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Chelsea’s 10 biggest sales of all time

Martin Macdonald
Mason Mount, Chelsea, 2022/23
© ProShots

Chelsea became a spending juggernaut in 2003 when the club was purchased by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. That has only continued under new American owner Todd Boehly.

But, Chelsea have also made some massive sales over the past two decades, becoming one of the best teams in the world at developing youngsters and selling them on for profit.

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Below, FootballTransfers lists Chelsea’s 10 biggest sales of all time.

10. Romelu Lukaku – €35.4m (to Everton, 2014)

Romelu Lukaku never made the grade at Chelsea, but he wasn’t really given the opportunity to.

Romelu Lukaku joined Roma on loan in 2023
© ProShots – Romelu Lukaku joined Roma on loan in 2023

Therefore, when Everton offered €35.4 million to sign him permanently, Chelsea were more than happy to accept. The Blues rued that decision years later when they re-signed Lukaku for €113m in 2021. He was a disaster back at Stamford Bridge and they were forced to loan him out to Inter and then Roma.

The decision to sell the Belgian in the first place now looks rather foolish.

9. Tammy Abraham – €41m (to Roma, 2021)

Tammy Abraham joined Chelsea as an eight-year-old and graduated from the youth academy before debuting for the first team.

He was expected to become Chelsea’s long-term No.9 after establishing himself under Frank Lampard.

However, the appointment of Thomas Tuchel in 2021 saw him fall down the pecking order and he was eventually sold to Jose Mourinho’s Roma for €41m in the summer of 2021.

8. Nemanja Matic – €44.7m (to Man Utd, 2017)

Manchester United gave Chelsea a huge pile of cash in 2017 when they bought Nemanja Matic for €44.7m

The Serbian was one of Jose Mourinho’s favourites during their time together at Chelsea and when the United boss identified the need for a defensive midfielder, he went with a player he knew well.

Nemanja Matic joined Man Utd in 2017
© ProShots – Nemanja Matic joined Man Utd in 2017

Matic was satisfactory during his time at Old Trafford but there was a sense that he had been a better player at Chelsea. He was reunited with Mourinho at Roma in 2022.

7. Juan Mata – €44.7m (to Man Utd, 2014)

There was an element of panic about Man Utd’s purchase of Juan Mata in January 2014.

Things were not going well under new manager David Moyes and Mata was brought in to provide some much-needed flair in attacking areas. However, he was never able to hit the heights of his peak at Chelsea form during his eight years at Old Trafford.

The Spaniard notched 98 goals and assists in 285 Man Utd appearances, in comparison to 90 goal contributions in just 135 games for Chelsea.

6. David Luiz – €49.5m (to PSG, 2014)

PSG made David Luiz the most expensive defender in football history when he joined the club for €49.5m in 2014.

A talented footballer, Luiz was certainly capable of a mistake or two as a defender, so the kind of money on offer was a no-brainer for Chelsea.

Ramires (left) with David Luiz (right) at Chelsea
© ProShots – Ramires (left) with David Luiz (right) at Chelsea

The Brazilian eventually returned to Stamford Bridge two years later as Chelsea signed him back for €35m before he helped the Blues win the Premier League title under Antonio Conte.

5. Oscar – €60m (to Shanghai Port, 2017)

When the Chinese Super League suddenly started spending outlandish amounts on transfers and wages, a €60m offer for Brazil international land Oscar was one Chelsea simply couldn’t turn down.

He had already fallen out of favour under the aforementioned Conte, so this sale must go down as one of the best in Premier League history.

Oscar won the Chinese Super League in 2018 and made himself exceedingly wealthy due to his salary in Asia.

4. Diego Costa – €60m (to Atletico Madrid, 2017)

Diego Costa was viewed as the eventual replacement for Didier Drogba after a number of others had tried and failed at the task.

The Brazil-born Spain international was excellent during his first two seasons at Stamford Bridge and helped the club to two Premier League titles in 2015 and 2017.

He was especially good in 2016/17, scoring 20 goals in 35 games in the league.

Diego Costa at Chelsea
© ProShots – Diego Costa at Chelsea

After a failed move to the Chinese Super League, though, Costa fell out with then-manager Conte and was eventually sold for a profit to Atletico Madrid.

3. Mason Mount – €64.2m (to Man Utd, 2023)

Man Utd beat Liverpool to the signing of Chelsea fan favourite Mason Mount during the summer of 2023 for a fee of €64.2m.

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 winning the 2021 Champions League and made his name as a goalscoring midfielder. However, things turned sour in his final campaign and he opted to ditch Chelsea for Man Utd, the club his father supports.

Mount was an unmitigated disaster during his first season at Man Utd in 2023-24.

2. Kai Havertz – €75m (to Arsenal, 2023)

Kai Havertz is a player who will ultimately go down as a Chelsea flop, despite the fact he scored the winning goal in the 2021 Champions League final.

Shoehorned into an unfamiliar striker position, Havertz failed to replicate the form that had once made him the Bundesliga’s biggest wonderkid.

He departed Chelsea for Arsenal after three seasons, with the Blues managing to turn a profit courtesy of the €75m fee paid by the Gunners.

Kai Havertz joined Arsenal for €75m in 2023
© ProShots – Kai Havertz joined Arsenal for €75m in 2023

He has split the critics at Arsenal so far, also, so this could turn out to be a good sale.

1. Eden Hazard – €115m (to Real Madrid, 2019)

Eden Hazard became the most expensive player in Real Madrid’s history and the most expensive Chelsea sale ever when Los Blancos purchased the Belgian for €115m in 2019.

Hazard guided the Blues to Europa League glory in his final appearances for Chelsea, and his time at Real Madrid was ravaged by multiple injury problems.

Ultimately, Hazard retired from football in 2023 after his contract at Real Madrid had expired. His €115m fee was a masterstroke by Chelsea in hindsight.

The 10 biggest Chelsea sales of all time

Player To Fee Year
1. Eden Hazard Real Madrid €115m 2019
2. Kai Havertz Arsenal €75m 2023
3. Mason Mount Man Utd €64.2m 2023
4. Diego Costa Atletico Madrid €60m 2018
= Oscar Shanghai Port €60m 2017
6. David Luiz PSG €49.5m 2014
7. Juan Mata Man Utd €44.7m 2014
= Nemanja Matic Man Utd €44.7m 2017
9. Tammy Abraham Roma €41m 2021
10. Romelu Lukaku Everton €35.4m 2014

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