Liverpool's 10 biggest sales of all time

Cameron Smith
Cameron Smith 22 Jun 2022 13:47 CEST 7 min read
Sadio Mane, Liverpool, 2021/22

Ever since the Fenway Sports Group took over Liverpool in 2010, the Anfield club have strived to out-think their rivals in the transfer market, rather than simply outspend them.

This has meant that the Premier League giants have been able to negotiate relatively big fees for their own players to cover the cost of transfer targets that they wish to bring to the club.

READ MORE: Liverpool's 10 most expensive transfers of all time

A policy of selling stars if they desire to leave has ensured a quick turnover of players, but without the financial pulling power of Manchester City, Manchester United, or Chelsea, the Reds have had to adapt, and it's reaped the rewards.

They were able to win the Champions League in 2019, and the Premier League for the very first time in 2020, both of which were aided by some of the sales on this list.

=10. Javier Mascherano - £20m (Barcelona, 2010)

Just edging out Dominic Solanke for a place in 10th, Javier Mascherano was certainly more of a success at Anfield than the now-Bournemouth striker, and has definitely experienced more success since leaving.

A key component of Liverpool's midfield for several years, Mascherano helped form a formidable trio alongside Xabi Alonso and Steven Gerrard during his first campaign, but his impressive performances saw Barcelona start sniffing.

The Blaugrana swooped in the summer of 2010, but utilised the Argentine as a central defender for the majority of his time at the club, rather than the midfield role he'd played in England.

He failed to win a trophy at Liverpool, but managed to win a total of 19 at Barcelona. Liverpool could've sold for more.

=10. Danny Ings - £20m (Southampton, 2019)

After impressing Jurgen Klopp with his performances at Burnley, Danny Ings was signed in 2015, but he made just eight starts in all competitions across three seasons, with injuries a big issue.

He was loaned to Southampton in 2018, before that move was made permanent a year later. He displayed his talent most clearly in 2019/20, when he was the second top-scorer in the Premier League with 22 goals.

The move to St Mary's allowed Ings to build up his fitness, and he was even recalled to the England squad in 2020, after five years away.

9. Rhian Brewster - £23.5m (Sheffield United, 2020)

In a perfect example of Liverpool's negotiating prowess, they were able to sell Rhian Brewster for £23.5m aged just 20, despite having not yet made his Premier League debut.

After winning the Golden Boot in England's U-17 World Cup triumph in 2017, Brewster came under the spotlight, although he was never trusted with a Premier League appearance by Klopp.

Instead he went on loan to Swansea City for the second-half of the 2019/20 season, and his 11 goals in 22 games convinced Sheffield United to pay over the odds for him.

Liverpool do have a buy-back clause worth £40m if they wish to re-sign the striker.

8. Mamadou Sakho - £26m (Crystal Palace, 2017)

Just like with Brewster, Liverpool were able to receive large sum of money for a player who didn't add much to the squad when they sold Mamadou Sakho in 2017.

The Frenchman played a key role as Liverpool reached the 2016 Europa League final, but fell out of favour soon after. He was loaned to Crystal Palace for the second-half of the 2016/17 season before the deal was made permanent in the summer.

7. Xabi Alonso - £30m (Real Madrid, 2009)

The year before Mascherano left for Spain, Xabi Alonso swapped Anfield for the Santiago Bernabeu when he completed a big-money move to Real Madrid.

With his contract at Liverpool running until 2012, it was believed he would stay, and club captain Gerrard admitted he was "devastated" by Alonso's departure.

He had helped Liverpool win the 2005 Champions League, scoring in the final, which was a feat he achieved for a second time when he was part of 'La Decima' winning squad in Madrid, although he did miss the final through suspension.

He eventually left Real Madrid for Bayern Munich in 2014.

6. Christian Benteke - £32m (Crystal Palace, 2016)

Just like Sakho, Christian Benteke swapped Liverpool for Crystal Palace after struggling at Anfield.

In fact, Benteke scored just 10 goals in his one season at Liverpool, a far cry from the striker who had netted 49 goals in three seasons at Aston Villa.

His first season at Selhurst Park was encouraging, but he didn't quite continue that form thereafter.

5. Sadio Mane - £35m (Bayern Munich, 2022)

Sadio Mane completed Liverpool's biggest transfer move out of the club in four years when he left to join Bayern Munich in the summer of 2022.

It was a surprising deal given the form of Mane in the months leading up to its completion. He played a major role in the Reds' victories in the League and FA Cups, while his displays for Senegal that helped them win the Africa Cup of Nations elevated him to the level of Ballon d'Or contender. He had already long graduated to the status of Liverpool legend.

Mane, who signed for the Reds in 2016 for a fee of around £34m, went on to play 269 times for the club, scoring 120 goals.

His arrival is generally regarded as the catalyst to the club's golden era under Jurgen Klopp, which saw them win the 2018/19 Champions League as well as the 2019/20 Premier League - the first domestic league crown in English football's modern era.

Sadio Mane, Liverpool, 2021/22

4. Raheem Sterling - £49m (Manchester City, 2015)

Raheem Sterling had been the subject of multiple bids from Man City before he was eventually sold by Liverpool for an initial £44m, that rose to £49m with add-ons.

He had impressed as Liverpool narrowly missed out on the title in 2014, but aged just 20 at the time, it was a huge gamble from Man City.

Sterling would establish himself as one of the best wide attackers in Europe under Pep Guardiola at City.

3. Fernando Torres - £50m (Chelsea, 2011)

In potentially the most active January transfer window in Premier League history, Liverpool sold star striker Fernando Torres to rivals Chelsea, which set a new British transfer record, and made him the sixth most expensive player in history.

It took 'El Nino' 903 minutes of football to score his first goal for Chelsea, and having failed to score more than eight league goals in a season for the Blues, it's fair to say he never replicated his Liverpool form for Chelsea.

However, he did score a crucial goal in the Champions League semi-final against Barcelon as Chelsea went on to lift the trophy.

He was then sold back to boyhood club Atletico Madrid.

2. Luis Suarez - £65m (Barcelona, 2014)

Signed, along with the less successful Andy Carroll, as Torres' replacement, Luis Suarez was a sensation at Liverpool, and he announced himself on the world stage.

His reputation in England is tainted by several non-football related incidents, but his ability on the pitch for Liverpool is unquestioned.

Suarez was a consistent goal-scorer, but in 2013/14 he emerged as one of the world's best players, scoring 31 goals and assisting 11 in the Premier league as Liverpool finished second. He was outstanding that year, and it prompted Barcelona to sign him.

He netted 195 goals and assisted 96 for the Blaugrana, and formed part of the famous 'MSN' trio alongside Lionel Messi and Neymar.

The Uruguayan was sold to Atletico Madrid in 2020, and helped them win the title in his first season.

1. Philippe Coutinho - £106m, potentially rising to £142m (Barcelona, 2018)

The exact value of Philippe Coutinho's move to the Camp Nou is unknown, but it remains one of the most expensive transfers in football history.

After being pursued for a while, Barcelona decided to sign the Brazilian as Neymar's replacement. An initial bid was rejected, and Coutinho handed in a transfer request.

His wish was eventually granted in January 2018, but the move didn't work out. He was even loaned out to Bayern Munich for 2019/20, scoring twice off the bench to knock his parent club out of the Champions league, before returning a year later.

Injuries, however, have taken their toll, and Coutinho looked a fraction of his Liverpool self in Spain.