Transfer records are broken in almost every window with fees for footballers seemingly on a never-ending upward curve.
This summer will again see huge sums exchanged for new talent, several of which could surpass previous landmarks. With the transfer window well underway, we’ve decided to look at some current transfer records.
Here are the most expensive players in history from each confederation.
UEFA – Kylian Mbappe (£163m)
Kylian Mbappe is the most expensive European footballer of all time and the second-most expensive player in history.
Paris Saint-Germain spent £163m to sign the forward following his exhilarating emergence at Monaco, with the teenager signing on an initial loan deal before completing his £163m move to the capital.
Mbappe has continued his evolution into one of the game’s greatest talents at PSG, for who he has scored a club-record 212 goals in 260 appearances in all competitions. Still just 24, he has won six
Ligue 1 titles, been named as the division’s Player of the Year on four occasions and led the league for goals in five consecutive campaigns.
Mbappe making his defender dance 🤯🕺 pic.twitter.com/8vjzENHo2J
— Ligue 1 English (@Ligue1_ENG) May 21, 2023
Mbappe was named as France captain earlier this year and has scored 40 goals for the national side, including 12 in 14 World Cup appearances after a Golden Boot winning campaign in Qatar last winter.
Arguably the world’s finest footballer right now, his future is uncertain after informing PSG that he has no intention of extending his current deal.
CONMEBOL – Neymar (£198m)
Neymar holds the record as the world’s most expensive footballer after completing a £198m move to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017.
PSG activated the release clause in the forward’s contract at Barcelona, to secure the signing of the Brazilian in a record-breaking deal.
Neymar was won five Ligue 1 titles at PSG and has scored 118 goals in 173 games, but he has been consistently criticised during his time in Paris for long spells on the treatment table.
THE ARTIST, NEYMAR JR. 🪄 🎨 pic.twitter.com/acdHQSxYya
— Ligue 1 English (@Ligue1_ENG) July 8, 2023
The 31-year-old signed for PSG in the hope of escaping Lionel Messi’s shadow at Barcelona, but has failed to take over from his former team-mate as the world’s best talent despite hopes he could do so. PSG’s failure to make an impression in Europe has also contributed to criticism of Neymar, who has been linked with an exit from the Parc des Princes.
CAF – Nicolas Pepe (£72m)
Arsenal’s club-record deal to sign Nicolas Pepe saw the winger become African football’s most expensive talent, as the Gunners beat off competition from several top clubs to sign the Ivorian from Lille.
Pepe had starred with Lille to score 22 goals and provide 11 assists in 2018/19, performances which saw Arsenal splash £72m to sign him.
It is a deal that provided the north Londoners with precious little return.
Arsenal are reportedly willing to terminate Nicolas Pepe’s contract this summer! 😳
— DR Sports (@drsportsmedia) July 11, 2023
Despite flashes of talent and fine form, Pepe struggled to turn cameos into consistent end product. He scored 16 goals and provided just eight assists in 80 league appearances for Arsenal, before the emergence of Bukayo Saka saw the winger fall out of favour.
Pepe spent the 2022/23 campaign on loan at Nice and is expected to depart this summer. Arsenal will not expect to recoup much of their investment.
CONCACAF – Christian Pulisic (£58m)
Christian Pulisic is the poster-boy for football in the United States and is the most expensive footballer from the CONCACAF region at £58m.
Having departed for Borussia Dortmund as a teenager, he signed for Chelsea in a big-money deal after impressing in the Bundesliga. Pulisic shone during an encouraging debut season in the Premier League that delivered 11 goals in all competitions, but he has since struggled to maintain those levels.
Christian Pulisic’s career at Chelsea:
– 145 appearances
– 26 goals
– 21 assists
– 1x UEFA Champions League
– 1x UEFA Super Cup
– 1x FIFA Club World Cup
Time for the next chapter 🇮🇹 pic.twitter.com/YuVJWCeoTI
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) July 12, 2023
The 24-year-old departed Chelsea this summer to sign for AC Milan in a cut-price deal worth around £20m. Pulisic – who has 25 goals in 60 appearances for the USA – will hope he can revive his fortunes in Milan after a frustrating period at Stamford Bridge.
AFC – Shoya Nakajima (£29.4m)
Asian football’s most expensive export is Shoya Nakajima, who signed for Qatar’s Al-Duhail SC from Portuguese outfit Portimonense S.C. for a fee of £29.4m in 2019.
Nakajima had earned admirers after an excellent 2017/18 season in Portugal, where the Japan international scored 10 goals and laid on 10 assists in the Primeira Liga. After a strong start to the following campaign, he joined Al-Duhail SC to become the most expensive Asian footballer in history.
The move failed to work out as hoped however, with Nakjima making just seven appearances before returning to Portugal with Porto.
🔴⚪️🔚 Shoya Nakajima is no more at Antalyaspor. The parties have mutually agreed to end the contract.
— Football in Türkiye ⚽️🇹🇷 (@KaralarOsman1) July 4, 2023
His career has since stalled and after an underwhelming period at Porto he spent time on loan with Al Ain and Portimonense before signing for Antalyaspor last summer. He was sent off just 20 seconds into his debut for the Turkish side and has his contract terminated this summer.
South Korea’s Kim Min-Jae is set to overtake Nakajima as the costliest AFC player, with Bayern Munich on the verge of signing the centre-back from Napoli.
OFC – Chris Wood (£25m)
Chris Wood is the most expensive footballer from the Oceania Football Confederation, following the forward’s £25m move to Newcastle.
Wood signed for Newcastle from relegation rivals Burnley during the 2022 January transfer window, as the Magpies sought the signing of a centre-forward to boost their survival hopes. The New Zealand international failed to make the impression hoped however, and scored just four league goals in 35 appearances across 12 months at St James’ Park.
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) April 8, 2022
After a loan spell at Nottingham Forest, he made the move permanent in 2023. Wood is New Zealand’s all-time record goalscorer with 33 goals for his country.