Liverpool's 10 biggest sales of all time

Cameron Smith
Cameron Smith
  • Updated: 18 Sept 2023 19:36 BST
  • 6 min read
Philippe Coutinho, Liverpool
© ProShots

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 large fees for their own players to cover the cost of transfer targets that they wish to acquire.

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

A policy of letting players leave if they get itchy feet has helped ensure a quick turnover of players. Without the financial pulling power of Manchester City, Manchester United, or Chelsea, the Reds have had to adapt, but it's reaped significant 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. Rhian Brewster - €26m (Sheffield United, 2020)

In a perfect example of Liverpool's negotiating prowess, they were able to sell Rhian Brewster for €26m aged just 20, despite the striker having not yet made his Premier League debut.

After winning the Golden Boot in England's under-17 World Cup triumph in 2017, Brewster came under the spotlight, although he was never trusted with a top-flight appearance from 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 €46m if they wish to re-sign the striker but there is virtually no chance they take up their option.

9. Mamadou Sakho - €28.2m (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.

He left Palace to return to France in 2021.

8. Christian Benteke - €31.2m (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.

7. Sadio Mane - €32m (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 Cup and the FA Cup, while his displays for Senegal, which 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 left the club having scored 120 goals for Liverpool, although his time at Bayern Munich didn't go as planned and he left after just one year to join Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia.

Sadio Mane, Liverpool, 2021/22
© ProShots

6. Xabi Alonso - €34.5m (Real Madrid, 2009)

The year before Javier 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 that final through suspension.

Alonso eventually left Real for Bayern Munich in 2014.

5. Fabinho - €46.7m (Al-Ittihad, 2023)

Fabinho was one of the world's best defensive midfielder's during his peak at Liverpool, and his role in the team helped Jurgen Klopp finally win the Premier League in 2019.

However, despite his brilliance, Fabinho begin to lag in 2022 and his form coincided with Liverpool dropping out of the top four in the 2022-23 season.

After weeks of speculation, the Brazilian was then sold to Al-Ittihad for €46.7m, with Reds team-mate Jordan Henderson joining him in the Saudi Pro League.

4. Fernando Torres - €58.5m (Chelsea, 2011)

In one of the most active January transfer windows in Premier League history, Liverpool sold star striker Fernando Torres to rivals Chelsea in 2011, which set a new British transfer record, and made him the sixth most expensive player in history.

It took Torres 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 at Stamford Bridge.

However, he did score a crucial goal in the Champions League semi-final against Barcelona as Chelsea went on to lift the trophy. Torres was then sold back to boyhood club Atletico Madrid.

3. Raheem Sterling - €63.7m (Manchester City, 2015)

Raheem Sterling had been the subject of multiple bids from Man City before he was eventually sold by Liverpool for a fee that rose to €63.7m 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 before leaving for Chelsea in 2022.

2. Luis Suarez - €81.7m (Barcelona, 2014)

Signed, along with the less successful Andy Carroll, as Torres' replacement, Luis Suarez was a sensation at Liverpool, where he truly 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 unquestionable.

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 La Liga title in his first season.

1. Philippe Coutinho - €135m (Barcelona, 2018)

Philippe Coutinho's move to the Camp Nou remains one of the most expensive transfers in football history.

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

His wish to join Barca was eventually granted in January 2018, but the move didn't work out. Coutinho 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, took their toll, and Coutinho looked a fraction of his Liverpool self in Spain, eventually moving to Aston Villa after scoring just 25 goals in 106 Barcelona appearances.

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