Football fans are often fascinated with player transfers and mega-money moves, the ever growing finances involved in dealings between clubs seemingly showing no signs of slowing down.
Less documented, however, is the prising of managerial talents from rivals clubs, with Chelsea’s buyout of Derby County’s Frank Lampard amongst the most recent within the Premier League.
We’ve decided to look back at some of the most high profile and costly moves in coaching history, here are the six most expensive managerial buyout clauses ever paid:
Brendan Rodgers – €6.2m (Swansea City to Liverpool)
Rewind almost a decade ago and Brendan Rodgers was a young innovative manager overachieving at Swansea City, leading the club to promotion to the Premier League – the first ever Welsh side to do so – before consolidating in the top flight with an impressive 11th-placed finish.
Rodgers’ achievements soon garnered the attention of the division’s leading clubs and it was Liverpool who made their move for the young coach, the Merseyside club in the midst of a difficult period following the nightmare reign of Roy Hodgson and failed renaissance under former club great Kenny Dalglish.
Having only signed a new long term contract in South Wales just five months prior to his departure, Rodgers buyout was a fee of €6.2m and he headed to Anfield in June 2012.
Rodgers time at Liverpool lasted just over three years and involved mixed success, though their 2013/14 title charge is remembered fondly by the club’s fans as the Reds narrowly missed out on the title to Manchester City.
Jose Mourinho – €8m (Inter Milan to Real Madrid)
Remember when Jose was really great?
The Mourinho currently occupying the Tottenham dugout is perhaps a pale imitation of the Jose who twice conquered Europe in the early part of his managerial career, lifting the Champions League in stunning style at Porto before guiding Inter Milan to treble success, via a trophy-laden first spell at Chelsea.
That treble-winning season at the San Siro – the first ever Italian side to achieve the feat – persuaded Real Madrid to come calling for his services, and the Spanish giants made Mourinho the most expensive manager in history in 2010.
Mourinho swaggered into the Bernabeu to face his most difficult challenge to date, taking on Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering Barcelona side both at home and abroad.
A three-year spell saw one La Liga title – won with a record points tally – one Copa Del Rey and a Spanish Super Cup added to his extensive silverware collection, but in typical Jose style, fraught relationships with several key players ultimately led to his departure.
Ruben Amorin – €10m (Braga to Sporting Lisbon)
The newest inclusion on this feature, Amorin’s move from Braga to Sporting Lisbon earlier this month catapulted the 35-year-old into the list of most expensive managerial appointments of all time.
The former Portugal international’s move to the capital club has capped a remarkable rise in first-team management, Amorin only taking charge of Braga for two months and just 13 fixtures in all competitions.
That brief spell has seen Braga remain unbeaten in league action, however, in addition to securing five consecutive victories against Portugal’s ‘big three’ of Sporting, Benfica and Porto combined.
Amorin also oversaw Braga’s Portuguese League Cup final victory over the latter, and his immediate impact quickly gathered the attention of a Sporting side seeking a new head coach following the sacking of Silas.
Amorin will now hope to bring success to the capital after a chaotic recent period in the club’s history, the Lisbon side currently fourth in the Primeira Liga and a huge 18 points adrift of leaders Porto.
Brendan Rodgers – €10.5m (Celtic to Leicester)
A second appearance in the top five for Rodgers, whose move from Celtic to Leicester in February 2019 made him the second most expensive managerial appointment in history.
Having been sacked by Liverpool, the Northern Irishman rebuilt his coaching career in Scottish football at Celtic, guiding the club to an unbeaten league campaign in his first season in charge and a wealth of silverware including back-to-back domestic trebles.
Rodgers’ performances north of the border persuaded Leicester to bring him back to the Premier League, signing a long term contract at the King Power Stadium and impressing since his arrival at the Foxes.
His first full season in charge has seen Rodgers lead Leicester towards an unlikely top four finish, the club sitting comfortably in the Champions League places at present and heading towards a return to Europe’s elite.
Rodgers is one of just two managers – alongside Jose Mourinho (Porto to Chelsea) – to feature twice in the top 10 for most expensive buyout clauses ever paid.
Andre Villas-Boas – €15m (Porto to Chelsea)
Whilst many of these costly coaches have delivered success upon their appointment, Villas-Boas ill-fated move to Chelsea is proof that lavish spending is not always a guarantee of silverware or progression.
The Portuguese had been labelled as the second coming of Jose Mourinho after his emergence at Porto, guiding the club to the Europa League title at just 33-years-old to gather a reputation as one of Europe’s most promising young coaches.
Villas-Boas arrived at Porto after just one season in management, lifting minnows Academia from the bottom of the league in October to ten points clear of danger and the semi-finals of the domestic cup.
His arrival at Porto proved the catalyst for a golden season, transforming the club’s fortunes with the signings of stars such as James Rodriguez and Joao Moutinho.
Porto completed a famed unbeaten league campaign under his management, as part of a treble including the Taca de Portugal and that aforementioned Europa League triumph.
He would, however, head to Chelsea after that single stunning season in 2011, but he soon found the Premier League a much different proposition and lasted less than a year, sacked in February of his first season as Chelsea dropped out of the top four.
Villas-Boas has since had spells at the likes of Tottenham, Zenit St Petersburg and Shanghai SIPG, whilst he is currently in charge of Marseille’s attempts to overhaul the dominant Paris Saint-Germain at the summit of French football.