Bayern Munich’s 10 biggest sales of all time

Cameron Smith
Cameron Smith
  • 20 Feb 2024 14:48 GMT
  • 6 min read
Robert Lewandowski, Barcelona, 2023/24

Bayern Munich are German football's dominant force and they remain the team to beat every year in the Bundesliga. With that level of success, they have been rewarded with some significant financial benefits.

Some of Europe’s top talents have played for Bayern - some bought and some produced at home - meaning that when their journey at Allianz Arena ends, the Bavarians can fetch some handsome fees.

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Below, FootballTransfers brings you the top 10 sales that Bayern have made in their illustrious history.

10. Mario Gotze - €22m (to Borussia Dortmund, 2016)

Mario Gotze was one of Europe’s hottest prospects when he emerged in Jurgen Klopp’s brilliant Dortmund side of the early 2010s.

As Bayern tend to do, they took their rivals’ biggest star and made him their own in 2013, but they would return the favour after three seasons, giving him back to Dortmund for €22m and a minimal financial loss overall.

Mario Gotze in action for Frankfurt vs Bayern
© IMAGO - Mario Gotze in action for Frankfurt vs Bayern

Gotze never quite made the next big step in his career, slowly falling out of favour in Bayern’s midfield and ended up back in yellow and black in 2016.

He has since turned out for PSV Eindhoven and Eintracht Frankfurt, with his legacy long since cemented with his World Cup-winning goal for Germany in 2014.

9. Owen Hargreaves - €25m (to Man Utd, 2007)

Owen Hargreaves had a rather strange route for an England midfielder, coming through Bayern’s youth set up after beginning his career in his native Canada.

Debuting in 2000, he won the Champions League and the Bundesliga in his first full senior season with the club, going on to add another three league titles during his time in Munich.

A fully-fledged England international by that point, Hargreaves earned himself a big-money move to Manchester United in 2007, but injuries halted any sort of momentum he was building.

8. Toni Kroos - €25m (to Real Madrid, 2014)

Toni Kroos was allegedly on the cusp of a move to Manchester United before Louis van Gaal reportedly decided against it.

Real Madrid then took advantage to land the midfielder for a fee of €25m which has proved to be an absolute snip for a player who has since won the Champions League on four occasions.

Toni Kroos joined Real Madrid in 2014
© IMAGO - Toni Kroos joined Real Madrid in 2014

Bayern haven’t exactly performed poorly since his departure, but allowing Kroos to leave for a relatively minor fee looks to have been a big mistake in retrospect.

7. Sadio Mane - €30m (to Al-Nassr, 2023)

Sadio Mane was one of the best wingers in world football during his time at Liverpool, with Jurgen Klopp helping him to elevate his game to the next level.

However, he sought an exit in 2022 and was picked up by Bayern Munich, with the idea of becoming their new attacking star.

But, Mane struggled in Bavaria and after a public bust-up with team-mate Leroy Sane, he was sold to Saudi Pro League outfit Al-Nassr for €30m in 2023.

6. Benjamin Pavard - €30m (to Inter, 2023)

Benjamin Pavard was a reliable performer at Bayern Munich, but he always wanted to play at centre-back, rather than at right-back.

So, when Inter Milan offered him the chance to replace Milan Skriniar at the heart of their defence, Pavard jumped at the opportunity and left Bayern to join the Italian giants in 2023.

Benjamin Pavard at Inter
© IMAGO - Benjamin Pavard at Inter

He departed the Bundesliga side having made 163 appearances during a successful four-year spell at the club.

5. Mats Hummels - €30.5m (to Borussia Dortmund, 2019)

Bayern have a history for hoovering up as much talent from around Germany as they can, especially from their fiercest rivals.

But, in this case, they allowed one of their most influential defenders to return to Borussia Dortmund a few years after leaving the Signal Iduna Park, with BVB paying €31m to re-sign Mats Hummels in 2019.

The German left Bayern having made 118 appearances for the club.

4. Douglas Costa - €40m (to Juventus, 2018)

Douglas Costa cost Juventus €40m in 2018, with the Italian side convinced to pay a fairly large fee for someone who never really made much of a mark at the Allianz Arena.

The Brazil winger arrived at Bayern with a sparkling reputation from his time at Shakhtar Donetsk and was signed as a long-term replacement for wing wonders Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben.

However, he failed to meet expectations, which is why Bayern were happy to let him to join Juventus after an initial loan spell in Turin.

He would, rather strangely, return to Bayern on loan for the 2020-21 season in a deal that was allegedly not sanctioned by then head coach Hansi Flick.

3. Ryan Gravenberch - €40m (to Liverpool, 2023)

Ryan Gravenberch was linked to a number of clubs through the course of 2023 after struggling during his first season at Bayern Munich.

The former Ajax man had emerged as one of Europe's most talented youngsters during his time in the Eredivisie, but he was unable to make a serious dent in the Bayern first-team.

In search of game time, the Dutchman finally landed a big move in the summer of 2023 when Liverpool lodged a €40m bid, which was accepted by Bayern.

Ryan Gravenberch at Liverpool
© IMAGO - Ryan Gravenberch at Liverpool

2. Lucas Hernandez - €45m (to PSG, 2023)

Lucas Hernandez was Bayern's record signing when he joined the club from Atletico Madrid for €80m in 2019, but he never quite justified that price tag.

The France international was unable to cement his place in Bayern's first-choice starting XI, with his versatility of playing at left-back and centre-back arguably more of a hindrance than a help.

When PSG offered him the chance to return to France in 2023, Hernandez took the opportunity with both hands, bidding farewell to Bayern after a €45m bid was accepted.

1. Robert Lewandowski - €45m (to Barcelona, 2022)

Robert Lewandowski is Bayern Munich's all-time record sale after he left the club to join Barcelona in 2022.

The Polish international had scored 344 goals in 375 games in all competitions for Bayern and the Blaugrana paid a handsome fee of €45m to sign the veteran forward.

Lewandowski did, however, came close to ruining his Bayern reputation due to his pleas to leave the German champions, going public with his desire to join Barcelona when on international duty with Poland.

Bayern spent some of the money earned from Lewandowski's departure to sign Sadio Mane from Liverpool, but he left after just one year at the club. They eventually signed a Lewandowski replacement in the form of Harry Kane in 2023.

The 10 biggest Bayern Munich sales of all time

1. Robert LewandowskiBarcelona€45m2022
= Lucas HernandezPSG€45m2023
3. Ryan GravenberchLiverpool€40m2023
= Douglas CostaJuventus€40m2018
5. Mats HummelsBorussia Dortmund€30.5m2019
6. Benjamin PavardInter€30m2023
= Sadio ManeAl-Nassr€30m2023
8. Toni KroosReal Madrid€25m2014
9. Owen HargreavesMan Utd€25m2007
10. Mario GotzeBorussia Dortmund€22m2016

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