Romelu Lukaku is set to overtake Neymar and become the most expensive player of all time in accumulated transfer fees as his £98million return to Chelsea nears completion.
The 28-year-old left Stamford Bridge in 2014 after a miserable three-year spell at the west London outfit that saw him fail to score.
However, he has since from strength to strength after moving on, scoring 177 times in all competitions, with 30 of those coming last season for Inter Milan as the club won their first Serie A title in 11 years under Antonio Conte.
Romelu Lukaku failed to score a competitive goal during a frustrating first spell at Chelsea
But the 28-year-old is set for a £98million return to the club after starring for Inter Milan
Neymar is the current leader in combined transfer fees – but he will be dethroned by the striker
Inter’s financial problems mean they have been willing to let a number of players go already this summer, including Achraf Hakimi and Ashley Young, with Lukaku’s departure on the cards for a while as the club looks to balance the books.
His latest switch will take him ahead of the Paris Saint-Germain attacker in combined transfer fees, with the Belgian set to rack up an eye-watering total of £291m.
Lukaku’s first move saw him go from boyhood club Anderlecht to Chelsea for £17m as an 18-year-old, almost exactly 10 years to the day that he returns to SW6.
He then opted to move to Everton seven years for £28m after a productive loan spell the previous season at Goodison Park that saw him score 15 times in 31 Premier League games.
Lukaku subsequently joined up with Jose Mourinho in 2017 for £75m after being loaned out during the final season of his first Blues spell to Everton while the Portuguese was in charge.
However, the Belgian fell out of favour during his second campaign at Old Trafford in what was his worst scoring campaign for four years, prompting a move to Italy for £73m after he skipped Red Devils training and instead linked up with old side Anderlecht for pre-season in order to engineer a move away from United.
Lukaku’s next permanent transfer after his move to Chelsea was a £28m switch to Everton
The Belgian then went on to Manchester United for £75m – where he enjoyed mixed fortunes
He then forced through a move to Inter Milan and won the club’s first league title since 2010
THE HIGHEST COMBINED TRANSFER FEES OF ALL TIME
1) Romelu Lukaku – £291m
2) Neymar – £270m
3) Cristiano Ronaldo – £192m
4) Eden Hazard £175m
5) Alvaro Morata – £166m
Neymar has moved just twice in his career, with his move to Barcelona in 2013 from Santos costing the Spanish giants £72m after a protracted legal dispute.
The Brazilian’s subsequent switch to Paris Saint-Germain four years for a jaw-dropping £198m made it the single biggest transfer all time and has still not been surpassed, smashing the previous record held by Paul Pogba when he moved from Juventus back to United in 2016 for £89m.
Cristiano Ronaldo is third in the all-time list of transfer fees and led the way before Neymar’s move to PSG, with the megastar moving from Sporting Lisbon to United for £12m in 2003, United to Real Madrid for a then-world record fee of £80m in 2009 and most recently from Real to Juventus for £100m in 2018, which took his total to £192m.
Eden Hazard takes fourth place, with the Frenchman one of the world’s hottest young talents when he swapped Lille for Chelsea in 2012 for £32m.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s £80m fee to move from Manchester to Madrid was a world record in 2009
Eden Hazard also made a mega-money move to Madrid – but he has been blighted by injuries
Alvaro Morata has made our top five after a chaotic seven years moving between big clubs
After seven years at the Bridge, he decided to take the plunge and join Real and despite his transfer fee amounting to £143m – a record paid to a British club – he has badly struggled in the Spanish capital, as a terrible run of injuries and questions over his form and fitness have blighted his time at the club.
Alvaro Morata surprisingly makes the final spot in our top five, making his move from Real Madrid to Juventus in 2014 for £14m before returning to the Bernabeu in 2016 for £23m.
A £71m move to Chelsea followed the year after – then a British-record fee – but the striker flattered to deceive before an 18-month loan spell at Atletico Madrid was converted into a permanent £58.6m deal last summer, with the 28-year-old currently on loan for a second season at Juventus.
Kylian Mbappe just misses the cut, with his move from Monaco to Paris Saint-Germain worth £163m in 2018 after France’s World Cup win.