RB Leipzig are cashing in on the club’s leading names this summer, with the Bundesliga side having raked in more than £100m from outgoings.
The sales of Christopher Nkunku and Dominik Szoboszlai to Chelsea and Liverpool respectively have added significant funds to the club’s coffers, while Josko Gvardiol could be set to follow with the defender in talks with Manchester City over a record-breaking move to the Etihad.
Following substantial sales this summer, we’ve looked at Leipzig’s record departures.
Ranking RB Leipzig’s record sales.
6. Ibrahima Konate – RB Leipzig to Liverpool (£36m)
Liverpool signed centre-back Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig after agreeing to pay his £36m release clause in 2021.
Konate made 95 appearances across four seasons at Leipzig to emerge as one of the Bundesliga’s best young defenders, before moving to the Premier League to join Jurgen Klopp’s centre-back ranks.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) April 11, 2022
The Frenchman impressed during his debut campaign as Liverpool won an FA Cup and League Cup double, while the Reds also finished as runners-up in the Premier League and Champions League.
Konate’s powerful frame and recovery pace and have been a fine compliment to Virgil van Dijk at Anfield, though Liverpool will hope the central defender can overcome his fitness issues after making just 28 league starts across two seasons on Merseyside. When fit, Konate has appeared to have the potential to develop into one of the Premier League’s finest centre-backs.
5. Dayot Upamecano – RB Leipzig to Bayern Munich (£37m)
Dayot Upamecano partnered Konate at the heart of the Leipzig defence and emerged as one of Europe’s most coveted central defenders at the Red Bull Arena.
Despite considerable interest from the Premier League, Upamecano opted to remain in the Bundesliga and signed for Bayern Munich in a £37m deal in 2021.
The 24-year-old has won consecutive Bundesliga titles with Germany’s dominant force and has earned 15 caps for France at international level since his debut in 2020. Upamecano was named in the Bundesliga Team of the Season in 2022/23 after an impressive campaign in Munich, but has mixed fine performances with lapses in concentration and dips in confidence.
Thomas Tuchel will be keen to coax the former from Upamecano on a consistent basis as the defender looks to fulfil his potential and become one of Europe’s best.
4. Timo Werner – RB Leipzig to Chelsea (£47.5m)
Timo Werner arrived at Chelsea with huge expectations after a prolific period in the Bundesliga at RB Leipzig.
Werner became the club’s all-time record goalscorer with 95 goals in 159 games across all competitions, including a return of 34 goals in all competitions during his final season at Leipzig.
Chelsea activated the £47.5m release clause in Werner’s contract, but the forward was unable to replicate his Bundesliga best in the Premier League. The Germany international earned credit for his work-ethic, though was criticised for wastefulness around goal as he lacked the clinical touch often shown at Leipzig.
— Premier League (@premierleague) November 16, 2021
Werner scored 23 goals in 89 appearances for Chelsea in all competitions and won the Champions League during his debut campaign in west London, but was allowed to leave in a cut-price return to Leipzig after two seasons with the Blues. He scored 16 goals in all competitions for Leipzig in 2022/23.
3. Christopher Nkunku – RB Leipzig to Chelsea (£52m)
Christopher Nkunku will hope to succeed where Werner failed and impress at Chelsea after completing a £52m move to the Premier League this summer.
Chelsea tied up a deal for Nkunku after a run of exceptional performances across the last two seasons.
Nkunku has flourished in an advanced role and scored 35 goals in all competitions to be named as the Bundesliga Player of the Season for 2021/22, before a return of 16 league goals earned the French forward a share of the division’s Golden Boot last season.
Nkunku is a Blue! 🔵 pic.twitter.com/NASfDOG0Xg
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) June 20, 2023
The 24-year-old is comfortable in a number of attacking roles and will offer Chelsea goal-threat and adaptability next season. The France international ranked in the 90th percentile or higher of forwards in Europe’s top five league last season for non-penalty goals, shot-creating actions, pass completion percentage, progressive passes, successful take-ons and interceptions.
It is the sort of productivity and influence that will benefit the Blues under new manager Mauricio Pochettino, as Chelsea rebuild from a 12th-place finish in the Premier League last season.
2. Naby Keita – RB Leipzig to Liverpool (£52.75m)
Naby Keita arrived at Anfield in summer 2018 amid a huge wave of excitement, with the Guinea midfielder having built a fine reputation in the Bundesliga after two impressive seasons at Leipzig.
The all-action midfielder arrived in a £52.75m deal and was handed the number eight shirt left vacant since Steven Gerrard’s exit, but disappointed across five underwhelming campaigns at Anfield.
Beset with fitness issues, Keita started just 49 league fixtures in five seasons. His consistent spells on the sidelines prevented the midfielder from making an impression during a successful period for the club, who won the Champions League and Premier League under Jurgen Klopp despite a limited contribution from Keita.
He made just three league starts after another season of injury issues in 2022/23 and was allowed to leave for Werder Bremen on a free transfer this summer, with his contract not renewed.
1. Dominik Szoboszlai – RB Leipzig to Liverpool (£60.1m)
Dominik Szoboszlai has become Leipzig’s most expensive export, though could lose that status in the coming days should Josko Gvardiol complete a reported £86m move to Manchester City.
Szoboszlai has been signed as part of Liverpool’s rebuild in midfield after impressing across two seasons with Leipzig, having signed for the Germans from sister-club Red Bull Salzburg in a well-trodden path.
What a player ✨
All the best in England, Szobo! ♥️ pic.twitter.com/Wu2vomuT7U
— RB Leipzig English (@RBLeipzig_EN) July 2, 2023
The Hungary international scored 10 goals and provided 13 assists in all competitions for Leipzig last season, a return which, coupled with impressive statistics for chance creation and ball-carrying, made Szoboszlai a leading target for Liverpool this summer.
The Reds activated the €70m (£60.1m) release clause in the 22-year-old’s contract and Szoboszlai will provide options for Jurgen Klopp in midfield, capable of operating as a number eight, ten or in either wide role.