For all the talk about inflated transfer fees in football, you don’t usually hear too much about managers moving for big bucks.
That’s probably because they all get sacked eventually and you can pick them up for free (CC: Brighton if you guys are thinking about paying a lump sum for Brendan Rodgers). But still, that rarity of big fees makes such a ranking of them a bit more fun.
Here are the 11 most expensive managers in the history of football, ranked by how much their new club paid to acquire them.
The most expensive fees paid for football managers
11. Mark Hughes (Blackburn to Manchester City)
City paid Rovers a cool £5m for the former Manchester United player. He would be sacked midway through the 2009/10 season and was replaced by Roberto Mancini.
10. Brendan Rodgers (Swansea to Liverpool)
Anyway, Liverpool quickly acted on this and paid £5m to take Brendan Rodgers from the Welsh club. He took the Reds to within a slip of the Premier League title before eventually being succeeded by Jurgen Klopp.
9. Ronald Koeman (Southampton to Everton)
He also cost £5m when Everton came calling for him. Koeman finished seventh, spent a stupid amount of money in the transfer window and was fired months later.
8. Maurizio Sarri (Napoli to Chelsea)
The Italian cost them £5m, won the Europa League in his only season in west London, and then returned to his homeland with Juventus.
7. Adi Hutter (Eintracht Frankfurt to Borussia Monchengladbach)
After a decent but hardly groundbreaking spell with Eintracht Frankfurt, Borussia Monchengladbach paid £6.5m for Adi Hutter.
He left after just one season having finished tenth in the Bundesliga.
6. Jose Mourinho (Inter to Real Madrid)
After leaving Chelsea at the beginning of the 2007/08 season, Mourinho took the Inter job the following year. His Champions League triumph convinced Real Madrid to buy out his contract for £6.9m.
He wasn’t the man to win ‘La Decima’ for Los Blancos, but pipping Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona to the 2011/12 La Liga title was pretty special.
5. Ruben Amorim (Braga to Sporting CP)
Ruben Amorim had managed just 13 games in charge of Braga when Sporting CP came calling, with the Lisbon side coughing up £8.65m on a huge gamble.
It paid off, however, as Amorim guided Sporting to their first league title in 19 years in his debut season.
4. Brendan Rodgers (Celtic to Leicester)
After a few years of getting his groove back at Celtic, Rodgers returned to England in 2019 after Leicester paid £9m for him.
While he’ll probably be remembered for twice squandering Champions League qualification on the final day of the season, Rodgers led the Foxes to their first FA Cup in 2021.
3. Andre Vilas-Boas (Porto to Chelsea)
It turned out he wasn’t, but his sacking led to assistant manager Robert Di Matteo winning the Blues their first Champions League title. So, every cloud…
2. Graham Potter (Brighton to Chelsea)
90min understands that the total package to take Potter and his staff from Brighton to Chelsea stands at around £22m, though only £20m will be for the 47-year-old himself.
Still, that’s a lot of money. 10 Michus, if you will.
1. Julian Nagelsmann (RB Leipzig to Bayern Munich)
It’s worked out pretty well for the Bavarians so far, and you expect that the relatively young Nagelsmann can still take them to another level.