Chelsea’s Biggest Sales: Most Expensive Outgoing Transfers

Much is made of the huge sums Chelsea have spent on players in recent years. This is understandable given the astronomical amount splashed since Todd Boehly took over and, even before that, during the Roman Abramovich era. It is believed the Blues have spent over £1bn, a truly staggering sum, on transfers and loan fees since the Boehly takeover. By any standards that is an amount sure to attract attention, especially coming, as it has, in such a short timeframe (since May 2022).

However, far less is mentioned about the fact that Chelsea have sold a lot of players over the years too. Due to some good recruitment and youth development, they have often made a substantial profit too, something that has kept them – we certainly all hope – on the right side of Profit and Sustainability regulations. In this article, we take a look back on some of the biggest fees that have been paid for Chelsea players. Here are the five biggest sums received by the club through player sales.

Note that fees are denoted in Euros for consistency and figures may vary due to exchange rates used, estimates of fees, details of add-ons, and other undisclosed clauses. Information is correct as of February 2024.

1) Eden Hazard, €115m to Real Madrid

Eden Hazard playing for Real Madrid
canno73 |

Hazard was loved and adored at the Bridge and the £32m Chelsea are believed to have paid Lille for his services has to be viewed as a real bargain. The Blues got their money’s worth out of the Belgian ace during his time at the club but then also made a huge profit when they sold him on for a nine-figure sum to Real Madrid at the start of the 2019/20 season.

Hazard was a joy to watch, with his balance and skill mesmerising defenders, who were unable to keep up with his twists, turns, and changes of direction and pace. In all he bagged over 100 goals for the Blues, finishing with 110 from 352 outings in all competitions. He also provided hatfuls of assists too, and created space for others when teams opted to double up on him, as was often required.

Injuries badly affected his time at Real Madrid and so in many ways Chelsea and their supporters have to feel they got a very good deal in selling the Belgian. Who knows how things would have panned out if he stayed at the Bridge though?

2) Kai Havertz, €75m to Arsenal

Kai Havertz
canno73 |

Havertz was undoubtedly less of a success than Hazard and emotions were mixed at best when he left, even though he went to a London rival in Arsenal. The German was Chelsea’s second most expensive signing of all time when they paid around €80m to Bayer Leverkusen for his services in 2020.

Impressive at times, he never fully settled and in the end played just 139 times for Chelsea, managing a disappointing 32 goals. The club were happy to recoup most of their money when they sold him to Arsenal and the signs after around two thirds of a season are that the Blues got the better of the deal. Havertz is still only 24 so still – just about – has time on his side. However, thus far the Gunners have seen brief glimpses of what he can do but no sustained quality.

3) Mason Mount, €64m to Man United

Mason Mount
Brian Minkoff London-Pixels |

Many fans could not understand it when Mount left for United in July 2023. The player had been at the club since 2005, when he was just a child (he was born on 10 January, 1999). He had also been, for many seasons, a key player, both for the Blues and for England, for whom he has 36 caps and five goals, though the last of his international appearances came in 2022.

However, his form had dipped at Chelsea and an offer of around £55m proved too good to turn down. Like Havertz, Mount is young, but also like the German, he has failed to fire at his new club and, in fact has played just 12 times and is yet to score.

4) Diego Costa, €60m to Atletico Madrid

Diego Costa |

Costa was superb for the Blues and was a player that his own fans loved, just as much as opposition supporters hate him. Physical, strong and aggressive, Costa had a real eye for goal, and left Stamford Bridge with 59 goals from 120 games, a very solid return.

Bought for less than €30m, the club made a tidy profit on him too, although it all ended rather sourly, with the player accusing the club of demanding too high a fee to release him. He returned to former side Atletico Madrid but his best days were behind him and, again, it seems like Chelsea did better from the deal.

5) Oscar, €60m to Shanghai SIPG

Oscar |

Oscar’s sale to Shanghai (now known as Shanghai Port) came at a time when the Chinese league was splashing huge amounts of cash in an attempt to make their football more competitive. Few footballers lasted long in China, however, finding the standard of football too low, the crowds too small and the culture too challenging.

He moved for an Asian transfer record sum and given the Blues paid no more than £25m for him – reports vary – his sale was certainly a decent one for the club. The Brazilian spent four and a bit good seasons in west London but decided to take the huge payday on offer from China and is still plying his trade in Shanghai, for whom he has played over 200 times.

Transfers & Loan Fees Received Since Takeover

It is interesting that many of these sales predate the current ownership, with only the transfers of Havertz and Mount coming on Boehly’s watch. Even if we extend the list to a top 10, that would still be the case. However, in the current 2023/24 season the club have also sold the following players:

  • Mateo Kovacic – €29m
  • Kalidou Koulibaly – €23m
  • Christian Pulisic – €20m
  • Edouard Mendy – €19m
  • Ruben Loftus-Cheek – €18m
  • Ethan Ampadu – €8m

That amounts to around £100m of sales, a considerable sum which is added to by significant sales and loans (some of which commanded substantial fees) in 2022/23. Around €67m was brought in from these deals in the first season after Boehly bought the club.