Manchester United‘s owners, the Glazers, have been criticised for their poor running of the football club in recent years, but their investment on players has been remarkable.
United have consistently been among the biggest spenders in the transfer market, bringing in world-famous stars on a yearly basis.
But unfortunately for the Red Devils, many of these high-profile signings have failed to produce the goods at Old Trafford.
Below, FootballTransfers lists Man Utd’s 10 most expensive signings in history.
10. Mason Mount – €64.2m (from Chelsea, 2023)
Manchester United beat Liverpool to the signing of Chelsea favourite Mason Mount during the summer of 2023 for a fee of €64.2m, with the Englishman set to enter the final year of his Blues contract.
Mount had spent 18 years at Stamford Bridge, coming through the youth system before breaking into the first-team.
He played a crucial role in the club’s 2021 Champions League win, but things turned sour during his final campaign and he jumped at the opportunity of joining Man Utd, the team his father supports.
9. Bruno Fernandes – €65m (Sporting CP, 2020)
As far as making an immediate impact goes, there have been few better signings than Bruno Fernandes in English top flight history. Arriving in January 2020, Fernandes took Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side to new heights in his first 18 months at the club.
Nominated for PFA and Premier League Player of the Year in his first full season, the Portuguese star was arguably the best footballer in the country during his first two years at the club.
The one thing missing from the early part of his United career was silverware, but he put that right when Man Utd won the Carabao Cup in 2023.
8. Casemiro – €70.7m (from Real Madrid, 2022)
Casemiro was called upon by Manchester United in August 2022 as the solution to their midfield woes, with Real Madrid finally relenting and allowing their star to leave in exchange for a handsome fee.
The Brazilian left Real Madrid after making 336 appearances for the club and winning 18 trophies during an illustrious career at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Casemiro immediately inspired United to a trophy – the League Cup – in an impressive debut season, but the Brazilian is beginning to show his age.
7. Angel Di Maria – €75m (from Real Madrid, 2014)
After reaching the World Cup final with Argentina and having spent several years at Real Madrid, Angel Di Maria was seen as a monumental signing for United in 2014, when he joined for a club record fee.
With the famous No.7 on his back, Di Maria started well, with three goals and four assists in his first six games, including a gorgeous, impudent chip at Leicester.
But it very quickly went south with rumours of a rift behind the scenes. His wife would later label Manchester a “s***hole” as the pair turned to Paris after just 12 months in England.
6. Rasmus Hojlund – €75m (from Atalanta, 2023)
With many rivals spending big on attackers in the 2023 summer transfer window, Man Utd got into the action by splashing out on Danish phenom Rasmus Hojlund.
The Red Devils spent several weeks negotiating with Atalanta before agreeing a €75m fee for the young striker.
Hojlund scored nine goals during his one Serie A season at Atalanta, who sold him for a 400% profit just 11 months after buying the Dane from Sturm Graz.
5. Romelu Lukaku – €84.7m (from Everton, 2017)
Romelu Lukaku had a mixed time at Man Utd after joining the club for €84.7m from Everton.
The Belgian scored 16 and 12 goals in his two Premier League seasons at Old Trafford, respectively, before leaving and going on to greater heights at Inter.
All in all, Lukaku put together two relatively decent campaigns at Old Trafford and considering Man Utd sold him to Inter for €74m, he wasn’t the colossal failure he is sometimes made out to be.
4. Jadon Sancho – €85m (from Borussia Dortmund, 2021)
Man Utd spent the best part of a year trying to sign Jadon Sancho before finally getting their man in the summer of 2021.
Solskjaer had been searching for a top-class right-winger for quite some time and was delighted to bring in a player who had developed into one of the most exciting players in Europe at Borussia Dortmund.
However, Sancho struggled during his first two seasons at Old Trafford before he was frozen out by Erik ten Hag in September 2023 following the pair’s public feud. €85m wasted.
3. Harry Maguire – €87m (from Leicester City, 2019)
Just 18 months after Liverpool made Virgil van Dijk the most expensive defender in history, Man Utd broke that record by signing Harry Maguire from Leicester.
It took the Englishman half a season to become the permanent United captain, and despite initial concerns over the fee, he became one of the first names on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team sheet.
However, he was stripped of the captaincy by Ten Hag ahead of the 2023-24 season, with Bruno Fernandes replacing him after Maguire lost his place in the Man Utd starting XI to Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane.
After initial promise, Maguire’s career at Old Trafford looked to be over during the 2023 summer transfer window amid interest from West Ham, but a move didn’t materialise.
2. Antony – €95m (from Ajax, 2022)
Man Utd landed Antony on Transfer Deadline Day in the summer of 2022, in the biggest deal ever concluded on the final day of the summer transfer window.
He was a priority for Ten Hag throughout the summer but United’s reticence to match Ajax’s asking price meant that a deal was slow to conclude.
Ultimately, the Red Devils ended up shelling out €95m in a deal that was widely seen as being too pricey for what they received. In his first season at Old Trafford, Antony failed to live up to his transfer fee and was widely criticised for his performances in a Man Utd shirt.
1. Paul Pogba – €105m (from Juventus, 2016)
Paul Pogba made his widely publicised return to Man United in the summer of 2016 for a world-record transfer fee at the time.
Another player that came under intense scrutiny, largely because of the money spent on him, Pogba frustrated fans with inconsistent performances.
Injury issues halted his impact on the side, but when fit and when performing at his best, Pogba remained one of the best midfielders in the world.
Nevertheless, he failed to live up to his price tag and left on a free transfer in the summer of 2022 to return to Juventus.
The 10 most expensive Man Utd signings of all time
|1. Paul Pogba
|3. Harry Maguire
|4. Jadon Sancho
|5. Romelu Lukaku
|6. Rasmus Hojlund
|= Angel Di Maria
|9. Bruno Fernandes
|10. Mason Mount