The transfer market is certainly a hostile environment these days.
With money being pumped into football left, right and centre, trying to find a bargain buy can be notoriously difficult these days.
Smaller clubs don't want to lose their star men on the cheap and regularly instigate bidding wars between the elite.
It's created an environment where £50m transfer fees have become the norm, but there is still room for the bigger clubs to snap up the brightest young talent on the cheap and turn them into bonafide superstars.
Borussia Dortmund's signing of Erling Haaland for around £20m back in January was evidence of that fact.
However, Germany's transfer market masters are only fifth when it comes to ranking teams based on the difference between the market value of their squad and the the price originally paid for the players.
Thanks to Transfermarkt, we can reveal the 20 clubs with the biggest difference between the two aforementioned valuations. Players out on loan are not included.
20. Bayer Leverkusen
Market value - £384.84m
Purchase value - £207.45m
Difference - £137.39m
The likes of Kai Havertz, Leon Bailey and Moussa Diaby hand Leverkusen a strong market value. Havertz's impending exit will see them plummet down this list, though as the German is worth £72m on his own.
19. Leicester City
Market value - £365.99m
Purchase value - £228.37m
Difference - £137.62m
Signing the likes of James Maddison, Caglar Soyuncu, Wilfried Ndidi and more on the cheap has paid dividends for Leicester. Maddison alone is worth over £40m.
Market value - £383.76m
Purchase value - £243.00m
Difference - £140.76m
Jose Gaya (£36m), Carlos Soler (£36m) and Ferran Torres (£40.5m) all came through Valencia's youth system, so that's £112.5m of market value for the loss of nothing right there.
Market value - £239.13m
Purchase value - £93.58m
Difference - £145.55m
The Italian side rarely splash the cash, but they still have some valuable players on their books in the form of Duvan Zapata (£32.4m), Marten de Roon (£17.10m) and Josip Ilicic (£15.75m).
Market value - £242.64m
Purchase value - £82.96m
Difference - £159.68m
Like Atalanta, Benfica don't spend big, they instead buy frugally and turn the players into stars. Alejandro Grimaldo and Ruben Dias are both worth close to £30m.
Market value - £268.85m
Purchase value - £105.98m
Difference - £162.88m
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (£57.6m), Luis Alberto (£39.6m), Ciro Immobile (£36m) and Joaquin Correa's (£27.45m) values are behind Lazio's impressively high position.
Market value - £341.15m
Purchase value - £177.80m
Difference - £163.35m
With Memphis Depay (£39.6m), Moussa Dembele (£36m) and Bruno Guimaraes (£25.2m) in the squad, all of whom were signed for less than their current values, Lyon were always going to do well here. Hossem Aouar (£44.55m) came through the team's youth system as well.
Market value - £226.62m
Purchase value - £48.27m
Difference - £178.35m
The team with the lowest 'purchase value' in the top 20. But Fiorentina's fear of spending is backed up by their ability to increase market value. Federico Chiesa alone is worth £43.2m.
Market value - £773.51m
Purchase value - £592.49m
Difference - £181.02m
The Blaugrana's transfer strategy in recent years has been rightly criticised, but they must be doing something right. Lionel Messi's £100m value helps them out massively, though...
Market value - £473.94m
Purchase value - £276.73m
Difference - £197.21m
Kalidou Koulibaly (£50.4m), Lorenzo Insigne (£43.2m) and Fabian Ruiz (£43.2m) have sorted the Neapolitans right out here, given they were either signed on the cheap or - in Insigne's case - brought through the academy.News Now - Sport News