Who are the 10 most expensive January transfers of all time?

Aloisio Hernández
Aloisio Hernández
  • Updated: 4 Feb 2024 17:04 GMT
  • 4 min read
Enzo Fernandez, Chelsea, 2023/24
© IMAGO

The 2024 January window was fairly quiet from a transfer perspective, with most big clubs deciding against spending huge amounts of money to bolster their squad.

It was a direct contrast from 2023, after last year's January transfer window produced two of the biggest deals of any winter market ever as Chelsea splashed out €121 million on Enzo Fernandez and an initial €70m on Mykhailo Mudryk.

Article continues under the video

Although clubs rarely enjoy making big signings midway through the season, that rarely seems to stop the biggest sides in the world from spending untold fortunes on players.

So who are the 10 biggest January transfer windows in the history of the sport?

Who are the most expensive January signings ever?

The most expensive January transfer window signing came in 2018, when Philippe Coutinho made the move from Barcelona to Liverpool for a remarkable fee of €135 million.

Although it wasn’t the highest fee of all time, it certainly wasn’t far off it and comes in fourth in that particular list.

In second place is a transfer from 2023 as Chelsea made Enzo Fernandez the most expensive central midfielder ever by paying Benfica €121m on Deadline Day after a drawn-out pursuit of the Argentine star.

Chelsea had already continued their incredible spending spree earlier in the window by splashing out an initial €70m on Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhailo Mudryk. He is fifth on the all-time January list.

Ahead of him is Virgil van Dijk and Dusan Vlahovic.

In fourth place is another deal that involves Liverpool, but this time the Anfield side were the ones signing the cheques. In the very same window that Coutinho made the move to Spain, Van Dijk joined from Southampton when Liverpool signed him for just under €85m.

Mykhailo Mudryk, Chelsea
© IMAGO - Mykhailo Mudryk, Chelsea

In fifth is another relatively recent addition to the list in the form of Dusan Vlahovic, who made the somewhat controversial move from Fiorentina to Juventus in 2021 for a deal worth €83.5m.

Next on the list is another central defender who made the move to a Premier League giant - Aymeric Laporte. Signed from Athletic Club in January 2018, the Spaniard ended up costing Manchester City €65m.

Bruno Fernandes also moved to Manchester for €65m in January, with the Portuguese midfielder joining Man Utd from Sporting CP in early 2020.

Christian Pulisic made his permanent move to Chelsea in January 2019 when the English side agreed to pay Borussia Dortmund €64m for the winger and he is eighth on this list.

In ninth place is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who made a similar trip from Germany to England when Arsenal handed over an incredible €63.8m for the Gabon international.

Diego Costa completes the top 10, courtesy of his €60m transfer from Chelsea to Atletico Madrid in January 2018.

Top 10 highest January transfer fees in history

PlayerBuying club Selling club Fee
1. Philippe CoutinhoBarcelona Liverpool €135m
2. Enzo FernandezBenficaChelsea€121m
3. Virgil Van Dijk Liverpool Southampton€84.7m
4. Dusan Vlahovic JuventusFiorentina€83.5m
5. Mykhailo Mudryk Shakhtar DonetskChelsea€70m
6. Aymeric LaporteManchester CityAthletic Bilbao€65m
= Bruno FernandesSportingMan Utd€65m
8. Christian PulisicBorussia DortmundChelsea€64m
9. Pierre Emerick AubameyangBorussia DortmundArsenal€63.8m
10. Diego CostaAtletico MadridChelsea€60m

Never miss the next big transfer!

Get the latest transfer insights and analyses directly in your mailbox.