Manchester City FC 2017-18 team is the most expensive football (soccer) team ever assembled, according to a new report from the Neuchâtel, Switzerland based CIES Football Observatory. This is based on the total transfer fees, the payments teams pay each other to purchase players, which Manchester City spent to assemble current squad.
Manchester City invested a record value of €853 million , or about $1.023 billion, in transfer fees to assemble its current squad, according to CIES. Its latest acquisitions included two players from France’s Monaco — Benjamin Mendy, the team’s most expensive new player at about $68 million, and Bernardo Silva, who cost $59 million. Kyle Walker, who came over from Tottenham, cost some £46 million, or about $60 million.
This value is €850 million for Paris St-Germain and €784 million for previous record holder Manchester United, much of €850 million spent by Paris Saint-Germain coming via the roughly $264 million it spent to pry Brazilian superstar Neymar from Barcelona and another deal with Monaco — a two-step, $220 million purchase of Kylian Mbappe that combines a loan for this season with a purchase next year.
Neymar was reportedly a potential target of Manchester City’s, too, though the team ultimately decided to buy another Brazilian attacker, Gabriel Jesus, who cost about $42 million to acquire from Brazilian club Palmeiras.
Transfer fees amount to cash payments — which mostly go to the teams themselves, though players often get a cut — to buy out players’ contracts. Trades, which are far more common in American professional sports, are relatively rare in high-level world soccer.
PSG’s Neymar purchase was the summer’s biggest deal by far, followed by Barcelona’s $125 million acquisition of Ousmane Dembele from Germany’s Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United’s £76 million, or about $100 million, buy of Romelu Lukaku from Everton.
The Mbappe deal and Liverpool’s $63 million acquisition of Naby Keita from Red Bull Leipzig, which will also officially close next year, were the third- and fifth-most expensive deals of the summer, respectively.
Manchester United, Chelsea and Barcelona rounded out the top five most expensive squads, according to CIES, with Real Madrid next on the list.
Manchester City’s total transfer fee expenditure to make up its squad went up by €242m compared to September 2016. The increase was even stronger for Paris St-Germain: +€395m (including the €180m investment for Mbappé). The figure for Manchester United is “only” €66m higher than one year ago, while that of Champions League winners Real Madrid went down by €138m.
Photo: Manchester City FC 2017-18 team, the costliest squad in football history
The six biggest English teams are in the top ten positions of the rankings. The aggregated values per league are €5.7bn for the Premier League (on average €287m per team, +28% compared to previous year), €2.4bn for the Serie A (€122m per team, +26%), €2.2bn for the Liga (€110m per team, +9%), as well as €1.9bn for the Bundesliga (€107m per team, +19%) and the Ligue 1 (€93m per team, +78%) according to CIES.