Manchester United paid Juventus a world-record £89m to bring Paul Pogba back to Old Trafford last year, but could we see a player break the £100m-barrier this summer?
With transfer fees continuing to rise, it is surely only a matter of time before a club splurges a nine-figure sum on one player.
Real Madrid were the first club to pay more than £50m for a player when signing Kaka for £56m from AC Milan in 2009, while Los Blancos went on to again break the world record when signing Cristiano Ronaldo (£80m, 2009) and then Gareth Bale (£86m, 2013).
The £89m fee United spent on Pogba last summer will soon become commonplace, according to Jose Mourinho, but who will be the first £100m man?
We take a look at the players most likely to be sold for that figure during this transfer window…
It appears that only a world-record fee will prise the 18-year-old away from Monaco this summer – while it will almost certainly have to break the £100m-barrier.
The Frenchman is wanted by Europe’s elite after capturing attention in the Champions League this past season. Reports in Spain and England suggest the Ligue 1 champions want €130m (£113m) for the striker.
Meanwhile, L’Equipe say Arsenal are preparing a €140m (£122m) bid after seeing an offer of £87m turned down last week, while the Telegraph claims Real tried and failed with a €120m (£103m) offer back in May.
What odds? Before the transfer window closes on September 3, Sky Bet had Mbappe at 5/4 to stay with Monaco, while Arsenal are current favourites to land the striker at 5/2. Real Madrid (3/1), Manchester City (8/1) and Manchester United (12/1) follow.
With Antoine Griezmann committing his future to Atletico Madrid – for this upcoming season, at least – Manchester United have reportedly turned their attentions to Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale.
The Welshman, who signed a contract extension until 2022 back in October, insisted after Real’s Champions League triumph that he is happy at the club.
„We are winning trophies and I am happy. I have signed a long-term contract at Madrid,“ said Bale. „My family is happy and I am happy, so yes we will continue what we are doing.“
However, rumours will not diminish so long as United remain in the hunt for a forward. Manchester Evening News claim £100m would be the required fee to acquire Bale – it would certainly test Real’s resolve if such an offer was on the table.
What odds? Bale is 1/8 to stay with Real, while he is out at 9/2 to join United.
The Belgian admitted he would listen to Real Madrid if the Champions League winners came calling, though a fractured ankle means a move for the Chelsea forward could be delayed.
Hazard is set to be out for up to eight weeks, and while he should recover before the transfer window closes, Real may just wait to see how he fares upon his return to action.
Nevertheless, Florentino Perez may look to bring in Hazard with the presidential elections just around the corner.
The current president is known to splash the cash around election time – having done so with Ronaldo and Bale – and with Hazard’s Chelsea contract running until 2020, the £100m figure has been mooted by the British press.
What odds? Hazard is 1/8 with Sky Bet to stay at Stamford Bridge, while he’s out at 9/2 to head to the Bernabeu.
The Belgian striker has told Sky Sports News HQ that he knows where he will be playing next season
„My agent knows what’s going to happen,“ he said. „I know what I want to do, and whenever something happens, you guys will know.“
Lukaku’s agent, Mino Raiola, claims the 24-year-old is valued at £100m by Everton, given that he still has two years left on his current deal at Goodison Park.
„In two years’ time maybe £100 million for a guy who makes [scores] 24 goals is a good deal,“ Raiola told talkSPORT.
„I don’t know. The market will be ruled by the people who buy so if there is a club that needs Lukaku and thinks he is worth £100m, then Everton are right [to ask for £100m].“
Lukaku appears to be a man in demand, with Manchester United, Chelsea, Juventus and Bayern Munich all linked with the forward.
What odds? Chelsea are 4/5 favourites with Sky Bet to land Lukaku, with Man Utd 2/1, Bayern Munich 10/1 and PSG at 16/1. He is 4/1 to stay with Everton.
The Gabon international has spoken of his desire to leave Borussia Dortmund this summer, though the German outfit are yet to receive a bid for the striker.
„If I want to go to the next level, I need to leave in summer,“ he told French radio station RMC back in January. „But we must see the proposals and if I’m going to play. Real Madrid is still a dream, but there has been too much noise.“
No move from Real has come as of yet, while Sky sources believe Aubameyang is keen on a move to Paris Saint-Germain. Talk of a £61m move to the French capital means the 27-year-old is some way off the £100m mark, should that figure be believed.
What odds? Sky Bet make PSG 1/5 favourites to land Aubameyang, with any Chinese club out at 9/2. The striker is 10/1 to stay at Dortmund.
The Juventus striker signed a five-year contract extension back in April, making a move away from the Serie A champions this summer unlikely.
However, the fact that he is tied down until 2022 means it would take a huge offer to prise him away from Juve, and The Sun have reported of Real Madrid’s interest in the 23-year-old.
Real are already stacked with forwards and any potential arrival would only push the likes of James Rodriguez – and perhaps even Bale – closer to the exit door.
What odds? Sky Bet have Dybala at 1/7 to stay with Juventus, with Real at 5/1 and Barcelona 9/1.
Dele Alli or Harry Kane
Could one of Tottenham’s prized possessions leave this summer? Maurico Pochettino has flung his arm around key players in the past year or so, tying them down to long-term contracts at the club.
And while it affirms their loyalty to the club, it also fends off potential suitors, who will know that a big fee must come in to lure them away.
In this current market, and given their age and potential, it is not crazy to suggest that 21-year-old Alli or 23-year-old Kane are worth £100m, but the low prospect of them leaving means they are an outside bet to become the first player to sell for this figure.
What odds? Alli is 1/10 to stay with Spurs, with Kane at 1/20. Man City are 8/1 to sign Alli, with Real out at 12/1. Meanwhile, United are 10/1 to land Kane.