Borussia Dortmund’s 10 biggest sales of all time

Cameron Smith
Cameron Smith
  • 20 Feb 2024 14:54 GMT
  • 6 min read
Jude Bellingham, Real Madrid, 2023/24

Borussia Dortmund have become renowned as a selling club in recent years, with their top talent often poached by Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich or elite sides from across Europe.

It's meant they haven't won the German top flight since Jurgen Klopp left the club, and despite possessing some of Europe's best talent over the past few years, BVB haven't been able to translate that into silverware.

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That fact has been epitomised by the sale of Erling Haaland to Manchester City.

They are, however, a very well-run club and making the most of sales has been something they've done well in recent times.

Below, FootballTransfers runs through Borussia Dortmund's 10 biggest transfer sales.

10. Abdou Diallo - €32m (to PSG, 2019)

Abdou Diallo was viewed as the future of Dortmund's defence when he joined the club from Mainz in 2018, but the Frenchman spent just one year at the Signal Iduna Park before returning to his homeland.

He joined Paris Saint-Germain for €32m in 2019, ensuring Dortmund turned a small €4m profit in just one year. Diallo struggled during his time in Ligue 1 and was unable to cement a place in PSG's first-choice starting XI.

As a result, he joined Qatari side Al-Arabi on a permanent deal in 2023.

9. Mats Hummels - €35m (to Bayern Munich, 2016)

Mats Hummels was Dortmund's captain when he joined rivals Bayern Munich in 2016, and although he re-joined the club three years later, his decision to leave in the first place didn't go down well with the fans.

The German was a rock at the heart of Dortmund's defence during the early 2010s and he won five trophies during his first spell at the club.

After a successful stint at Bayern, Hummels returned to Dortmund for €30.5m in 2019.

8. Mario Gotze - €37m (to Bayern Munich, 2013)

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

Mario Gotze was the first high-profile Borussia Dortmund star to leave for Bayern in the early 2010s, and he did so on the day of the Champions League final between the two teams.

He sat that game out following news of his impending transfer, but during his time at Dortmund he was rather good.

Gotze even made his senior Germany debut aged 17 thanks to his time wearing yellow and black. He was a key part of Klopp's back-to-back title-winning team and he won the 2011 Golden Boy award following his breakout at Dortmund.

He won the 2014 World Cup for Germany and returned to Dortmund in 2016 after a two-year spell at Bayern.

7. Henrikh Mkhitaryan - €42m (to Man Utd, 2016)

A player at the heart of Dortmund's forward line during his three-year stint in Germany, Henrikh Mkhitaryan was one of Europe's best creative players for multiple years and that reputation earned him a big move to Manchester United.

However, he was unable to replicate that form at Old Trafford and his time at Man Utd was mostly underwhelming, although he did score a beautiful scorpion kick just days before it was overshadowed by an even more impressive effort by Olivier Giroud.

Mkhitaryan was involved in a swap deal with Alexis Sanchez after just 18 months at Man Utd and he didn't last long at Arsenal either, joining Roma on a free transfer in 2020. He then signed for Inter Milan in 2022.

6. Erling Haaland - €60m (to Man City, 2022)

Erling Haaland is the sixth-biggest sale in Dortmund's history following his €60m move to Manchester City in 2022. That fee was seen as a bargain at the time, but Dortmund were powerless to stop it due to a release clause in his contract.

The Norwegian was devastating during his time in Germany, and his frightening form began on his Dortmund debut when he bagged a hat-trick off the bench. In total, Haaland scored 86 goals and provided 23 assists in just 89 appearances for Dortmund.

He won the treble during his first season at Man City and set a new record for the most goals scored in a single Premier League campaign (36).

Erling Haaland has won everything there is to win at Man City
© IMAGO - Erling Haaland has won everything there is to win at Man City

5. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - €63.8m (to Arsenal, 2018)

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang rivalled Robert Lewandowski for the title of Germany's best striker during his time at Dortmund and his form in the Bundesliga convinced Arsenal to spend a whopping €63.8m to sign him in 2018.

The Gabon international was ideally suited to BVB's high-paced, counter-attacking style and he thrived at the Signal Iduna Park.

He won the German top flight's Golden Boot in the 2016-17 season, scoring 31 goals in just 32 league games, and left Dortmund with a goal or assist every 93 minutes and three trophies to his name.

Aubameyang continued his goal-scoring prowess at Arsenal before he left to join Barcelona in 2022.

4. Christian Pulisic - €64m (to Chelsea, 2019)

Christian Pulisic was just 20 years old when Chelsea identified him as their Eden Hazard replacement as they prepared for the Belgian's inevitable departure to Real Madrid.

Although he wasn't a regular starter at Dortmund, Pulisic had shown enough to convince the Blues hierarchy to spend €64m in 2019, and he left the Bundesliga club with 19 goals and 26 assists in 127 games.

His first season was sublime, but an injury in the 2020 FA Cup final stunted his progress and he never recovered. Pulisic left Chelsea to join Milan for just €20m in 2023.

3. Jadon Sancho - €85m (to Man Utd, 2021)

Jadon Sancho arrived at Borussia Dortmund as an unknown entity from Manchester City's academy. He even left England's U17 World Cup winning campaign early to join up with the Dortmund squad for the start of the season.

After a brief period of adaption in Germany, Sancho began to write headlines for his performances.

He was the protagonist for young English players moving abroad and contributed 50 goals and 64 assists in just 137 appearances for Dortmund before returning to the Premier League for a huge fee of €85m.

After falling out with Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag, Sancho was exiled from the first team and re-joined Dortmund on loan in January 2024.

Jadon Sancho returned to Dortmund on loan in January 2024
© IMAGO - Jadon Sancho returned to Dortmund on loan in January 2024

2. Jude Bellingham - €103m (to Real Madrid, 2023)

Jude Bellingham was a wild success at Dortmund after he became the most expensive 17-year-old in football history following his move from Birmingham City.

The €30.2m fee paid by BVB quickly became an absolute steal and he established himself as a key player at the Signal Iduna Park and one of the team's most vocal leaders, despite his young age.

He was linked with some of Europe's biggest sides in 2022, but he resisted a move in favour of waiting until 2023.

Amid interest from Liverpool and Man City, Bellingham joined Real Madrid for an initial €103m after racking up 132 Dortmund appearances.

1. Ousmane Dembele - €135m (to Barcelona, 2017)

After 10 goals and 21 assists in his debut year at Dortmund, Barcelona stumped up the cash to sign Ousmane Dembele following the loss of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain.

Dembele only spent one season in the Bundesliga, but he certainly made his mark, forming a telepathic link with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as the team netted 72 league goals.

However, Dembele suffered a serious injury just weeks into his Barcelona career and his time at Camp Nou was plagued by consistent fitness problems. He returned to France with PSG in 2023.

Ousmane Dembele at PSG
© IMAGO - Ousmane Dembele at PSG

The 10 biggest Borussia Dortmund sales of all time

1. Ousmane DembeleBarcelona€135m2017
2. Jude BellinghamReal Madrid€103m2023
3. Jadon SanchoMan Utd€85m2021
4. Christian PulisicChelsea€64m2019
5. Pierre-Emerick AubameyangArsenal€63.8m2018
6. Erling HaalandMan City€60m2022
7. Henrikh MkhitaryanMan Utd€42m2016
8. Mario GotzeBayern Munich€37m2013
9. Mats HummelsBayern Munich€35m2016
10. Abdou DialloPSG€32m2019

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