It’s been a quiet January transfer window to date with high-profile transfers in short supply, but there’s plenty of time for mega-money moves before the deadline.
Past seasons have seen some record-breaking transfers in the winter window and we’ve listed the five most expensive January transfer window deals ever.
The five most expensive January transfers of all time:
Mykhailo Mudryk – Shakhtar Donetsk to Chelsea, £61.6m (2023)
Chelsea’s record-breaking recruitment drive under Todd Boehly saw the Blues spend £323 million on new additions in January 2023, a record for a single club in a winter window.
Mykhailo Mudryk was among the most expensive arrivals in West London, signing from Shakhtar Donetsk for an initial fee of £61.6m. Mudryk had shone during the Champions League’s group stage for the Ukrainian side and Chelsea beat competition from London rivals Arsenal to land the fleet-footed winger.
Audacious from Misha! 👀 pic.twitter.com/1ire07LyjN
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) October 23, 2023
The deal made Mudryk the most expensive Ukrainian footballer of all time and could reach a reported £88.5m including add-ons. The 23-year-old has underwhelmed in English football to date, as he acclimatises to the demands of a new division. Mudryk has scored three Premier League goals in 32 appearances, of which just 16 have come from the start.
Chelsea need more from the big-money buy.
Dusan Vlahovic – Fiorentina to Juventus, £62.8m (2022)
Juventus raided rivals Fiorentina to sign Dusan Vlahovic for an initial fee of €70m (£62.8m) in 2022. The Serbian striker had emerged as one of the most in-demand forwards in Europe with La Viola, after scoring 41 goals in 64 appearances for Fiorentina across the previous 18 months.
Juventus saw off interest from Premier League clubs to land Vlahovic, with the Fiorentina fans furious at the loss of another star name to their fierce rivals, after the transfer of Federico Chiesa in 2020.
Vlahovic has since scored 30 goals in 82 games for Juventus, while he has netted 13 times in 25 caps for Serbia at international level.
Virgil van Dijk – Southampton to Liverpool, £75m (2018)
Liverpool returned in the January transfer window to sign Virgil van Dijk from Southampton, having failed with a bid to sign the Dutch defender six months earlier.
The Reds broke their transfer record to sign Van Dijk, in a £75m deal that made him the most expensive defender in history at that time. That investment has been repaid over six successful seasons at Anfield, in which Van Dijk has won the Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup among his honours.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) January 1, 2023
Van Dijk was named PFA Player of the Year in 2018/19 as Liverpool were crowned champions of Europe, becoming just the third defender to win the accolade in the Premier League era.
The centre-back has made 243 appearances to date for Liverpool, with his arrival cited as transformative in turning Jurgen Klopp’s team into trophy winners.
Enzo Fernandez – Benfica to Chelsea, £106.8m (2023)
Chelsea broke the British transfer record to sign Enzo Fernandez from Benfica in January 2023.
Fernandez had spent just half a season at Benfica after joining the Portuguese side from River Plate the previous summer, but an impressive World Cup campaign with Argentina persuaded the West Londoners to spend big.
The midfielder was named the World Cup’s Best Young Player as Argentina were crowned world champions in Qatar, with Fernandez appearing in all seven games during the South American side’s success.
Chelsea activated the £106.1m release clause in Fernandez’s contract at Benfica, a deal which earned the Lisbon outfit a whopping £97.3m profit in just six months.
Philippe Coutinho – Liverpool to Barcelona, £108m (2018)
The aforementioned deal for Virgil van Dijk was funded from Liverpool’s record-breaking sale of Philippe Coutinho.
Liverpool agreed on a deal to sell the wantaway midfielder to Barcelona for a fee that could rise to £142m including add-ons, after the Brazilian expressed his desire to leave Anfield.
Coutinho had been one of the Premier League’s most exciting talents across five seasons at Liverpool and the move to Barcelona appeared an ideal fit for his talent and profile. He started brightly with the Catalans and won back-to-back La Liga titles, but soon fell out of favour.
— LALIGA English (@LaLigaEN) February 24, 2023
A loan move to Bayern Munich saw Coutinho win a continental treble without reigniting his fortunes, which have stalled significantly since he decided to leave Liverpool.
Still just 31, he is currently on loan at Qatari side Al-Duhail after an underwhelming Premier League return at Aston Villa.