Keira Walsh to Barcelona: The most expensive women's football transfers of all time

Milene Domingues, Keira Walsh and Pernille Harder

Midfield maestro Keira Walsh has completed a transfer to Barcelona.

Barcelona have been chasing the midfielder all summer, with Manchester City rejecting at least three bids from the Catalan club.

But with Walsh keen on the move, and a world-record fee for a women’s footballer on the cards, Manchester City’s resolve weakened.

GiveMeSport Women have subsequently listed the most expensive women’s football transfer of all time.

It must be noted that a number of fees for women’s football transfers are undisclosed, particularly in the United States. This list is made up of reported fees or those which have been made public, giving a general indicator of the most expensive transfers in history.

8) Ellie Carpenter (Portland Thorns – Lyon, Undisclosed)

Carpenter, who is currently recovering from an ACL injury, was purchased by Lyon from Portland Thorns in June 2020.

The fee for the 22-year-old defender, who has already made 57 appearances for Australia, was not disclosed. But the transfer was widely reported as one of the most expensive in women’s football history.

Australian defender Ellie Carpenter

7) Valérie Gauvin (Montpellier – Everton, €100,000/£86,200)

Gauvin moved to Women’s Super League club Everton in August 2020 after an impressive season with Montpellier, which included 14 goals in 16 appearances.

Everton saw fit to spend a club record fee on the striker, but unfortunately Gauvin’s time on Merseyside did not work out. She scored five times in 27 appearances before a transfer to North Carolina Courage in the NWSL.

Former Everton player Valerie Gauvin

6) Hanna Bennison (FC Rosengård – Everton, £185,000/€159,500)

Everton broke their transfer record again in August 2021, signing Swedish sensation Hanna Bennison.

The deal was widely reported to be six figures, and Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet set the price between £120,000 and £185,000. Bennison has since made 22 appearances for Everton, scoring once.

Everton player Hanna Bennison

5) Sofie Svava (Wolfsburg – Real Madrid, €200,000/£172,500)

Real Madrid signed Svava, the young Danish defender, in January. According to MARCA, the 22-year-old went for €200,000, a record fee for Real’s Femenino side.

The young star has since made 13 appearances for her new club, also playing for Denmark during Euro 2022.

Danish defender Sofie Svava

4) Lauren James (Manchester UnitedChelsea, €235,000/£202,600)

James moved from Manchester United to Chelsea in a record transfer between two Women’s Super League clubs.

She had helped the Red Devils gain promotion to the WSL, scoring 14 goals in 18 matches during the 2018/19 campaign.

James only made five appearances for her new club last season, but the 20-year-old recently earned her first cap for England in a World Cup qualifier.

England star Lauren James

3) Milene Domingues (Fiamma Monza – Rayo Vallecano, €235,000/£202,600)

Domingues, the former wife of Brazilian superstar Ronaldo Nazario, has an intriguing story.

After the former SC Corinthians player married Ronaldo and gave birth to their son, Domingues returned to football and joined Italian side Fiamma Monza while her husband was at Inter Milan.

When Ronaldo moved to Real Madrid in 2002, Domingues also transferred to Spain. Rayo Vallecano provided a world record fee and a reported annual wage of €36,000 (£31,000), but the midfielder soon discovered she wouldn’t be able to play professionally for the club.

Only Spanish players were allowed to play in the women’s top division at the time, with Domingues only able to compete in friendly matches.

Former football star Milene Domingues

2) Pernille Harder (Wolfsburg – Chelsea, £250,000/€290,226)

Chelsea broke the bank for Pernille Harder in September 2020. Having scored 68 times in 75 appearances for Wolfsburg, it’s easy to understand why.

The 29-year-old has since won two Women’s Super League titles with Chelsea, hitting the back of the net 15 times in 38 appearances for the club.

Denmark star Pernille Harder

1) Keira Walsh (Manchester City – Barcelona, £400,000/€461,200)

It is widely reported that Walsh’s transfer to Barcelona has made her the most expensive player in the history of women’s football.

Barcelona’s eyes would have lit up during Euro 2022, when Walsh was named player of the match in the final as England beat Germany at Wembley.

Since making her debut for Manchester City in July 2014, the 25-year-old has made 189 appearances for the club, scoring eight goals.

England star Keira Walsh
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Mary Earps

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