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Ranking the five most expensive transfers involving German players

Chelsea continue to be linked with a move for Kai Havertz as the club look to strengthen their attacking options this summer, the Bayer Leverkusen midfielder having been linked with a host of world football’s biggest clubs following his performances in recent seasons.

Leverkusen are refusing to allow their prized asset to leave easily and are reportedly demanding a fee of around €100m for the highly-rated 21-year-old, a figure which would make Havertz comfortably the most expensive German footballer of all-time.

Ahead of a potential move to the Premier League for the Germany international, we’ve decided to look at the five most expensive transfers involving German players:


Julian Draxler – Schalke to Wolfsburg (£36.5m)

Julian Draxler was regarded as a future star of German football following his emergence at Schalke, becoming one of the Bundesliga’s youngest ever debutants as a teenager before playing a bit-part role in Germany’s triumphant World Cup campaign in 2014.

A gifted and versatile midfield talent capable of carrying the ball in possession either out wide or centrally, he grew in stature at Schalke before moving to Bundesliga rivals Wolfsburg in a deal worth a reported £36.5m.

It proved an unhappy spell, however, as Draxler was criticised for his performances and attitude during his 18 months with the German outfit, soon agitating for a move after realising Wolfsburg were not the club to fulfil his ambitions of winning major silverware.

He joined Paris Saint-Germain for a similar fee to that that had taken him to Wolfsburg, but despite a promising start and multitude of silverware in the French capital, has struggled to establish himself and become somewhat of a forgotten figure for the Parisians.

Draxler has shown glimpses of his talent – including being named Player of the Tournament after captaining a young Germany side to Confederations Cup success three years ago – but his career has been one largely of unfulfilled potential and a move away from Paris may be best for his career as he approaches his 27th birthday.

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Leroy Sane – Schalke to Manchester City (£37m)

The second Schalke product to feature on this list, Leroy Sane came through the ranks at the Bundesliga side to establish himself as one of the most exciting talents in Germany’s top tier.

Sane’s performances caught the attention of Pep Guardiola who, after leaving Bayern Munich for Manchester City, secured a £37m deal to bring the promising winger to the Premier League.

After a solid if unspectacular debut season in English football, the German burst into life during his second season at the Etihad, playing a crucial role as City were crowned as Premier League champions with a record 100 points.

Sane’s performances saw him named as the PFA Young Player of the Year for 2017/18, his electric pace and dangerous delivery from the flank a vital component of the attacking play of Guardiola’s side.

Back-to-back titles and English football’s first ever domestic treble followed the following season during a trophy-laden period for City, only for a serious knee injury to rule the winger out for almost the entirety of last season.

That campaign proved to be Sane’s final season as a Premier League player, the winger returning to the Bundesliga after agreeing a deal to join Bayern Munich.

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Mesut Ozil – Real Madrid to Arsenal (£42.5m)

Arsenal made a statement of intent with the signing of Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid in 2013, the north London side smashing their transfer-record with the £42.5m capture of the Germany international.

Ozil had established himself as one of the finest creative talents in world football during spells in Germany and Spain, finishing as the leading assist provider in both the Bundesliga and La Liga.

The midfielder had helped Real Madrid to league and cup success during his time at the Bernabeu, and arrived at Arsenal in the hope he could inspire the club to former glories under Arsene Wenger.

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Ozil’s career in English football has proven a mix of both success and frustration, his mercurial talents having seen him drift from influential presence to peripheral figure.

The 31-year-old was named as Arsenal’s Player of the Season after topping the Premier League’s assist chart during the 2015/16 campaign – becoming the first player to achieve the feat in England, Germany and Spain – whilst he has also won the FA Cup on four occasions since moving to the Emirates.

Ozil’s languid style and the fazing out of traditional number tens has seen his fortunes nosedive in recent seasons, however, whilst his club record wages have often been used as a stick to beat him with.

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Timo Werner – RB Leipzig to Chelsea (£48m)

One of several high-profile moves for German footballers this summer, Timo Werner will play his football at Chelsea next season after completing a £48m move to Stamford Bridge from RB Leipzig.

Werner forged a reputation as one of the finest forwards in the Bundesliga in recent seasons and arrives in English football off the back of his most prolific season to date, the 24-year-old having scored 34 goals in all competitions to fire Leipzig to a third-placed finish and into the Champions League knockout stages for the first time.

Devastatingly quick and comfortable playing a variety of role across the forward line, Chelsea will hope the summer signing can increase their goal threat next season as they bid to progress under the guidance of Frank Lampard.

Werner had been linked with both Bayern Munich and Liverpool – the latter withdrawing their interest due to financial restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic – but it was Chelsea who made their interest concrete, the forward’s £48m release clause looking like a potential bargain given the vast sums paid for top talent in recent seasons.

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Leroy Sane – Manchester City to Bayern Munich (£54.8m)

Leroy Sane makes this list for a second time courtesy of his move to Bayern Munich this summer, his transfer from Manchester City potentially worth £54.8m to the Premier League side, a figure which makes the winger the most expensive German footballer in history at present.

Bayern had long registered an interest in the 24-year-old and saw several approaches for Sane rejected last summer, City having placed a valuation of £100m on a player who had helped the club to back-to-back league titles.

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Sane, however, was keen to return to the Bundesliga and was allowed to depart 12 months later having entered the final year of his contract, Bayern hopeful the player can flourish following his record-breaking move to the Allianz Arena.

Bayern’s success of the past decade has been largely influenced by the wide talents of former stars Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery and the Bavarians will now hope that Sane – alongside German international teammate Serge Gnabry – can provide a similar attacking impetus in the coming seasons.

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