The German top flight clubs are known for smart business rather than overpaying in the transfer market.
The Summer transfer window is in full swing with clubs across Europe spending big to strengthen their squads for the upcoming season. We have already seen a few big money moves already and can be assured there will be a few more before the window closes.
The German clubs are known for their smart business in the transfer window and are hardly seen to be overspending. However, that doesn’t mean they are afraid to dig in their purses when needed. Over the years there have been some big money splashes by the clubs from Bundesliga. Here is a list of the top 10 most expensive transfers in Bundesliga history.
10. Benjamin Pavard (£31.50m to Bayern Munich)
Benjamin Pavard is technically a right back but his versatility allows him to play also as a centre-back and a defensive midfielder. The 2017-18 was a monumental season for the French International. He played every minute of that season, moving to the centre-back position towards the end of the season for VfB Stuttgart and almost qualifying for the Europa League position. His wonder goal against Argentina in the World Cup of 2018 brought him to the spotlight on the international stage. It didn’t take long for the big clubs to come knocking and in the winter transfer window of 2019, Bayern Munich announced Pavard will join them the next season. Bayern Munich signed Pavard for an amount of £31.50m.
9. Mario Gotze (£33.30m to Bayern Munich)
Borussia Dortmund won back to back Bundesligas in 2011 and 2012 and reached the final of the UEFA Champions League in 2013. Mario Gotze was a pivotal member of the Borussia Dortmund team at that time. This led to rivals Bayern Munich turning their attention towards him. The Bavarian club triggered his release clause in April 2013 and by the summer of 2013, Mario Gotze was a Bayern Munich player. Bayern paid £33.30m to Bayern Munich for his services making Gotze the second most expensive German player at that time.
8. Arturo Vidal (£35.33m to Bayern Munich)
Vidal was one of the big name midfielders during the first half of the 2010s. After winning 4 back to back Scudetti with Juventus and reaching the final of the UEFA Champions League in 2015 in which he played an integral part, he moved to Bayern Munich in the summer of 2015. The midfielder cost Bayern Munich £35.33m. The Chilean then went on to win three back to back Bundesliga titles with Bayern Munich before moving on to FC Barcelona.
7. Javi Martinez (£36m to Bayern Munich)
Javi Martinez made his name at Athletic Bilbao, where he played for 6 seasons before his big-money move to Bayern Munich. The midfielder moved to Bayern Munich in the summer of 2012. Bayern Munich broke their transfer record of 50 years when they paid £36m to Athletic Bilbao for Javi Martinez. His signing went on to be a success as he won 9 Bundesliga titles and 2 Champions League with the German club.
6. Corentin Tolisso (£37.35m to Bayern Munich)
Martinez’s transfer record was broken by Corentin Tolisso when he signed for Bayern Munich from Lyon for £37.35m. This was also the then record for the highest amount Lyon had ever received for the sale of a player. The midfielder signed for Bayern Munich in the summer of 2017. Tolisso’s big-money move came on the back of excellent performances in the previous seasons. He had many lucrative offers from other clubs as well, most notably Napoli.
5. Dayot Upamecano (£38.25m to Bayern Munich)
Upamecano played a big role in RB Leipzig’s dream run to the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League in 2019-20. This caught the attention of many big clubs all over Europe. The French international ultimately chose Leipzig’s German rivals Bayern Munich who triggered his release clause. The defender moved to Bayern Munich in the summer of 2021 for a sum of £38.25m.
4. Julian Draxler (£38.7m to Wolfsburg)
By the time Draxler joined Wolfsburg at the age of 22 he had already won the World Cup with Germany and the DfB Pokal Cup with Schalke. He had made 171 appearances for Schalke and scored 30 goals. It was no surprise that Wolfsburg made their record transfer to bring the young German winger to represent them. Wolfsburg paid £38.7 to Schalke when Draxler signed for them on deadline day 2015. However, the move was far from a success as he stayed only one and a half season with Wolfsburg before moving on to Paris Saint-Germain.
3. Leroy Sane (£54m to Bayern Munich)
Sane had made a big name for himself in the Premier League during his time with Manchester City. The winger became the only German to win the PFA young player of the year. Sane won three Premier League titles with Manchester City. When Robben and Ribery left Bayern, Sane was chosen to be their successor and Bayern decided to sign the German international. Sane signed for Bayern Munich in the summer of 2020 for a sum of £54m.
2. Matthijs de Ligt (£60.30m to Bayern Munich)
The most recent transfer to feature in this list, de Ligt’s move to Bayern Munich from Juventus was finalized only a few weeks ago. Bayern Munich signed De Ligt from Juventus at a price of £60.30m. However, this isn’t the highest tag against his name as he moved from Ajax to Juventus for a price of £63m in 2019. It remains to be seen if the Dutch defender can live up to his expensive transfer fee.
1. Lucas Hernandez (£72m to Bayern Munich)
The most expensive transfer in Bundesliga’s history is Lucas Hernandez’s move from Atletico Madrid to Bayern Munich in the summer of 2019. The move cost the Bavarian club £72m. The French International had made more than 100 appearances for Atletico Madrid before joining the German club and had also won the World Cup with France in 2018. The defender went on to win the treble with Bayern Munich in his first season of arriving. He has proved to be a successful investment for the German club.