The 10 most expensive transfers of the 2021 summer window

Nicholas Hughes
Jack Grealish scores for Man City against Norwich

The summer transfer window has come to a close, with clubs finalising their squads ahead of the 2021/22 season taking shape.

Plenty of money has been spent throughout the window, though with financial implications of 18-months’ worth of football being played in a pandemic, free transfers were quite prevalent.

The likes of Lionel Messi, Sergio Ramos, Sergio Aguero and David Alaba all changed clubs on frees, but there were still a number of big transfer fees parted with across the summer.

Here is a final look at the 10 most expensive transfers of the 2021 summer window.

10. Emiliano Buendia (Norwich City to Aston Villa, €36m)

Aston Villa made an early statement with the signing of Emiliano Buendia from Norwich City, warding off interest from Arsenal to bring the Argentine to Villa Park for €36 million.

The attacking midfielder had an outstanding season with Norwich last year, with 15 goals and 15 assists in 39 league games as the Canaries won the Championship and earned promotion back to the Premier League.

The 24-year-old has started well at his new club, featuring in all three Premier League games so far and scoring his first goal in a 1-1 draw against Brentford.

9. Tammy Abraham (Chelsea to Roma, €40m)

Tammy Abraham was left frustrated by a lack of first-team opportunities after Thomas Tuchel took over at Chelsea, and Jose Mourinho offered him a way out with Roma.

Chelsea were happy to let him go for €40m, and the move so far seems to have worked out perfectly for both parties.

Abraham has shone in his first two games for the Giallorossi, with two assists on his debut followed by a first goal in a 4-0 win on matchday two.

8. Ibrahima Konate (RB Leipzig to Liverpool, €40m)

After injury crisis at centre-back last season, Jurgen Klopp saw to the issue very quickly by snapping up Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig for €40m.

The 22-year-old has struggled with injuries himself over the past two seasons but has shown himself as one of Europe’s top young defenders, with Liverpool hoping he will be the successor to Virgil van Dijk.

The Frenchman is yet to make his competitive debut for the Reds, though with games set to start speeding up after the international break, there should be opportunities aplenty for him to impress.

7. Raphael Varane (Real Madrid to Manchester United, €40m)

Another centre-back, and another €40m move. Manchester United finally found their centre-back to partner Harry Maguire, securing the signature of Raphael Varane from Real Madrid.

The Red Devils have been linked with the Frenchman for some time, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer got his man at long last.

Varane made his debut in United’s 1-0 away win over Wolves, marking his first appearance with an assist to Mason Greenwood for the winner.

6. Dayot Upamecano (RB Leipzig to Bayern Munich, €42.5m)

Joining Konate on the way out of Leipzig was Dayot Upamecano, who sealed a €42.5m move to German champions Bayern Munich.

It was the continuation of a tough summer for Leipzig, who lost head coach Julian Nagelsmann and midfielder Marcel Sabitzer to Bayern as well as Upamecano.

The 22-year-old has started all three of Bayern’s Bundesliga games so far and has already won his first trophy at the club in the form of the German Super Cup.

5. Ben White (Brighton to Arsenal, €58.5m)

The biggest signing of Arsenal’s very expensive summer window was Ben White, who joined from Brighton for €58.5m.

The 23-year-old excelled at Leeds United on loan two seasons ago before breaking out in the top flight with the Seagulls in the 2020/21 season.

After going to the Euros with England in the summer, White made his Gunners debut in an opening day defeat to Brentford and has yet to feature again after contracting COVID-19.

4. Achraf Hakimi (Inter to PSG, €60m)

Remarkably, Achraf Hakimi is the only player that PSG spent a transfer fee on in this summer window, with his €60m transfer from Inter coming in as the fourth most expensive deal.

PSG secured the signing amid reported interest from Chelsea, taking advantage of a fire sale at Inter as they were left reeling financially.

Hakimi has already been excellent for PSG, with a goal and two assists from right wing-back in his first four games in Ligue 1.

3. Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund to Manchester United, €85m)

Manchester United is only the club to feature twice in the top 10, with Jadon Sancho’s €85m deal from Borussia Dortmund finally completed after a 12-month long saga.

The Red Devils were poised to add the 21-year-old to their squad last season but the move fell through, meaning Sancho played out a final season in Germany.

Still working his way to full fitness after taking part in the Euros, Sancho has started once and come off the bench in the other two Premier League games for United so far this season.

2. Romelu Lukaku (Inter to Chelsea, €115m)

The return of Romelu Lukaku to Chelsea is undoubtedly one of the most exciting deals of the window, with the Blues shelling out €115m to bring him back to Stamford Bridge.

The Belgian was signed by Chelsea as a teenager before moving on to Everton and Manchester United before two years at Inter, where he won the Serie A and was named the league’s MVP last season.

The 28-year-old immediately welcomed himself back into the club with a debut goal against rivals Arsenal and will be chasing silverware with a very strong Chelsea side.

1. Jack Grealish (Aston Villa to Manchester City, €117.5m)

Manchester City broke their transfer record by activating a release clause in Jack Grealish’s contract, taking him from Aston Villa for a staggering €117.5m.

Grealish was sensational for Villa last season and backed it up with solid performances at the Euros when he was played, forcing City’s hand into the transfer market.

The 25-year-old has been thrust straight into the team, with a goal and an assist already in his first three games in sky blue.