How Does Neymar’s Transfer To PSG Compare To Other Football Transfers In Recent Years?

How Does Neymar’s Transfer To PSG Compare To Other Football Transfers In Recent Years?

The football world was shaken by the record-breaking transfer of Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, or more commonly known as Neymar, at a mind boggling £222 million (S$356 million) from Barcelona to Paris St-Germain (PSG).

What does this deal mean for both clubs, and how does the world record fee compare to other player transfers which have previously broken the record?

Being one of the most coveted players, Barcelona would never consider transferring Neymar if not for Qatari backed PSG’s willingness to meet Neymar’s buy out of £222 million.

Why is PSG willing to pay so much for Neymar?

Neymar’s release clause may have stopped other clubs from signing him in previous transfer windows, but PSG’s determination to win the Champions League (particularly after consecutive years of falling just short) and also it’s steady financial backing has led the club’s chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi to make the move.

The transfer is not just shocking due to its high transfer fee, but it is also because the club needs to pay up in one lump sum as set out in Neymar’s contract.

However, with Neymar’s popularity, PSG is confident that they would make back some of the transfer fee through his image rights. After all, Neymar makes more off-field through endorsements compared to his playing contract at Barcelona.

Although the club is confident that they will be able to get some revenue from buying Neymar, the transfer is not without financial risk for PSG. The transfer will put PSG at risk of being unable to fulfil UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations, which could mean PSG having to sell players to balance the books. Highest valued players such as Veratti, Aurier and Angel Di Maria will most likely be offloaded to make way for Neymar.

On the other side of the deal, Barcelona may be searching for a replacement for Neymar to support Messi and Suarez. With the huge transfer fee received from PSG, they will certain not be short of options.

They have been heavily linked with Liverpool’s Coutinho although Jurgen Klopp will certainly not want to sell with his club pushing for English Premier League (EPL) success this season. Other options they will surely be considering are Chelsea’s Eden Hazard and Dortmund’s Ousmane Dembele.

With the expectation that Neymar’s transfer will be finalised in the coming days, we look at the top 5 most expensive players ever.

1. Paul Pogba, 2016

Transfer from Juventus to Manchester United

Transfer fee: £89 million (S$160 million)

Paul Pogba

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After leaving Manchester United for Juventus four years ago, Paul Pogba was transferred back to the Red Devils last summer for a then world record fee of £89 million. While his form following the move was indifferent, having settled into the EPL, much is expected of him in his second season. 

2. Gareth Bale, 2015

Transfer from Tottenham Hotspur to Real Madrid

Transfer fee: £85.3 million (S$154 million)

gareth bale

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Having already broken the transfer record when the club bought Ronaldo, Real Madrid did so again with the signing of Gareth Bale. After a slow start with Los Merengues, Bale has gone on to build a deadly partnership with both Ronaldo and Benzema with the club winning two Champions Leagues in three years.

3. Cristiano Rolando, 2009

Transfer from Manchester United to Real Madrid

Transfer fee: £83.7 million (S$151 million)

cristiano ronaldo

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Fans of Manchester United were left heartbroken when it was announced that their talisman was leaving to join Real Madrid for a transfer fee that, at the time, was unheard of. Ronaldo has go on to become arguably the club’s best player ever – becoming their highest goal scorer in just seven years at the club.

4. Gonzalo Higuaín, 2016

Transfer from Napoli to Juventus

Transfer fee: £75.3 million (S$136 million)


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In one of the most controversial transfer in recent years, Higuaín moved to Juventus from Napoli despite the stiff rivalry between the two clubs. The move strengthened Juventus and inadvertently left Napoli weaker than before. The striker has been free scoring since moving to the club, delivering the Old Lady considerable return on investment.

5. Romelu Lukaku, 2017

Transfer from Everton to Manchester United

Transfer fee: £75.3 million (S$136 million)

Romelu Lukaku

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Earlier on this summer, it was presumed that Lukaku’s move to Manchester united would be the highest profile transfer of the summer but Neymar had different ideas. It is yet to be seen whether Lukaku will deliver at one of the big clubs, but his form with Everton over the last few seasons would suggest the striker will take the challenge in his stride.


Transfer fees have been going one way – and that’s up. With Neymar’s recent mind boggling transfer fee, it is hard to imagine this record being broken again in the near future.

Other than walking away richer from the deal, what will the transfer really mean to Neymar?

By signing on to a club that is considered to be second tier, Neymar’s move is not without risks. If he is unable to push the club forward, the transfer could see him wasting the prime of his career without a chance to shine.

However, one thing is for sure, by moving to PSG, Neymar will definitely slip out of the shadows of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Being one of the best players in the world, many will be rooting for him to make the best out of this transfer and make an even bigger name for himself and his soon-to-be new club, PSG.

* Currency conversion as of August 3, 2017 at 1 GBP = 1.79805 SGD.
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