These players cost a big amount and switched clubs during the winter transfer window.

The winter and the summer transfer windows are very different from each other in a number of ways. January transfers allows the teams to reinforce their squads and plan according to the injuries and ambitions. While some clubs recruit to fight for the title, some recruit to save themselves from relegation.

However, the selling clubs also refrain from letting go of their important players in the middle of the campaign, unless the fee involved is high enough. Usually the January window does not experience high-profile transfers, but there have been a few exceptions.

Here are the five most expensive January transfers of all time in Europe.

6. Diego Costa – €60m

Atletico Madrid and Diego Costa terminated their contract on mutual consent on January 1, 2021

Atletico Madrid re-signed Diego Costa from Chelsea in January 2018. The striker had earlier joined the London-based club in 2014 and returned to Spain after spending four years with the Blues. The Spanish outfit had to spend approximately €60m to sign the player back.

However, his second stint with Atletico Madrid only lasted two years, as his contract was terminated by mutual consent on January 1, 2021. The forward is a free agent right now, and has been linked with a move at several top clubs in Europe.

5. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – €63.75m

Aubameyang was one of Arsenal’s most expensive signings ever

Arsenal’s skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was signed by the Gunners on January 31, 2018 from Borussia Dortmund. The forward cost the Gunners €63.75m, becoming one of their most expensive signings ever.

Since his move, the Gabonese has scored 78 goals and 16 assists for Arsenal in 129 overall appearances.

4. Aymeric Laporte – €65m

Laporte is currently in the sidelines for the emergence of John Stones and Ruben Dias

Aymeric Laporte signed for Manchester City on January 30, 2018. Pep Guardiola signed the player from Athletic Bilbao in order to fortify his defence, an area where he had already spent over €200m. 

The Cityzens paid the La Liga outfit upwards of €65m. The Frenchman played a huge role in City’s title win in the 2018-19 season. However, he has had to deal with long-term injuries and is sitting on the sidelines due to the recent resurgence of John Stones and recruitment of Ruben Dias. 

3. Virgil van Dijk – €84.65m

Virgil van Dijk was the most expensive defender when he signed for Liverpool

Liverpool’s recruitment of Virgil van Dijk turned out to be a sensational move for them. He quickly became one of the best defenders in the world and led the Reds to a UEFA Champions League triumph and Premier League title in 2019-20.

At the time of his signing, the transfer fee of €84.65m (£76.19m) paid to Southampton made him one of the the most-expensive defender ever. 

2. Mykhailo Mudryk (Shakhtar Donetsk to Chelsea) – £88.5 million

The 22-year-old sensation Mykhailo Mudryk has signed for Chelsea for £88.5m from Shakhtar Donetsk in the January transfer window of 2023. He was an Arsenal target for a long time but the London club swooped in and took over the deal to take him to Stamford Bridge. He became the second highest signing for the Blues in their history.

1. Philippe Coutinho – €145m

Coutinho’s sale enabled Liverpool to buy Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker

Phillippe Coutinho remains the most-expensive among all January transfers ever. FC Barcelona went out of their way to sign the Brazilian from Liverpool and paid them around €145m (£130.50m) for his services.

The money generated from Neymar’s sale paid for the move. Coutinho’s sale to Barcelona enabled Liverpool to sign players like Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker. Coutinho remains the second-most expensive signing ever, tied with Kylian Mbappe’s move to Paris Saint-Germain. 

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**This article was last updated on 17 January 2023.