The summer transfer window once again saw the Premier League wildly outspend any other division in the world, spending more than double their closest rival in the form of Serie A. Since its inception in 1992 the Premier League has been awash with cash, with the figures snowballing and rising year on year. This is a result of the popularity of the league; it is by far the most popular in the world.
It is watched by more people, in more countries, with more games broadcast, than any other league. As such, the television money has grown to incredible levels in recent years, and continues to rise, with the 2016-17 season set to see a huge hike once more, hence the importance being put on staying/getting into the league for next season. Despite this, the five biggest transfer fees of all-time - Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, James Rodriguez and Luis Suarez - were all made by either Real Madrid or Barcelona.
This is a list of the biggest transfers ever made between two Premier League clubs. This is a little rarer as the top players tend to be playing for the top English clubs, who are unsurprisingly reluctant to sell to their domestic rivals. Manchester United feature the most times, with six of their signings in here, whilst their Manchester City rivals are close behind with five. Here are the top 15 biggest transfers between Premier League teams:
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15 Samir Nasri
Skilful playmaker Samir Nasri swapped the red side of North London for the blue side of Manchester in August 2011 for $38 million. After an impressive spell with Arsenal, which had seen Nasri named French Footballer of the Year in 2010 and earn a place in the Premier League Team of the Year in 2010-11, Nasri became one of a number of big money signings at Manchester City. Despite starting brightly, Nasri has often found himself second choice to David Silva and played only 21 league games last season.
14 Emmanuel Adebayor
Togolese striker Emmanuel Adebayor's big money move had a lot in common with Samir Nasri's. Both players swapped Arsenal for Manchester City and both players cost the Sky Blues a fee of $38 million. Adebayor's move came in July 2009, but despite an impressive debut season, in which he scored 14 goals in 26 games, Adebayor soon experienced a drop in form and down the pecking order at Man City. He was loaned out to Real Madrid and Tottenham, before eventually agreeing a permanent move to Spurs.
13 Adam Lallana
Former Southampton youth starlet Adam Lallana spent 14 years at the south coast club, captaining them for two years and helping them to two promotions before making a big money move to Liverpool. The fee for Lallana was the same as the fee shed out by Manchester City for Nasri and Adebayor, $38 million. The 27-year-old made a reasonable start to life at Anfield, playing 27 games and scoring five goals in his first season, but he will need to make a bigger impact this season if he is to justify his price tag.
12 James Milner
James Milner is a solid, consistent and dependable player, but there were a few raised eyebrows when Manchester City spend just under $40 million on him. The fee, which was higher than that of David Silva or Yaya Toure's, seemed a little inflated. Milner produced what was expected of him, doing what the manager told him to do to the best of his abilities and never letting the team down, but he was never a $40 million player and left City in the summer to join Liverpool on a free transfer. Unlike the Sky Blues, Liverpool got themselves a bargain with the England international, who's made a bright start at Anfield.
11 Wayne Rooney
Having burst into life in the Premier League with Everton, Wayne Rooney was touted as a wonderkid and a future star of the world game. Manchester United pounced, making Rooney the most expensive teenager in the world, with a price tag of $41 million. Rooney immediately set about justifying that price, scoring a hat-trick on his debut in the Champions League. Thirteen years later, Rooney has won 5 Premier League titles and the Champions League, becoming England's all-time top scorer and is only 14 goals off becoming Manchester United's all-time top scorer.
10 Marouane Fellaini
When David Moyes succeeded Sir Alex Ferguson as Manchester United manager in 2013, he immediately made two of his former Everton stars high upon his list of hopeful transfer target. Everton weren't prepared to roll over though. They stood firm over Leighton Baines and it took $41.5 million for them to sell their versatile Belgian Marouane Fellaini. Despite still seeing regular game time, the signing of Fellaini has largely been seen as a flop. He has been played everywhere from holding midfield to striker and is mostly used as an impact player when Louis van Gaal required a plan B these days.
9 Wilfried Bony
Powerful Ivorian forward Wilfried Bony has scored goals wherever he's been throughout his career, and that didn't change when he moved to the Premier League. He scored 34 goals in 70 games for Swansea, establishing himself as one of the top strikers in the division over his one and a half seasons at the club. In January 2015, Man City made their move. The required fee was $42.5 million to see Swansea let the player and club begin talks, and Bony was soon heading to Manchester. Since joining Man City, Bony has played only 12 games and scored only two goals.
