Guardiola, Mourinho, Conte: 15 managers with the highest transfer spend in football history

Klopp mourinho conte guardiola

Football finance is a very complicated subject.

There’s no doubt that some of the wealthiest clubs in the world are some of the most successful and the most successful football managers are those that have had the financial backing from their clubs.

Managers can only attract the best players with big cheques, and without stacks of cash behind them, perhaps some of football’s greatest tacticians may not have achieved nearly half of the success they are credited for today.

It is also becoming harder and harder for teams across Europe’s top five leagues to win silverware without that financial backing, but there are some exceptions to that trend.

Using data collected by Transfermarkt, we have listed 15 of the highest spending managers in football history.

But you will notice that there are some big names missing from that list.

Former Barcelona manager and current Spain head coach Luis Enrique falls outside of the top 15 highest spending managers, despite having won a Champions League, two La Liga titles and three Spanish Cups.

Zinedine Zidane managing for Real Madrid

Zinedine Zidane is another exception to the rule, having guided Real Madrid to three Champions League titles during his tenure at the club, but falls outside our list, spending a meagre £387.99 million in comparison to some of the names below.

Infact, some of those managers have even managed to spend more than £1 billion in transfer fees during their careers.

So without any further delay, check out the eye-watering figures below and see if your club’s coach has made the list of the 15 biggest spending managers in football history.

The highest-spending football managers in history

15. Jurgen Klopp – £655.17m

Number of players purchased: 72

Number of titles won: 10

14. Sir Alex Ferguson – £710.95m

Number of players purchased: 95

Number of titles won: 48

13. Roberto Mancini – £735.47m

Number of players purchased: 83

Number of titles won: 14

12. Rafael Benitez – £749.52m

Number of players purchased: 106

Number of titles won: 13

11. Unai Emery – £762.48m

Number of players purchased: 74

Number of titles won: 11

10. Claudio Ranieri – £777.17m

Number of players purchased: 113

Number of titles won: 8

9. Ernesto Valverde – £782.85m

Number of players purchased: 53

Number of titles won: 10

8. Antonio Conte – £869.49m

Number of players purchased: 84

Number of titles won: 9

7. Arsene Wenger – £875.93m

Number of players purchased: 104

Number of titles won: 21

6. Diego Simeone – £887.42m

Number of players purchased: 69

Number of titles won: 8

Diego Simeone Atletico Madrid

5. Massimiliano Allegri – £969.73m

Number of players purchased: 96

Number of titles won: 14

4. Manuel Pellegrini – £1.04bn

Number of players purchased: 90

Number of titles won: 5

3. Carlo Ancelotti – £1.30bn

Number of players purchased: 101

Number of titles won: 20

Everton v Manchester City - Premier League

2. Pep Guardiola – £1.44bn

Number of players purchased: 67

Number of titles won: 31

1. Jose Mourinho – £1.54bn

Number of players purchased: 104

Number of titles won: 33

Mourinho bags the top spot

Perhaps it was no surprise to see Ancelotti, Guardiola, and Mourinho complete the top three, with each having spent over £1bn on football transfers during their careers.

All three managers have worked at some of the world’s biggest clubs and have been given nearly unlimited stacks of cash to spend on players.

Cumulatively, they have won an astonishing 84 titles between them and perhaps that gives truth to the claim that football managers need to have strong financial backing in order to be successful.

But lower down the list, there are some managers who provide an exception to that.

While they too have spent a fair bit of money on transfers, Wenger and Ferguson sit significantly lower down the rankings but are still two of the most successful managers in world football, having won 21 and 48 titles, respectively.

Infact, the former Manchester United manager’s transfer spend to title-winning ratio maybe puts him strides ahead of the likes of Guardiola and Mourinho as one of the most successful football managers in the world.

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