Clubs/Teams with most spend in transfer market from 2003 to 2021

Clubs/Teams with most spend in transfer market from 2003 to 2021

Top 5 biggest spenders in the transfer market since 2003

European giants have felt the crunch in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Clubs backed by the wealth of their silk-stocking owners have been quite happy to loosen their purse strings.

This has resulted in the transfer market getting inflated. Paying close to €100 million for a single player was unheard of almost 10 years back. These days, that is the amount a club normally shells out to make a marquee signing in the transfer market.

In this transfer window alone, we've seen two deals that cost over €100 million. Manchester City signed Jack Grealish from Aston Villa for €117.5 million. Chelsea have announced the signing of Romelu Lukaku from Inter Milan for €115 million.

Almost all big teams that have navigated the Covid-19 crisis decently have broke the bank to sign players this summer. Without further ado, let's take a look at the biggest spenders in the transfer market since 2003.

#5 Manchester United - €1.82 billion

Despite the outcry against the Glazers for eating into the club's profits and not being adequately invested in its success, Manchester United have spent big. It's just that in the post Sir Alex Ferguson era up until Solskjaer took up the mantle, there was no direction to their expenditure.

That period was flush with expensive flops as the club continued to recruit players who didn't fit in.

Manchester United have broken the bank to sign players like Romelu Lukaku (€84.7 million), Angel Di Maria (€75 million) and Henrikh Mkhitaryan (€42 million). While all three are quality players, they failed to have impressive stints at Manchester United.

They also paid €105 million for Paul Pogba. Jadon Sancho was signed this summer for €85 million. Harry Maguire was signed for a fee that rose to €87 million.

While Pogba and Maguire have more or less proved their worth, the Red Devils will be hoping that Sancho will deliver on that promise.

Other big money signings include Bruno Fernandes (€63 million), Anthony Martial (€60 million) and Fred (€59 million). Manchester United have become a lot more cautious in the transfer market in recent times.

#4 Real Madrid - €1.91 billion

Real Madrid's Galactico project has definitely eaten into the club's finances. The obsession has now died down, with the club opting to take a more counseled approach in the transfer market.

Los Blancos have always had immense clout when it comes to attracting the biggest talents in the world. They've cashed in on it plenty of times. Eden Hazard is their most expensive player of all time. He was signed in the summer of 2019 for €115 million.

Gareth Bale was signed in 2013 for a sum of €101 million and Cristiano Ronaldo was signed for €94 million. Real Madrid have broken the world transfer record multiple times. They started doing it way back in 2001 when they signed Zinedine Zidane for a whopping €77.5 million.

Other expensive arrivals since 2003 include James Rodriguez (€74 million), Kaka (€67 million), Luka Jovic (€64 million), Luis Figo (€60 million) and Eder Militao (€50 million).

#3 Barcelona - €1.98 billion

Barcelona have become emblematic of the profligacy that has plagued the footballing world in recent times. The financial troubles that they've run into are so severe that they've had to let go of Lionel Messi despite him wanting to stay at the club.

Barcelona have spent recklessly in the transfer window. They more or less wasted all the proceeds from Neymar's sale. The Catalans spent €135 million each on Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele. Both players have done little to justify their price tags.

They spent €120 million to sign Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid. Other big-money signings include Neymar Jr. (€88.2 million), Frenkie De Jong (€86 million), Luis Suarez (€81.72 million) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (€69.5 million).

Some of their other big money flops include Miralem Pjanic (€60 million), Malcom (€41 million) and Andre Gomes (€37 million).

#2 Manchester City - €2.24 billion

Pep Guardiola gets a lot of credit for turning Manchester City into a juggernaut of sorts. But that hasn't come about purely due to his coaching credentials. The City Football Group has backed him lavishly in the transfer market to get Pep the personnel he needs to ensure success.

City broke their transfer record this summer to sign Jack Grealish from Aston Villa for €117 million. But the reigning Premier League champions have made good use of the money available to them. They've recruited in an educated manner and have benefitted from it.

Kevin De Bruyne is their second most expensive signing at €76 million. City's other expensive signings are Ruben Dias (€68 million), Riyad Mahrez (€67 million), Joao Cancelo (€65 million), Aymeric Laporte (€63 million) and Raheem Sterling (€63 million).

Players like Rodri, Benjamin Mendy, John Stones, Kyle Walker, Leroy Sane and Bernardo Silva have cost Manchester City more than €50 million each.

#1 Chelsea - €2.34 billion

That's right. No club has spent more money in the transfer window than Chelsea since a certain Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003. The Blues have been one of the most successful Premier League clubs over the past two decades and their financial pull has gone a long way towards it.

Chelsea have taken the trial and error route and while some of their big money signings have worked out, a few have flopped really bad. Chelsea broke their transfer record this summer by signing Romelu Lukaku from Inter Milan for a whopping €115 million.

Last summer, they broke their transfer record to sign Kai Havertz from Bayer Leverkusen for €80 million. Kepa Arizzabalaga could yet find salvation but for now he is considered an expensive flop having arrived at the club on a deal worth €80 million.

Other big money signings include Alvaro Morata (€66 million), Christian Pulisic (€64 million), Fernando Torres (58.5 million), Jorginho (€57 million), Timo Werner (€53 million) and Ben Chilwell (€50.02 million). They've also signed 19 players for sums between €30 million and €50 million each.

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