The two goats of football, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, changed clubs this summer. Surprisingly, no record-breaking transfer fee was involved in the process. Paris Saint-Germain signed Messi as a free agent and Manchester United signed Ronaldo for just €15 million with another €8 million in add-ons.
The 2021 summer transfer window, though, saw a number of other crazy transfers take place. Some of them involved a significant amount of money while some shrewd signings were made too.
Many football clubs make good profits on transfers
Over time, with more money coming into football, high value transfers have taken place on a regular basis. Some of the biggest transfers in the history of the game have taken place in the last decade. In the process, selling clubs have been able to fetch good profit.
The most recent example is that of Jadon Sancho's transfer to Manchester United from Borussia Dortmund in the summer transfer window. The English winger's move to the Red Devils resulted in a transfer fee of £76.50 million. The deal meant Dortmund earned a profit of £69.45 million.
Such are the transfer deals nowadays. On that note, let's take a look at the most profit-making transfer deals in football history.
Note: All transfer fees are as listed on Transfermarkt
#5 Jack Grealish (Aston Villa to Manchester City - £105.75m)
The 25-year old Englishman is a graduate of the Aston Villa academy. Jack Grealish joined Villa at the age of six. He was part of the senior team for almost 10 years until recently when he decided to move.
With his nimble footwork and amazing ability to carry the ball with pace, Grealish can glide past defenders at will. He's more than often on the receiving end of some physically strong challenges but that is what he brings to the table. He can entice opposition players and make space for others. His knack for creating chances on a regular basis attracted interest from many football clubs last season.
Having only played 27 games in the 2020-21 season, Grealish managed to score six goals and register 10 assists. It was about time that he moved away to play in the Champions league and stand a chance to win silverware.
Manchester City were eager to sign him this summer and Aston Villa were very clear with their approach to this transfer. Villa were adamant about their selling price and eventually City had to succumb to their demands. The Premier League Champions signed Grealish for £105.75 million, making him the most expensive English football player ever.
In one go, Villa made £105.75 million, making a huge profit for the club. The profit money was then used to sign three players in the form of Leon Bailey, Danny Ings and Emiliano Buendia.
#4 Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool to Barcelona - £109.80m)
Having started his career at Brazilian club Vasco da Gama, Coutinho joined Inter Milan in 2008. However, the midfielder remained on loan at Vasco for two years before another temporary spell at Espanyol.
Struggling to find game time at Inter, Liverpool managed to secure his signature for £11.70 million in 2013. Coutinho's impact was evident and peaked when the Reds had Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez upfront. In the 2016-17 season, Coutinho went on to score 13 goals and register eight assists. The Brazilian was one of the finest playmakers in football back then.
Barcelona tried hard for his signature the following summer but Liverpool rejected that approach. Eventually, in the winter transfer window, the Reds agreed a fee of £121.50 million to allow Coutinho to join the Catalan club. It is amazing how Liverpool made such a stellar profit of £109.80 million with the sale of Coutinho four years ago.