Top 10 defender transfer fees as Chelsea plan to break record with Wesley Fofana deal

Here are the top 10 most expensive defenders in football history ahead of Wesley Fofana’s proposed move to Chelsea.

Chelsea had a huge task on their hands when Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta were all set to leave the club this summer.

While the latter has since signed a new contract, the Blues faced rebuilding their defence and have so far added Kalidou Koulibaly and Marc Cucurella to their roster.

With just over three weeks left of the summer transfer window, Todd Boehly is now chasing Leicester City defender Wesley Fofana.

According to reports, Chelsea have already submitted two bids for the centre-back, with the latest of £70 million being turned down.

They are now preparing to make a third bid to lure Fofana to Stamford Bridge and could make the Frenchman one of the most expensive defenders of all time.

Fofana joined Leicester in October 2020 but has only managed to make 36 appearances in the Premier League after spending most of last season sidelined with a broken leg.

However, Chelsea clearly see bags of potential in a 21-year-old with little experience and are willing to take a risk with a very hefty fee.

With Fofana close to joining a list of huge names, we take a look at the 10 most expensive defenders of all time...

1. Harry Maguire - £80 million

Harry Maguire became the most expensive defender of all time when Manchester United forked out a whopping £80 million to sign him from Leicester City.

The centre-back was a huge success during his two year stint in the Midlands, however his move to United couldn’t have gone much worse.

After being named captain only six months after joining the club, Maguire clearly couldn’t handle the pressure of heading a crumbling United team and has since put on some dreadful performances that have seen him booed playing for both club and country.

2. Matthijs de Ligt - £77 million

Mittijs de Ligt looked set to be one of the world’s best defenders when he joined Juventus from Ajax for £77m - a well earned fee after his success in Holland.

Since moving to Turin in 2019, De Ligt has won all three domestic trophies and has been a regular in the starting line-up.

His continued form in Serie A has seen him earn a big money move to Bayern Munich this summer, with the German club reportedly paying an initial fee of €67m, potentially rising to €77m - a slight loss on what Juve originally paid.

3. Virgil van Dijk - £76.2 million

At the time of Virgil van Dijk’s move from Southampton to Liverpool, he was the most expensive defender in world football.

The Dutchman has certainly lived up to his price tag since arriving at Anfield, becoming one of the best centre-backs in Premier League history and playing a important role in their domestic and European success in recent years.

Van Dijk’s form at Liverpool led to him narrowly missing out on the 2019 Ballon d’Or to Lionel Messi - around two years after he joined the Reds.

4. Lucas Hernandez - £72 million

Lucas Hernandez became - and still is - the most expensive ever signing by a Bundesliga club when he swapped Atletico Madrid for Bayern Munich in 2019.

The 26-year-old has enjoyed a largely successful career in football, winning the World Cup, Europa League, three Bundesliga titles, the Champions League, two domestic Cups and the Super Cup.

However, much of Hernandez’s stay in Munich has been tainted by his previous arrests that resulted in him being given a four year suspended prison sentence.

5. Ruben Dias - £61.2 million

Ruben Dias’ exciting reputation at Benfica earned him an expensive transfer to Manchester City in 2020 and he quickly became a fan favourite at the Etihad Stadium.

The centre-back became one of the first names on the team sheet and was named City’s Player of the Year in his first season, while also helping them win two Premier League titles and the League Cup.

6. Joao Cancelo - £60 million

Another Man City player and another success story to add to the list is Joao Cancelo, who moved to the Premier League from Juventus in 2019.

However, while the deal was worth £60m, Danilo had been sent the other away and so City only ended up paying an upfront fee of £27.4m.

The Portugal international was a definite upgrade on Danilo and was named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year two years running - arguably making him somewhat of a bargain.

7. Achraf Hakimi - £59.9 million

Achraf Hakimi joined Paris Saint-Germain for an initial £59.9m in July 2021 - a year after moving to Inter Milan for £20m less.

The Moroccan international has become one of the most exciting young wing-backs and world football as he helped the French giants win the league title last season.

He also has the Champions League, Super Cup, Club World Cup, Serie A title and Trophee des Champions to his name.

8. Aymeric Laporte - £58.5m

Man City love to splash out on defenders, with another costly addition being Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao.

After a successful start to life in the Premier League, the centre-back struggled for game time in his second and third season at the club but is now back comfortably at the heart of the backline.

The Spain international has four Premier League titles, one FA Cup and three League Cups to his name.

9. Lisandro Martinez - £57 million

Erik ten Hag was reunited with Lisandro Martinez when Manchester United signed him this summer.

The defender won the 2021-22 Ajax Player of the Season under the Dutch boss and fans will hope he can replicate his form in the Premier League - though his 5 ft 9in height may worry some.

The Argentine was certainly a very exciting signing for the Red Devils, however his competitive debut will be one to forget after they were beaten 2-1 by Brighton & Hove Albion.

10. Ben White - £52.7 million

Arsenal shocked fans when they forked out a huge £52.7m to sign Ben White - who was only playing Championship football a year earlier.

The centre-back slotted straight into Brighton’s defence after a successful loan spell with Leeds United and his form on the south coast caught the eye of Mikel Arteta.

White is arguably yet to live up to his price tag, however he has surprised many and has become a regular in their defence that is looking much more comfortable than in previous years.