Increased revenues from broadcast and sponsorship deals have sparked a massive surge in football transfer fees in recent years.
Barely a week goes by without the football transfer news headlines screaming that another player is about to be sold for an eye-watering sum.
The list of all-time top transfer fees highlights just how much transfer spending has spiralled out of control in a short space of time:
- Neymar – Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain – £199.8m in 2017
- Kylian Mbappe – Monaco to Paris Saint-Germain – £130.5m in 2018
- Ousmane Dembele – Borussia Dortmund to Barcelona – £126m in 2017
- Philippe Coutinho – Liverpool to Barcelona – £121.5m in 2018
- Joao Felix – Benfica to Atletico Madrid – £114.5m in 2019
- Antoine Griezmann – Atletico Madrid to Barcelona – £108m in 2019
- Jack Grealish – Aston Villa to Manchester City – £105.75m in 2021
- Cristiano Ronaldo – Real Madrid to Juventus – £105.3m in 2018
- Eden Hazard – Chelsea to Real Madrid – £103.5m in 2019
- Romelu Lukaku – Inter Milan to Chelsea – £101.7m in 2021
With spending on players going through the roof, it is quite feasible there could be some new entries into the top 10 this summer. Here are three of the most likely candidates.
Declan Rice – West Ham United
Rice is undoubtedly one of the most sought-after midfielders in the world right now, and he could well be on his way out of West Ham this summer.
Hammers boss David Moyes has insisted Rice is not for sale while repeatedly reminding people that the asking price would be a minimum of £150 million.
The England international played a big role in West Ham’s charge to the Europa League semi-finals, although they have a fight on their hands to progress any further.
If West Ham can recover from a 2-1 first leg deficit against Eintracht Frankfurt, it would boost their chances of retaining Rice’s services this summer.
However, with Rice desperate to play in the Champions League, the London club may find it difficult to keep hold of him. Chelsea are his most likely destination.
Harry Kane – Tottenham Hotspur
Kane was repeatedly linked with a move away from Tottenham last summer and another transfer saga could be on the cards this time around.
A £150 million move to Man City failed to materialise and they are not expected to make a renewed bid this summer.
City have been strongly linked with Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Braut Haaland – a move that would scupper Kane’s hopes of joining City.
Manchester United have been touted as an option, but it is debatable whether they would blow most of their transfer budget on one player.
With a move to Europe looking unlikely, Kane could be left hoping that Newcastle United try to make him their marquee summer signing.
Victor Osimhen – Napoli
Osimhen has been strongly with a move to the Premier League this summer, and his potential fee could break the £100m barrier if a bidding war ensues.
Newcastle reportedly made an £84m bid to sign the Napoli star in January and could decide to step up their interest this summer.
The Magpies have historically placed plenty of importance on star strikers and may view Osimhen as the ideal candidate to follow in the footsteps of Alan Shearer and others.
While Man Utd and Arsenal are also in the running to sign Osimhen, it is debatable whether either club would break the bank to sign him.
Newcastle will be keen to make a statement of intent under their new owners this summer – Osimhen could easily be the player they push the boat out for.