Some of these teams have made history by spending/receiving huge sums to bring in some valuable players.
Gradually, one can witness the changing dynamics of the Indian football transfer market. For a considerable period of time, clubs usually dealt in minimal transfer fees. There still exists a pattern of sorts to rope in players who are out of contract and primarily construct the squad for the upcoming campaign with that approach. There is the case of Jose Ramirez Barreto moving to Mohun Bagan from Mahindra United for a hefty amount believed to be around ₹60 lacs.
Now, there seems to be willingness amongst the clubs to breach such barriers and acquire marquee players or prodigious starlets for a fairly high fee. This confidence stems from a robust financial backing from reliable investors. Hugo Bomous’s move from FC Goa to Mumbai City is another instance of this phenomenon. In this article, we will shed light on the top five transfer fees received by Indian clubs.
It is a unique piece, as a couple of footballers mentioned were also bought by foreign clubs. Those teams paid an exorbitant amount to the Indian sides, which is in some ways a reflection of some sought-after and significant international players plying their trade in the country.
5. Manvir Singh from FC Goa to ATK Mohun Bagan – INR 80 lacs
There is certainly a dearth of prolific domestic goalscorers currently in Indian football. Considering that Sunil Chhetri is not leaving Bengaluru FC anytime soon, teams definitely need to find other alternatives to fill the void of an Indian forward on their roster.
Accordingly, ATK Mohun Bagan paid INR 80 lacs to secure his services from FC Goa. The 24-year-old represented the Gaurs in three ISL campaigns, but could notch only three goals and a solitary assist in 47 matches. It is important to note that he didn’t attain consistent time on the field either over the course of the last three years.
The team from Kolkata are definitely ambitious and thus looking to hone upcoming Indian talents to form a strengthened core of the team. They have shown a lot of faith in the former Mohammedan Sporting player and it is now up to the striker to repay the same on the field.
4. Michael Soosairaj from Jamshedpur FC to ATK – INR 90 lacs
Michael Soosairaj rose to fame during his time at I-League outfit Chennai City FC in the 2017-18 season. He made his move to Jamshedpur FC in the next season, with the Men of Steel paying INR 25 Lacs as transfer fee. In the next season, he had a promising campaign with Jamshedpur FC and that was when ATK knocked the door to acquire the forward. They paid the 25-year-old’s buyout clause valued at INR 90 lacs. Sportstar reported that Chennai City FC earned a 10% sell-on fee from the move too, as Soosairaj had been a part of the I-League club previously and the move made him the only Indian player involved in two paid transfers.
He scored three goals in 20 appearances for ATK in their title-winning run last time out. The player from Tamil Nadu demonstrated fine footwork, an ability to deliver appropriate crosses and composure in front of goal. His move to the Kolkata club is another testament of the team looking to nourish Indian goalscorers and also their readiness to shell out a hefty sum for the same.
3. Edu Garcia from Bengaluru FC to Zhejiang Lucheng, Pedro Manzi from Chennai City to Albirex Niigata, Liston Colaco from Hyderabad FC to ATK Mohun Bagan – INR 1 crore
In February 2018, Spanish midfielder Edu Garcia put in a transfer request at Bengaluru FC to facilitate his move to Chinese club Zhejiang Lucheng. After intense negotiations, the JSW Group-owned outfit managed to procure INR 1 crore from the foreign suitors to let go of Garcia. This was one of the rare instances when an international club paid a transfer fee to obtain a player plying his trade for an Indian club. .
Earlier last year, Chennai City FC sold their celebrated striker Pedro Manzi to Japanese J2 league club Albirex Niigata for INR 1 crore. The 31-year-old was vital to the club’s I-League victory in 2018-19. He scored 21 goals and assisted a couple in 18 appearances to lead the club to the title.
Hyderabad FC obtained a similar fee for the transfer of Liston Colaco to ATK Mohun Bagan earlier this year. The Goan forward was one of the standout performers not just at HFC but also in the entire league, in the 2020-21 season.
2. Hugo Boumous from FC Goa to Mumbai City FC – INR 1.76 crore
Mumbai City FC have made remarkable moves in the transfer market ever since the conclusion of the 2019-20 season. The City Football Group-backed club agreed to pay Hugo Boumous’ buyout clause worth INR 1.76 crore, despite resistance from FC Goa. The amount involved in this move makes it the second-highest transfer fee paid for a player in Indian football.
The French-Moroccan attacking midfielder’s existing contract with the Gaurs lasted until 2022. However, the Islanders communicated their offer to acquire Boumous from his previous club via an e-mail, after the player announced his departure from FC Goa through an Instagram post on the evening of July 27th, 2020. The 25-year-old was adjudged the ISL Player of the Season in 2019-20, as he bagged 11 goals and notched 10 assists in 15 encounters in the league. He followed that up with another impressive season with Mumbai City, as they won the title in the end.
1. Hugo Boumous from Mumbai City to ATK Mohun Bagan – INR 2.0 crore (approx.)
On July 8, 2021, Boumous became the subject of another record transfer deal, when ATK Mohun Bagan bettered Mumbai City’s record above to sign the same player.
The Mariners shelled out a record ₹2 crore transfer fee (approx.) for the French-Moroccan, who was originally contracted to the Islanders for another season. “ATK Mohun Bagan have wanted to sign him ever since the season concluded. Their early offers were rejected by Mumbai City, before they finally agreed to sell him for a record transfer fee of approximately ₹2 crores,” a source close to the developments informed Khel Now.
In another first for an overseas signing, the attacking midfielder also agreed terms on a five-year deal worth more than ₹12.5 crores with his new club. It is the biggest and the longest deal for any foreign player in the history of Indian football.