8 Romelu Lukaku
Another big, powerful center forward, and another big transfer fee. Chelsea's policy of buying young, loaning out and then selling on for a profit has been questioned by some, but it's proved highly effective for the champions. Chelsea signed Lukaku in 2011, loaned him out for two seasons, and then sold him to Everton for $42.5 million. Although the fee seemed high, Everton obviously felt no other player could replicate his 15 goals in 31 games whilst on-loan at the club. Since making the move, Lukaku has scored 26 goals in 57 games, and appears to be finding his best form again this season, he's still only 22.
7 Luke Shaw
A technically gifted left-back who joins the long line of talented Southampton youth products, Luke Shaw broke into the Saints first team at the age of just 17. After 60 Premier League appearances and still only a teenager, Shaw convinced Manchester United to make him the most expensive teenager in history, a record the club have since smashed once more signing Anthony Martial. He cost the Red Devils $45.5 million and was just starting to justify that hefty price tag this season before picking up a nasty injury in the Champions League against PSV. It looks likely Shaw will be out for the rest of the season with the double-leg fracture.
6 Rio Ferdinand
Manchester United signed Rio Ferdinand for a British transfer record fee of $45.5 million back in 2002, an outrageous fee at the time. Ferdinand joined from rivals Leeds United, and after leaving Manchester United in 2014 with 17 trophies to his name, including six league titles, it's probably fair to say Ferdinand justified his enormous fee. As well as his team achievements, Ferdinand himself was named in the Premier League Team of the Year six teams, two fewer than Steven Gerrard, who holds the record for the most appearances in the award.
5 Dimitar Berbatov
The third consecutive Manchester United signing, Dimitar Berbatov is another that can be a little difficult to assess. He was far from a typical Sir Alex Ferguson signing. His lack of pace and work-rate meant he did not fit seamlessly into the Scotsman's fast, effective and often counter-attacking style of play, and it was this problem which eventually led to his departure. Having said that, his technical ability was second to none, and he did have some great moments with the club.
Berbatov was a deadline day signing who set Manchester United back just over $46.5 million. For that price, Man Utd got 48 league goals in 108 league games, including the 2010-11 season when Berbatov finished as Premier League top scorer with 20 goals, joint top with Carlos Tevez. He left Old Trafford in August 2012 for a reported fee of $6 million.
4 Andy Carroll
The most unusual transfer on this list, and that is not said with the benefit of hindsight, Andy Carroll always seemed like a ridiculous transfer when he joined Liverpool from Newcastle United for such an enormous transfer fee. Liverpool forked out $53 million on the big target man who had only scored 14 goals in 49 Premier League games when he made the move. Few were surprised when Carroll flopped, scoring six league goals in 44 games for the Merseyside club, before heading to West Ham for $22 million 2013. Ravaged by injuries, he still appears to have been poor business at that price.
3 Juan Mata
The sixth and final Manchester United signing on this list is Spanish playmaker Juan Mata. Having been Chelsea's star performer in the 2012-13 season, Juan Mata was surprised to find himself out of favor when Jose Mourinho made his return to Stamford Bridge. Pushed out in favor of Oscar, David Moyes moved to make Mata his biggest signing of his short reign at Old Trafford, parting with $56 million for the World Cup, European Championship and Champions League winner. Manchester United haven't always gotten the best out of Mata but he has made a bright start to this campaign.
2 Raheem Sterling
The most expensive Englishman of all-time and the second most expensive transfer between two Premier League teams, Raheem Sterling's messy transfer from Liverpool to Manchester City eventually cost the Sky Blues just under $75 million. The incredible fee sent shock waves through English football, with Sterling having not even had his best campaign in the 2014-15 season. Quick, good on the ball and with some end product, Sterling has the potential to be great but is still very raw, and for almost $75 million, one might expect a finished product rather than a work in progress. He's scored once in four appearance for Manchester City since making the move.
1 Fernando Torres
The biggest transfer between two Premier League teams in history is the move of Fernando Torres from Liverpool to Chelsea. Torres set the Blues back over $75 million, making him the fourth most expensive signing of all-time when the deal was struck in 2011. Unfortunately for Chelsea, Torres was unable to replicate the electric form he had shown for Liverpool after making the switch, and scored only 20 league goals in 110 games.
Torres did score some crucial goals outside of the Premier League though, most notably his strike at the Camp Nou which confirmed Chelsea's place in the Champions League final which they eventually won. Some Chelsea supporters defend the signing of Torres due to the importance of said goal, but that's a serious case of straw clutching. For $75 million and undoubtedly a huge wage packet, Chelsea got very little for their money, and he joined A.C. Milan for $3 million after four years at the club.
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