Lionel Messi looks to be set to leave his boyhood club, FC Barcelona. But, just how much will the transfer of football’s most celebrated player cost? And, where will it rank on the list of most expensive transfers of all time?
5. Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid to FC Barcelona) – €120m
Antoine Griezmann arrived at FC Barcelona in 2019 amid plenty of fanfare and a fair deal of controversy. FC Barcelona will be featured plenty of times on the list, usually on the losing side of deals.
While the French strikes had promised to remain loyal to Diego Simeone’s Atleti, the concept of playing for one of football’s biggest institutions proved too alluring.
In one year at the Camp Nou, the move has, so far, proven a poor decision on all parties’ sides.
4. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool to Barcelona) – €140m
Philippe Coutinho was the man of the moment when he announced Liverpool of his intentions to leave the club. His destination was FC Barcelona a club famous for their elevation of South American exports.
Things did not go to plan, to say the least. After being deemed surplus to the squad, Coutinho was loaned out to Bayern. And, while Barca was busy looking to sell the Brazilian, he was busy scoring two goals in the 2020 Champions League semi-final. How’s that for revenge?
3. Joao Felix (Benfica to Atletico Madrid) – €126m
Joao Felix, the talented Portuguese forward, arrived at Atletico Madrid with the money earned from the Griezmann deal, and with a view to replace the Frenchman. Results have varied so far. Still, Felix still has time to learn the trick of the trade in La Liga.
2. Kylian Mbappe (Monaco to PSG) – €180m
Kylian Mbappe, the teenage World Cup winner, arrived from AS Monaco to rivals PSG in 2017. The deal was initially set up as a loan as a way to beat the Financial Fair Play‘s ever-watchful eye. A year later he was confirmed as a full-time squad member. Things have gone well for both club and player. Despite this, rumors of a departure to even greater pastures aka Real Madrid persist.
1 Neymar (Barcelona to PSG) – €222m
Neymar’s transfer to Barcelona was the deal that shocked the football world, and embarrassed Barcelona, although not for the last time. The Brazilian was not only one of the best players in the world, he was also one of the most famous.
PSG agreed to pay €222m, the full extent of Neymar’s release clause. What they got in return were bragging rights. The Parisians were officially one of the most important clubs in the world. Results in Ligue 1 continued as per expectations. Recently, PSG with Neymar in a starring tole reached the Champions League final, thereby nearly confirming expectations.
Lionel Messi’s transfer
If things were to be done by the book, Lionel Messi’s transfer would be the most expensive in football history. The Argentine’s release clause hovers around €700m. Furthermore, Barca made PSG pay every penny in the case Neymar’s transfer.
Still, this is an exceptional circumstance. Messi has one year left on his contract and looks to invoke the extended 2019/20 season in requesting a free deal. Others suggest that negotiations could bring FC Barcelona a transfer fee similar to the one they received for Neymar.
It’s an unbelievable blow for the Catalans, but one that makes sense in the climate of their current form. Manchester City, Inter Milan and PSG, are rumored to be among the wealthy suitors for Messi’s golden signature