Paul Pogba to Manchester United
The number one most expensive football transfer ever just occurred a little over a month ago, with the transfer of Paul Pogba from Juventus to Manchester United. The five-year contract that offers the option of a sixth season resulted in United paying the Italians a record-breaking £89 million. This wasn't the first time Pogba was committed to United: he played for them until four years ago, when he left to join Juventus. He went on to win four Serie A titles and scored twice at the Coppa Italia, which helped him build a reputation large enough to merit the record-breaking transfer back to United. Pogba's re-joining of United has helped inflate the number of people placing a Ladbrokes free bet on the team, which of course has made an entirely different type of football fan happy.
Gareth Bale to Real Madrid
Until last month, the most expensive football transfer of all time was that of Gareth Bale from Tottenham to Real Madrid. The whopping £85 million agreement exceeded any previous transfer – with the exception of our number three transfer – by more than £10 million. In reality, once the final ink on the agreement dried, the real amount was closer to £100 million. This agreement might be looking even more expensive for Real Madrid, as late-breaking chatter suggests that Bale could leave Real Madrid after Florentino Perez's broken promises and struggles with the manager, Zinedine Zidane.
Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid
For four years, Cristiano Ronaldo's transfer from Manchester United to Real Madrid held the top spot in the most expensive transfers category. At the time, the amount agreed to - £83.7 million – was an astronomical sum. This was nearly double that of most high-profile, top-talent transfers, and may very well have been the initiation for the high-price transfers that now seem quite regular today. This transfer followed very public statements by Ronaldo and his team that the player did not plan on staying with United forever, and was in fact not necessarily happy remaining there. The deal ultimately netted Ronaldo approximately £200,000 per week before any add-ons were considered.
Gonzalo Higuain to Juventus
Number four rounds out our list of the most expensive transfers, with Gonzalo Higuain's transfer from Napoli to Juventus this year. The deal was an impressive £75.3 million, giving Juventus a bit of good news after losing several high-profile players over the past two years. While this deal wasn't the biggest in football history, it was a record-breaker for the Serie A, and with good reason: Higuain was the top scorer in the 2015/16 season.
With the average transfer increasing in price by double-digit percentage points each year, it's only a matter of time before these three record-breaking transfer fees look unimpressive. As football teams continue to sweeten the pot and try to attract the best, these deals will become common-place. Expect to see £100 million plus transfers on a regular basis in just a few short years!