The transfer window is a time when clubs can buy and sell players to improve their squads but also to make some profit from their deals. Some clubs are more successful than others in finding bargains and selling high, making them more financially stable and competitive. In this blog post, we will look at the top 10 clubs that made the most profit in the transfer window over the past 12 years, according to Transfermarkt, and some details about the players they bought and sold.
1. Benfica: €731.67m profit
The Portuguese club is known for its excellent scouting network and academy, producing and attracting some of the best talents in Europe. Benfica sold players worth €1.79bn and bought players worth €566.3m, making a huge profit of €690.6m in the transfer window. Some of their notable sales include Joao Felix to Atletico Madrid for €127.20m, Ruben Dias to Manchester City for €68m, and Darwin Nunez to Liverpool for €64m plus €21m in add-ons. Some of their notable purchases include Julian Weigl from Borussia Dortmund for €20m, Luca Waldschmidt from Freiburg for €15m, and Everton from Gremio for €20m.
2. FC Porto: €716.7m profit
FC Porto is another Portuguese club that knows how to do business in the transfer market. The club sold players worth €950.2m and bought players worth €497.5m, making a profit of €452.7m in the transfer window. Some of their notable sales include Otavio to Al-Nassr for €60m, James Rodriguez to Real Madrid for €45m, Hulk to Zenit for €40m, and Eder Militao to Real Madrid for €50m. Some of their notable purchases include David Carmo from SC Braga for €20.28m and Oliver Torres from Atletico Madrid for €20m.
3. Ajax: €601.69m profit
The Dutch club is famous for its youth development and attractive play style, attracting many suitors from bigger leagues. Ajax sold players worth €803.2m and bought players worth €407.5m, making a profit of €395.6m in the transfer window. Some of their notable sales include Antony to Manchester United for 95m, Matthijs de Ligt to Juventus for €85.5m, Frenkie de Jong to Barcelona for €86m, Lisandro Martinez to Manchester United for €57.37 and Hakim Ziyech to Chelsea for €40m. Some of their notable purchases include Steven Bergwijn from Tottenham for €31.25m, Daley Blind from Manchester United for €16m, Antony from Sao Paulo for €15.75m, and Dusan Tadic from Southampton for €11.4m.
4. Sporting: €478.50m profit
The Portuguese club ended its 19-year wait for the league title last season, breaking the dominance of Benfica and Porto. Sporting sold players worth €594.6m and bought players worth €323.9m, making a profit of €270.7m in the transfer window. Some of their notable sales include Bruno Fernandes to Manchester United for €55m, Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United for €15m, and Joao Mario to Inter Milan for €40m. Some of their notable purchases include Pedro Goncalves from Famalicao for €6.5m, Sebastian Coates from Sunderland for €5m, and Nuno Santos from Rio Ave for €4m.
5. CA River Plate (Argentina): €430.59m
CA River Plate is a club that has been one of the most successful and popular in Argentina and South America, with a huge fan base and a glorious history. Thanks to its extensive scouting network and clever transfers, the club has a positive balance of €251.85 million in the last ten years. Some of their notable sales include Enzo Fernandez to Benfica for €44.25m in 2021, Javier Saviola to Barcelona for €35.90m in 2001, and Lucas Alario to Bayer Leverkusen for €19m in 2017. Their record transfer was De Paul, while their record arrival was Miguel Borja from Junior FC for €6.7m in 2022.
6. LOSC Lille: €412.36m profit
The French club surprised everyone by winning the Ligue 1 title last season, beating PSG by one point. Lille sold players worth €755.8m and bought players worth €359.3m, making a profit of €396.5m in the transfer window. Some of their notable sales include Nicolas Pepe to Arsenal for €80m, Victor Osimhen to Napoli for €75m, and Gabriel to Arsenal for €26m. Some of their notable purchases include Jonathan David from Gent for €27m, Burak Yilmaz from Besiktas for free, and Renato Sanches from Bayern Munich for €20m.
7. Red Bull Salzburg: €388.29m profit
The Austrian club is part of the Red Bull family, which owns RB Leipzig and New York Red Bulls. Salzburg sold players worth €576.1m and bought players worth €197.6m, making a profit of €342.5m in the transfer window. Some of their notable sales include Dominik Szoboszlai to RB Leipzig for €36m, Erling Haaland to Borussia Dortmund for €20 million (not 51 million as reported by Sportstar), Naby Keita to Liverpool for €29 million (not 60 million as reported by Sportstar), and Sadio Mane to Southampton for €23 million (not 15 million as reported by Sportstar). Some of their notable purchases include Patson Daka from Kafue Celtic for free, Dominik Szoboszlai from Liefering for free, and Karim Adeyemi from Unterhaching for free.
8. Sao Paulo (Brazil): €377.76m
Sao Paulo is a club that has been one of the most successful and popular in Brazil and South America, with a huge fan base and a glorious history. Thanks to its amazing scouting network and clever transfers, the club has a positive balance of €251.85 million in the last ten years. Some of their notable sales include Lucas Moura to Paris Saint-Germain for €40m in 2012, Denilson to Real Betis for €31.50m, David Neres to Ajax for €17.40m in 2017, and Lucas Moura to Paris Saint-Germain for €43m in 2013. Their record transfer was Moura, while their record arrival was Ganso from Santos for about €9m.
9. Udinese: €373.05m profit
The Pozzo family owns the Italian club, which also owns Watford and Granada. Udinese sold players worth €567.7m and bought players worth €308.5m, making a profit of €259.2m in the transfer window. Some of their notable sales include Alexis Sanchez to Barcelona for €26m, Rodrigo De Paul to Atletico Madrid for €35m, and Marcio Amoroso to AC Parma for €28m. Some of their notable purchases include Rolando Mandragora from Juventus for €20m, Hassane Kamara from Watford for €19m, and Gerard Deulofeu from Watford for €17m.
10. Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia): €+353.97m
Dinamo Zagreb is a club that has been one of the most dominant and competitive in Croatia and Eastern Europe, with a rich history and a strong identity. The club has a positive balance of €251.15 million in the last ten years, thanks to its prolific academy and its ability to sell high and buy low. Some of their notable sales include Dani Olmo to RB Leipzig for €21m in 2020, Josko Gvardiol to RB Leipzig for €36.80m, Marko Pjaca to Juventus for €29.40m in 2016, and Luka Modric to Tottenham Hotspur for €22.50m in 2008. Their record transfer was Pjaca, while their record arrival was Mauro Perkovic from NK Istra for €2m in 2023.
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