Let’s take a look at the seven highest-spending managers in last decade, featuring Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho, Antonio Conte
It’s no secret that success in modern football largely depends on money spent in the transfer window. In fact, the fate of the team is already decided by the business they do before the commencement of the footballing season. Equally important as tactical acumen and man management skills is the club’s ability to splash money that makes a football manager good and bad.
The managers with the most impressive CVs in the last ten years are also the highest spenders in the transfer market. The likes of Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho, two of the most iconic managers of this century, have always been very upfront with their demands. In contrast, Jurgen Klopp hasn’t been lucky to get free rein, as his current employer Liverpool have made a reputation for being smart buyers.
Let’s take a look at the seven of the biggest-spending coaches in football history:
Players Purchased – 26 For 2 Clubs
Before being sacked in 2020, Ernesto Valverde was one of the biggest beneficiaries of Josep Maria Bartomeu’s era at Barcelona. Valverde convinced Bartomeu to spend over $400 million on the troika of Ousmanne Dembele, Philippe oOutinh, and Antoinne Griezmann. Only Dembele is still with the club, while both Coutinho and Griezmann failed to replicate their previous highs.
Players Purchased – 60 for 3 Clubs
Antonio Conte has managed to achieve something – convince the parsimonious Daniel Levy to spend freely in the transfer market – that none preceding him was able to do as a Tottenham manager. And the result is already visible on the pitch. When he was at Inter Milan, Conte brought in Man Utd failure Romelu Lukaku for $81.40 million, and the striker helped him win the Serie A title in 2020/21.
Player Purchased – 41 for 5 Clubs
Don Carlo loves his cigar and spends recklessly in the transfer window, but more often than not he delivers for the club. Both Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez were brought by Ancelotti to Real Madrid in 2013 and 2014 respectively. The figures of $1.00bn seem too much, but expect that to rise exponentially till the time he is in Madrid.
Players Purchased – 67 For 2 Clubs
Massimiliano Allegri is perhaps the most surprising name on the list. In the last ten years, Allegri has spent $1.02bn predominantly as a manager of Juventus. The sum is heavily inflated by the arrival of Ronaldo for $128.70m in 2018. Allegri, however, was sacked due to a continual failure in European football. After a series of underwhelming seasons, Juventus brought back him as the head coach last year.
Players Purchased – 42 For 4 Clubs
Jose Mourinho has always portrayed himself and his team as an underdog swimming among giants. But he is the highest-spending manager in the 21st century and the third highest in the last decade. His top three transfers in the last ten years came at Manchester United, where he spent £94.5 million on Pogba, £76.2 million on Romelu Lukaku, and £53.1 million on Fred.
Players Purchased – 56 For 1 Club
Diego Simeone has spent $1.12bn on 56 players that he signed in the last ten years for Atletico Madrid. His biggest acquisition is Jao Felix from Benfica at an astronomical sum of $139.92m, followed by Luis Suarez from Barcelona at $89.89m.
Players Purchased: 50 For 3 Clubs
It’s quite strange that Pep Guardiola, in his illustrious career, has signed only one player that cost him over $100 million but he is still the manager who has spent the most amount on transfers. Guardiola is a perfectionist, and he is never ready to compromise on quality when it comes to squad building.
Lead image: ManCity/Twitter