Monaco’s 10 biggest sales of all time

Karan Tejwani
Karan Tejwani
  • 26 Sept 2023 10:53 BST
  • 7 min read
Kylian Mbappe, Monaco
© ProShots

Monaco have become one of the smartest clubs in European football for their transfer strategy, with their method of buying young and selling big proving to be successful.

The Ligue 1 club are responsible for some of the biggest sales of the last decade as a result, and that has provided a positive transfer balance so often.

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READ MORE: PSG's 10 biggest sales of all time

Aurelien Tchouameni’s transfer to Real Madrid proves that, as he became their second-most expensive sale ever in 2022.

With that in mind, here are their 10 most expensive sales ever.

READ MORE: Barcelona’s 10 biggest sales of all time

10. Youri Tielemans - €45m (Leicester, 2019)

Youri Tielemans was widely regarded as one of the finest talents in Belgian football when he was at Anderlecht, so his move to Monaco caught the eye.

He enjoyed some promising moments in Ligue 1 before earning a move to Leicester City, first on loan and then permanently, in 2019.

Following his €45m transfer, Tielemans shone at Leicester, and memorably scoring the winning goal in the 2021 FA Cup final victory over Chelsea.

Following Leicester's relegation to the Championship in 2023, Tielemans joined Aston Villa on a free transfer.

9. Fabinho - €45m (Liverpool, 2018)

Fabinho is the first, but certainly not the last, player from Monaco's famous 2016-17 team to appear on this list.

The Brazilian did a fine job at right-back for Monaco before shifting to midfield, where he showed the best of his abilities.

He played a key role in Monaco's run to the Champions League semi-finals in 2017 and Fabinho left in 2018, immediately after Liverpool lost the Champions League final to Real Madrid.

He helped Jurgen Klopp's side achieve revenge the following year before winning the Premier League title in 2020. Fabinho joined Al-Ittihad in 2023.

8. Axel Disasi - €45m (Chelsea, 2023)

Axel Disasi entered this list in 2023 thanks to his €45m transfer to Chelsea. The Frenchman had previously been courted by both Man Utd and Newcastle, but they were beaten to his signature by Chelsea.

Disasi had spent three years at Monaco following a €13m move from Stade Reims, with the Ligue 1 side turning a nice profit on the France international.

7. Bernardo Silva - €50m (Man City, 2017)

Bernardo Silva is another star of Monaco's imperious 2017 team to appear on the list of their 10 biggest sales in history.

He scored 11 goals and provided 12 assists in his final campaign at the club, which convinced Man City to spend €50m to bring him to England.

Since then, the Portuguese midfielder has been a consistent player for Pep Guardiola and he has earned plenty of plaudits for his role in the arguably the most dominant team in Premier League history.

6. Benjamin Mendy - €57.5m (Man City, 2017)

Benjamin Mendy was another member of the 2017 Monaco side and he one of the most sought-after full-backs in European football at the time.

He joined Bernardo in moving to Manchester City in a mega deal, and enjoyed periods of success with the team, winning multiple trophies and being a part of the 2018 World Cup-winning side with France.

However, Mendy's last appearance for Man City came in August 2021 as he was suspended by the club pending a police investigation into rape and attempted sexual assault charges. He was found not guilty and joined Lorient in 2023.

5. Anthony Martial - €60m (Man Utd, 2015)

This move came as a surprise as very few outside France had paid much attention to Anthony Martial. As a result, Man Utd spending €60m to sign him in 2015 was seen as a big risk.

United paid a huge upfront fee, while a Ballon d’Or clause was also included, which resulted in one of Monaco’s biggest sales ever.

Although Martial started brilliantly, with a fantastic goal against Liverpool that will live long in the memory, that Ballon d'Or clause has never been in danger of being activated.

The Frenchman was loaned to Sevilla in 2022 and Erik ten Hag signed Rasmus Hojlund in 2023 to take Martial's place in the starting XI at Old Trafford.

4. Thomas Lemar - €72m (Atletico Madrid, 2018)

Thomas Lemar was another key figure of Monaco's wonderful 2016-17 season, in which they won Ligue 1 and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League.

There were talks of an immediate departure, but Arsenal were priced out of a move, with Monaco reportedly demanding a fee of around €100 million.

However, Lemar got his move one year later when he completed a €72m move to Atletico Madrid.

3. James Rodriguez - €75m (Real Madrid, 2014)

Colombian James Rodriguez only spent one season at Monaco having joined from FC Porto in 2013, but the club were able to demand a huge fee thanks to his brilliant 2014 World Cup.

After a fine solo season at Monaco, in which he scored 10 goals in all competition, scouts were already beginning to take notice of James.

However, after scoring six goals at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, winning the Golden Boot in the process, Real Madrid were quick to make a move and spent big to get their man.

2. Aurelien Tchouameni - €80m (Real Madrid, 2022)

Aurelien Tchouameni became Monaco's second most expensive sale in history when he left the Stade Louis II to join Real Madrid in June 2022.

The Frenchman had arrived from Bordeaux in 2020 and persistently strong performances in Ligue 1, the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool were interested in 2021.

However, Real Madrid won the race for his signature the following year, with Monaco unable to resist an €80m fee.

1. Kylian Mbappe - €180m (PSG, 2018)

The undisputed leader in this list is Kylian Mbappe, who made a €180m transfer to Paris Saint-Germain in 2018, after spending a year on loan at the club in 2017-18.

The move to PSG came after a stunning breakthrough season in 2016-17, where he scored 26 goals in 44 appearances at the age of 18. That goal tally earned his mammoth move, which is also the second-biggest transfer in football history.

Mbappe became PSG's all-time record goal-scorer in March 2023, eclipsing Edinson Cavani's tally of 200 goals for the club.

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