Bayern Munich's 10 most expensive transfers of all time

Cameron Smith
Cameron Smith
  • 9 Feb 2024 12:51 GMT
  • 6 min read
Harry Kane, Bayern, 2023/24
© ProShots

Bayern Munich are one of the biggest and most successful football clubs in European football history.

As such, the Bundesliga giants have employed some of the best players the sport has ever seen.

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However, what makes Bayern's successes all the more impressive is that they are known for their careful planning and excellent execution to ensure they get value for their money.

That said, in recent times especially, the Bavarian outfit haven't been completely afraid of splashing the cash to secure one of their top transfer targets.

Below, FootballTransfers runs through the 10 most expensive Bayern Munich signings of all time.

10. Mario Gotze - €37m (from Borussia Dortmund, 2013)

Mario Gotze was the first key member of Jurgen Klopp's Borussia Dortmund to leave the club and join Bayern Munich.

The Germany star did so for €37m, while Robert Lewandowski and Mats Hummels soon joined him in Bavaria.

Mario Gotze at Bayern Munich
© ProShots - Mario Gotze at Bayern Munich

Gotze scored the winning goal in the 2014 World Cup final, but never lived up to the hype during his time at Bayern, despite a decent record of 36 goals and 24 assists in 114 games.

He left the club to re-join Dortmund in 2016.

9. Arturo Vidal - €39.3m (from Juventus, 2015)

Having previously convinced fans and critics alike at Bayer Leverkusen before his move to Juventus, Arturo Vidal returned to the Bundesliga in 2015 as a star with clear expectations of winning silverware at Bayern.

Over the course of his three seasons in Munich, Vidal won the league title on each occasion alongside a German Cup in 2016.

Vidal’s time at Bayern was short-lived before a persistent knee injury limited his role in the team and ultimately led to him leaving the club for Barcelona in 2018.

8. Javi Martinez - €40m (from Athletic Club, 2012)

Signed in 2012 after breaking through at Atletico Club, Javi Martinez arrived in Munich as one of the most exciting midfield talents in the world. And for the most part the Spaniard lived up to the billing at Bayern.

First as a thunderous box-to-box midfielder and then later on as a defensive midfielder and fill-in central defender, Martinez combined raw physical power with the technical gifts expected of a player that came through Spanish football’s famed youth academies.

In his time at the club, Martinez picked up no less than 14 trophies and his €40m fee can be regarded a bargain given the Spaniard's service to Bayern.

7. Corentin Tolisso - €41.5m (from Lyon, 2017)

The player that broke Martinez’s record as Bayern's most expensive signing was none other than Corentin Tolisso.

Corentin Tolisso joined Bayern in 2017
© ProShots - Corentin Tolisso joined Bayern in 2017

However, unlike Martinez, Tolisso’s time at Bayern wasn't particularly successful. While few could doubt the Frenchman was an exceptional midfielder when fit, the problem is that Bayern rarely saw him in that state.

Following his move to Munich in 2017, Tolisso spent more time injured than on the pitch and he eventually re-joined Lyon in 2022, marking the end of a disappointing tenure in Germany.

6. Dayot Upamecano - €42.5m (from RB Leipzig, 2021)

Bayern said goodbye to defensive stalwarts David Alaba, Jerome Boateng and Javi Martinez in the summer of 2021, so naturally new acquisitions were required.

After winning the 2020-21 Bundesliga, the champions acted quickly to prepare for the defence of their title by plucking another star player away from one of their domestic rivals.

In this case, they triggered the €42.5m release clause included in Dayot Upamecano's RB Leipzig contract after he'd become one of the most sought-after youngsters in Europe.

The Frenchman helped Bayern win the Bundesliga title in both of his first two seasons at the club.

5. Leroy Sane - €49m (from Manchester City, 2020)

In the summer of 2019, Leroy Sane was strongly linked with a move to Bayern Munich, as the German giants were eager to bring in reinforcements following the departure of Franck Ribery and the retirements of Arjen Robben.

Bayern paid €49m to sign Leroy Sane in 2020
© ProShots - Bayern paid €49m to sign Leroy Sane in 2020

Manchester City were unwilling to sell at that time, and any potential move collapsed when Sane suffered a cruciate ligament injury, which ruled him out for the majority of the campaign. He would eventually seal a move to Bavaria one year later in 2020, however.

He left Pep Guardiola's team having contributed 85 goals and assists in 135 appearances, while his form has continued in Germany.

4. Kim Min-jae - €50m (from Napoli, 2023)

Bayern Munich activated the €50m release clause in Kim Min-jae's Napoli contract to sign him in the summer of 2023.

Kim had been an absolute revelation during his one season at Napoli after joining from Fenerbahce in 2022 for just €18m.

He played a key role in Napoli winning their first Scudetto in 33 years and was Bayern's third eye-catching centre-back signing in as many years.

3. Matthijs de Ligt - €67m (from Juventus, 2022)

Matthijs de Ligt became Bayern's second most expensive signing of all time following his mega move from Juventus, but has since dropped down to third place.

Matthijs de Ligt left Juventus in 2022
© ProShots - Matthijs de Ligt left Juventus in 2022

The Dutch international spent three years in Turin before seeking a transfer away in 2022, with Bayern his preference.

After weeks of negotiations, Bayern landed De Ligt for a fee of €67m and he instantly slotted into the club's defence, helping the Bavarians to yet another Bundesliga title in his first season.

2. Lucas Hernandez - €80m (Atletico Madrid, 2019)

While Lucas Hernandez was not a complete failure after moving to Bayern in 2019, there’s no doubt the defender struggled to live up to the remarkable price tag the German club stuck on him when they signed him for €80m from Atletico Madrid.

Brought to Germany after coming through at Atletico as a hardened, battle-ready left-back or central defender, Hernandez had to quickly adapt to a team that was always on the front foot and were required to break most teams down from one week to the next.

Over the course of four seasons Hernandez’s versatility was put to good use but the France international never nailed down a regular starting berth at left-back or in central defence.

He was sold to PSG in the summer of 2023 for €45m after a relatively disappointing spell at Bayern.

1. Harry Kane - €95m (Tottenham, 2023)

Harry Kane smashed Bayern Munich's transfer record when he joined the club from Tottenham for €95m in 2023.

In the process, Kane became the most expensive sale in Spurs' history and ensured Bayern finally landed their replacement for Robert Lewandowski, one year after the Poland star had left to join Barcelona.

Harry Kane left Tottenham in 2023
© ProShots - Harry Kane left Tottenham in 2023

Kane had become Tottenham and England's all-time record goal-scorer during his time in north London and was seen as the missing piece of Thomas Tuchel's puzzle at the Allianz Arena.

The 10 most expensive Bayern Munich signings of all time

1. Harry KaneTottenham€95m2023
2. Lucas HernandezAtletico Madrid€80m2019
3. Matthijs de LigtJuventus€67m2022
4. Kim Min-jaeNapoli€50m2023
5. Leroy SaneMan City€49m2020
6. Dayot UpemacanoRB Leipzig€42.5m2021
7. Corentin TolissoLyon€41.5m2017
8. Javi MartinezAthletic Club€40m2012
9. Arturo VidalJuventus€39.3m2015
10. Mario GotzeBorussia Dortmund€37m2013

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