Skip to main content
Featured Image

Unveiling the 10 managers who have generated the largest income through player sales in history

Simeone the only to break the €1 billion barrier. Ancelotti, Guardiola, Tuchel, Jardim all featured

After delving into numerous reports on teams and players’ market values recently, this week Sportingpedia decided to explore a similar concept but for the managers. As anticipated, no direct equivalent term exists to help us with the valuation of the managers. This realization led us to shift our focus toward evaluating the financial success of the head coaches, based not on trophies, but on revenue generated from player sales. Our findings reveal that Diego Simeone of Atletico Madrid stands alone in football history as the sole manager to have sold players for a total amount of over €1 billion. Notable names like Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho, Max Allegri, and Carlo Ancelotti also feature in the top 10, with seven of the managers in the ranking having surpassed the €900 million threshold in player sales.

Key Takeaways:

  • Diego Simeone is the only manager in history to have sold players for over €1 billion
  • He is also the only non-European within the top 10
  • Gasperini, Mourinho, Ancelotti, Guardiola, and Leоnardo Jardim have all sold players for over €900 million, but are yet to reach the €1 billion mark
  • Italian (Ancelotti, Allegri, and Gasperini) and Portuguese managers (Jardim, Mourinho, Jesus) are the best when it comes to making business, as both nations have 3 representatives each among the top 10 of the managers generating the biggest income through player sales
  • Leonardo Jardim has achieved the biggest income per sale raking an average of €15.86 million for each of his 65 outgoing transfers
  • Jose Mourinho and Rafael Benitez are the two managers on the list currently unemployed
  • Atalanta’s Gian Piero Gasperini has sold 166 players throughout his career – the biggest number of all managers on the list

Diego Simeone distinguishes himself as the only manager in football history to have sold players totaling over €1 billion, marking a unique achievement that places him ahead of his colleagues. Notably, the Argentine specialist is the sole non-European figure among the top 10, underlining his exceptional influence in the global football market. While close contenders like Gian Piero Gasperini, Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti, Pep Guardiola, and Leonardo Jardim have all generated over €900 million euros from player sales, they have yet to reach the billion milestone. This elite group is predominantly composed of Portuguese and Italian managers, with three from each country, and two from Spain. Leonardo Jardim, in particular, commands attention for achieving the highest average income per player sale, fetching an impressive €15.86 million euros across 65 transactions. Lastly, Gian Piero Gasperini’s record of 166 player sales, make him the most prolific seller among the listed managers.

1. Diego Simeone

The Argentine has been in charge of 6 clubs throughout his career so far (Racing Club, Estudiantes LP, River Plate, San Lorenzo, Catania, Racing Club, Atletico Madrid). He has sold a total of 98 players for a return of €1.15 billion. His biggest sale was the transfer of Antoine Griezmann to Barcelona in 2019 which was in excess of €120 million.

2. Leonardo Jardim

Jardim has led 9 teams during his managerial career: Beira-Mar, Braga, Olympiacos, Sporting Lisbon, Monaco, Monaco, Al-Hilal, Shabab Al-Ahli, and currently Al-Rayyan. Through the sale of 65 players, he has generated revenue amounting to €998.92 million. The €180 million transfer of Kylian Mbappe from Monaco to PSG is the biggest one in Jardim’s career.

3. Pep Guardiola

His coaching career began with Barcelona and he has been in charge also of Bayern Munich besides his current club Manchester City. A total of 88 players have been sold under the Spanish specialist’s management, culminating in earnings of €988.91 million. His biggest coup was €56.2 million which City received from Chelsea in 2022 for the services of Raheem Sterling.

4. Carlo Ancelotti

The only manager in football history with 4 Champions League titles, has been in charge of Reggiana, Parma, Juventus, Milan, Chelsea, PSG, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Napoli, Everton and currently is in his 2nd spell at Real Madrid. His tenures have seen the departure of 119 footballers, resulting in a staggering €946.93 million in proceeds. The Italian’s biggest sale is Angel Di Maria’s transfer from Real Madrid to Manchester United in 2014 for €75 million.

5. Jose Mourinho

The Special One is currently unemployed. During his career the Portuguese specialist has led Benfica, Leiria. Porto, Chelsea, Inter, Real Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester United, Tottenham and most recently Roma. The sale of 126 players has contributed to a financial windfall of €940.44 million during his time. The largest fee a Mourinho-led team received from a sale was in 2009 when Barcelona coughed up €69.5 million for Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

6. Massimiliano Alegri

Alegri is currently in his 2nd spell at Juventus. During his career the Italian has led Aglianese, SPAL, Grosseto two times, Lecco, Sassuolo, Cagliari, Milan, and Juventus. He has orchestrated the sale of 132 players, amassing a total income of €935.5 million. Paul Pogba was Allegri’s record sale, with the French midfielder swapping Juve for Manchester United in the summer of 2016 in exchange for €105 million.

7. Gian Piero Gasperini

The Italian manager is currently at the helm of Atalanta for the 2nd time in his career. He has also had two spells at Crotone, Genoa, and Palermo, while also leading Inter. Gasperini has overseen the sales of 132 footballers, which have delivered a total of €927.12 million. The transfer of Rasmus Hojlund from Atalanta to Manchester United for €73.9 million in 2023 remains the biggest sale throughout the Italian specialist’s career.

8. Thomas Tuchel

Tuchel recently announced he will be stepping down from his role as Bayern Munich’s manager at the end of the season. The German coach’s coaching career began with Mainz and then Tuchel led Borussia Dortmund, PSG, Chelsea, and Bayern Munich respectively. He has sold 88 players for a combined €820.87 million. French defender Lucas Hernandez is the player who generated the biggest income from a single sale for Tuchel, as he joined PSG in 2023 for €45 million.

9. Rafael Benitez

Benitez was at the helm of Celta Vigo until 12th of March and has led another 13 clubs throughout his career – Valladolid, Osasuna, Extremadura, Tenerife, Valencia, Liverpool, Inter, Chelsea, Napoli, Real Madrid, Newcastle, Dalian Professional, Everton, and now Celta. He has sanctioned 114 sales for a total of €765.03 million, while receiving the most for Moussa Sissoko, who left Newcastle for Tottenham in a €35 million deal.

10. Jorge Jesus

The Portuguese tactician has now etched his name in history while in charge of Al-Hilal in the Saudi Pro League. He is now the manager with the longest winning streak in world football, having recorded 28 consecutive victories. The Portuguese has had spells also at Estrela, Vitoria Setubal, Estrela, Vitoria Guimaraes, Moreirense, Leiria, Belenenses, Braga, Benfica, Sporting Lisbon, Al-Hilal, Flamengo, Benfica, and Fenerbahce. The 69 year old manager has sold 131 footballers for a combined of €764.62 million. Jesus’ record sale involves Ruben Dias and his transfer to Manchester City for €71.60 million in 2020.