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10 most expensive British footballers of all time

Declan Rice becomes the third British player to join the '£100m club' after the confirmation of his move from West Ham to Arsenal.

Rice joined England teammates Jude Bellingham and Jack Grealish in having £100m or more spent on him, while Gareth Bale previously traded in Tottenham for Real Madrid for €100m in 2013.

The Premier League's rules regarding homegrown players mean that domestic stars often cost a bit more when moving between English top-flight teams, while splashing out on a big name can also be seen as a statement by a club looking to fulfil their ambitions.

Here is an up-to-date list of the top 10 completed moves involving British players. 

1. Jude Bellingham - Borussia Dortmund to Real Madrid - £115m

Rice's England colleague Jude Bellingham broke the record for a transfer fee involving a British player in June 2023 when he swapped Borussia Dortmund for Real Madrid.

The Birmingham-born starlet was the subject of months of negotiations between the two clubs, but a package reportedly worth up to £115m with add-ons proved enough to take him to the Bernabeu.

Bellingham captained Der BVB at times during his spell in the Bundesliga and made a big splash in setting out his intentions for his time in Spain by taking on the number five shirt previously worn by Zinedine Zidane

2. Declan Rice - West Ham to Arsenal - £105m

Rice looked destined to join Arsenal from London rivals West Ham for the best part of a year before finally swapping E15 for N7.

Chelsea and Manchester City were also mentioned as potential options for the England midfielder but reports involving the player regularly namechecked the Gunners.

Rice's move to the Emirates was confirmed on 15th July and after captaining the Hammers to Europa Conference League success at the end of the season, he will be setting his sights on further silverware at the Emirates.

3. Jack Grealish - Aston Villa to Manchester City - £100m

Like Bellingham, another Birmingham boy who previously held the record for the most expensive British footballer was Jack Grealish, having swapped boyhood club Aston Villa for Manchester City for £100m in 2021.

The winger struggled to make an impact in his first season at the Etihad but proved himself to Pep Guardiola second time around.

Grealish played a crucial role in the Citizens' treble-winning campaign of 2022/23, making 50 appearances, as his side won the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League

4. Gareth Bale - Tottenham to Real Madrid - £85m

Arguably the first real mega-money deal involving a British footballer, Gareth Bale's move from Tottenham to Real Madrid saw him become the most expensive player on the planet in 2013.

The mercurial Welshman won five Champions League titles at the Bernabeu and excelled in a front three also featuring Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo.

While injuries and questions over his attitude soured his final years in Spain, Bale's record speaks for itself and arguably justifies him becoming the first player to be sold for over 100m euros.

5. Harry Maguire - Leicester to Manchester United - £80m

Harry Maguire was once classed among the game's elite defenders, so much so that Manchester United shelled out £80m to sign him from Leicester in 2019.

Maguire was named club captain following Ashley Young's departure to Inter Milan in January 2020 but struggled with consistency and lost his place under Erik ten Hag.

With an eye on the 2024 European Championships, Maguire could be on the move ahead of the 2023/24 season, albeit for a far smaller fee than the one that took him to Old Trafford, with Tottenham 3/1 to sign him before 3rd September.

6. Jadon Sancho - Borussia Dortmund to Manchester United - £75m

Like Bellingham, Jadon Sancho also excelled at Dortmund and Manchester United won the race for his signature in July 2021. 

However, he is another who has struggled to produce his best form at Old Trafford, with neither illness nor injury having been kind to the winger.

Sancho moved to the Red Devils less than a month after missing a penalty in England's European Championship final defeat to Italy and with him still to rediscover the confidence he showed prior to spurning that spot-kick, he is another being linked with a move to Tottenham, currently available at 4/1.

7. Mason Mount - Chelsea to Manchester United - £60m

Famously a friend of Rice when the pair played youth football at Chelsea, Mason Mount made the grade with the Blues, starring under Frank Lampard and Thomas Tuchel before losing momentum under Graham Potter.

His status as a homegrown player made him an extremely sellable asset heading into the final year of his contract and Manchester United were happy to oblige.

Ten Hag approached the summer of 2023 looking to add a midfielder who can both carry the ball and arrive late in the box and Mount was the man he and his superiors settled on for a reported £60m.

8. Ben White - Brighton to Arsenal - £50m

Versatile defender Ben White swapped Brighton for Arsenal in 2021 and soon became a mainstay of the Gunners' side.

Primarily a ball-playing central defender, he found a niche under Mikel Arteta as a playmaking right-back and was a key part of the club's Premier League title push in 2022/23.

White's composure saw him called up by England for both the European Championships, which were eventually held in 2021 and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, and he possesses all the attributes required of a top-class international defender.

9. Raheem Sterling - Liverpool to Manchester City - £49m

Raheem Sterling starred for Liverpool before controversially joining Manchester City for £49m in 2015.

The fee was questioned then, but he repaid the faith shown in him by the Etihad hierarchy, helping the club win four Premier League titles before moving to Chelsea in 2022 after netting 131 times in 339 appearances.

Chelsea reportedly paid a fee slightly lower than the one that saw him swap Liverpool for Manchester, with that deal potentially worth £45m if all the clauses are met.

10. Aaron Wan-Bissaka - Crystal Palace to Manchester United - £49m

Manchester United's struggle to find a long-term replacement at right-back for Gary Neville eventually led them to sign Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace in 2019.

Wan-Bissaka's defensive commitment endeared him to certain parts of the Old Trafford faithful, but his shortcomings in attack mean he still divides opinion on the terraces.

Now 25, the former Palace star enjoyed arguably the best season of his career in 2022/23 and will hope to further improve under Ten Hag's guidance.

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