The Top 10 Costliest Italian Players in History

© Newcastle United

Sandro Tonali is the most expensive Italian footballer of all time for his transfer to Newcastle United from AC Milan for €70 million plus add-ons.

The central midfielder moved to St James’ Park in the summer of 2023 in a surprise deal as Newcastle flexed their Saudi Arabian financial muscles.

In the process, Tonali overtook Jorginho as the most expensive Italian ever and the biggest sale ever made by AC Milan.

READ: What are the most expensive transfers of all time? The 50 highest fees in history

Jorginho is the second most expensive Italian footballer of all time for his transfer to Chelsea from Napoli for €57m.

The Brazilian-born midfielder made the move to Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2018, with Chelsea hijacking Man City’s deal at the eleventh hour.

Jorginho enjoyed four and a half excellent years in west London, inspiring Chelsea to Champions League glory before leaving for Arsenal in 2023.

The third most expensive Italian soccer player in history is Gianluigi Buffon, who moved to Juventus from Napoli in 2016 for €53m.

At the time this was a world record fee for a goalkeeper, a record that stood for over 15 years. Buffon enjoyed record-breaking success at Juve and is remembered as one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time.

Gigi Buffon held the world transfer record for goalkeepers for years
– Gigi Buffon held the world transfer record for goalkeepers for years

The fourth most expensive Italian ever is another legend from the turn of the century, with Christian Vieri’s move to Inter Milan from Lazio for €46m in 1999.

Vieri banged in well over 100 goals for the Nerazzurri and was one of the best strikers in the world at the time.

More recently, Marco Verratti ended 11 glorious years at PSG with a €45m move to Al-Arabi in the summer of 2023.

Verratti will be remembered as one of the greatest players in PSG’s history – and certainly the most successful midfielder ever to play at Parc des Princes. He enjoyed 11 brilliant years in Paris, winning more trophies at the club than anyone before him. He was for many people the best Italian player of his generation.

Federico Chiesa is the sixth most expensive Italian ever for his controversial move from Fiorentina to rivals Juventus in 2020.

Chiesa has since gone to become one of the most exciting wingers in Europe, inspiring Italy to glory at Euro 2020.

The 10 most expensive Italian soccer players of all time

Player Clubs Fee Season
Sandro Tonali AC Milan to Newcastle €70m 2022
Jorginho Napoli to Chelsea €57m 2018
Gianluigi Buffon Parma to Juventus €53m 2001
Christian Vieri Lazio to Inter Milan €46m 1999
Marco Verratti PSG to Al-Arabi €45m 2023
Federico Chiesa Fiorentina to Juventus €43m 2020
Leonardo Bonucci Juventus to AC Milan €42m 2017
Federico Bernardeschi Fiorentina to Juventus €40m 2017
Mattia Caldara Juventus to AC Milan €38m 2018
Filippo Inzaghi Juventus to AC Milan €36m 2001

In seventh is Leonardo Bonucci for his shock €42m move from Juventus to Milan in 2017.

However, the transfer proved to be a failure and Bonucci returned to Juve just a year later.

Federico Bernardeschi is the eighth most expensive Italian ever for his €40m transfer to Juventus from Fiorentina.

Bernardeschi was regarded as one of Italy’s best young talents at the time of the move but failed to live up to his potential before joining Toronto in 2022.

Mattia Caldara was an almighty flop after joining Milan in a swap deal in 2018 that saw Bonucci move the other way.

Pippo Inzaghi is still on the list after his transfer from Juventus to Milan in 2001.

Inzaghi is remembered as one of the greatest penalty box strikers of all time, and he famously scored both of Milan’s goals in their 2-1 Champions League final win over Liverpool in 2007.

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