel Di Maria´s transfer from Real to Manchester United in 2014 cost Red Devils £59.7m. United´s manager at the time, Louis van Gaal was determined to get him to England but was not able to find him a proper playing position. Di Maria left to Paris Saint-Germain only a year later.
With Barcelona getting Ibrahimovic from Inter, Real brought Kaka from Milan. The clubs agreed on the price of £56m. At that time, Kaka was considered to be the best playmaker in the world which was more than enough for Real. However, Brazilian struggled at the Bernabeu, and an eight-month injury moved him away from being a regular first-team starter. Kaka moved back to Milan in 2013.
When Edinson Cavani moved from Napoli to PSG in 2013, he was at the top of his possibilities. According to the media, Italian club received £55m, but losing the player such is Cavani cost them a lot more.
Kevin De Bruyne´s transfer from Wolfsburg to Manchester City in 2015 cost the English club £55m. Manuel Pellegrini was determined to get him before Jose Mourinho takes him to Chelsea. For that reason, this was the record-breaking sum of the club that was ever spent on one player. De Bruyne still plays for City under the lead of Pep Guardiola.
However, that was not the only expensive transfer which Manchester City completed that year. The club officials also brought Raheem Sterling from Liverpool for £49m.
Just for comparison, we will also observe the three transfers from the beginning of the 2000s. For example, Luis Figo´s transfer from Barcelona to the greatest rival Real Madrid was significantly less expensive concerning the quality of the player and rivalry between the two teams. Portuguese legend cost £37m.
In 2001 the record-breaking transfer and the most expensive one until Cristiano Ronaldo moved from United to Real, was Zinedine Zidane´s transfer from Juventus to Real Madrid. The Old Lady from Turin received £46m for this amazing French player.