The Principality club has made several high-profile deals on the transfer market since Dmitry Rybolovlev arrived. If there is one club that knows how to buy and sell in Europe, it is AS Monaco. At the same time, the club has been able to achieve consistent results, thanks to its strategy and expertise in unearthing and nurturing the talent of tomorrow.
With the transfers of Kylian Mbappé (€180 million including bonus) in 2017 and Aurélien Tchouaméni (€100 million including bonus) this summer, AS Monaco was the first club to boast two sales of over €100 million.
The record was quickly matched by Benfica, who sold Darwin Núñez to Liverpool for 100 million euros (bonus included), three years after selling João Félix (127 million euros, bonus included) to Atlético Madrid.
A profit of €306.99 million in eight years
But with the transfers of James Rodriguez (€75 million), Thomas Lemar (€72 million), Anthony Martial (€60 million), Benjamin Mendy (€57.5 million) and Bernardo Silva (€50 million), AS Monaco has proved itself to be one of the most profitable clubs in the world in recent years, if not the most profitable.
Thanks to a €100 million euro transfer from AS Monaco to Real Madrid, Aurélien Tchouaméni has joined the ranks of the top 5 most expensive French players in history. A ranking that is led by Kylian Mbappé and features no fewer than five players sold by AS Monaco (see below).
Since returning to Ligue 1 (2013), AS Monaco has spent €757.76 millions on the transfer market. This is a huge sum for a Ligue 1 club but is offset by sales in recent years. In total, 1.064 billion euros poured into the club’s coffers thanks to the transfer market, generating a profit of 306.99 million euros in just eight seasons.
These sales did not have a negative impact on the club’s results, however. On the contrary. Thanks to this policy, often referred to as “trading”, adopted by the French club Lille in particular, AS Monaco’s sales figures skyrocketed, but performances on the pitch were also on the up and up, with notably a French championship title and a Champions League semi-final in the same year (2017).
Indicating that the strategy put in place by President Rybolovlev is not purely financial, despite significant sales. A successful and intelligent policy, since on the arrivals side, apart from James Rodriguez (€45 million), Radamel Falcao (€43 million) and Wissam Ben Yedder (€40 million), three seasoned international players, the Monaco club has never spent more than €30 million for a player on the market.
AS Monaco’s majority shareholder stated prior to his 10-year anniversary at the club’s helm that ASM occupied an important place in his life: “AS Monaco represents a major part of myself and of my life… It is not just a financial investment, it also involves a lot of time, effort, and emotion.”
Relying on youngsters trained by the club
Sold for €100 million, Aurélien Tchouaméni was bought for only €18 million, while Bernardo Silva cost €15.75 million, and was sold for €50 million. In addition to these investments in young hopefuls from outside of the club, AS Monaco has also invested heavily in its new performance centre, as well as in La Diagonale, a brand new building designed to shape tomorrow’s stars.
With Kylian Mbappé, the Principality club also followed the training club model, like Ajax Amsterdam. Benoît Badiashile is one of the jewels in ASM’s crown and a perfect illustration of the club’s long-term sporting policy. Which is: train a young player in the Academy, bring him through to the first team, watch him establish himself as a key player, then leave for a major European club.
It should be borne in mind that Monaco is a micro-state and that the club cannot rely on ticket sales, unlike the clubs in major European capitals. President Rybolovlev acknowledged this early in 2011 when he became the club’s majority shareholder after managing one of the world’s largest fertiliser groups.
The Russian owner of ASM not only managed to move the club up to Ligue 1 but was able to develop a strategy for combining strong championship results with success in the transfer market. All of this while maintaining financial stability.
Despite financial support from Dmitry Rybolovlev, AS Monaco is far from having the same budget as the largest European clubs. With an estimated budget of €225 million for the 2021-2022 season, the club does not have the same means as Real Madrid (€695 million) or even Paris Saint-Germain (€620 million).
Sales that did not affect results
After a slight dip following a highly successful first round with Mbappé, Silva, Fabinho and Lemars for example, the club made the Ligue 1 podium both times in the last two seasons. And since returning to Ligue 1 nine years ago, ASM has been on the podium six times. More proof of consistency.
While the club failed to get through to the final phase of the Champions League last season, Philippe Clement’s men have a chance to do so this time, as they qualified for the play-offs once again.
The Champions League is a vital competition to the club’s project and has enabled ASM to rack up multiple record-breaking sales in recent years. The exceptional success of the 2016-2017 season meant a lot of exposure for many players who then left for enormous sums of money, as we can see from above.
Those sales have made AS Monaco the most efficient club in its “trading” policy today, ahead of Benfica. While both clubs sold two players for over €100 million, AS Monaco sold more players for more than 50 million euros (7 in total compared to 3 for the Portuguese club).
A remarkable performance, the result of high-quality efforts over the past several seasons and initiated by Luis Campos, now at PSG, during his time at the club. The arrival of Paul Mitchell in 2020 is another step in that direction: further consolidating a model that has been successful so far and which has enabled AS Monaco to take its place among the clubs that matter on the European scene.
Top 10 AS Monaco transfers:
1. Kylian Mbappé – to PSG (2018) – Trained at the club, sold for €180 million
2. Aurélien Tchouaméni – to Real Madrid (2022) – purchased €20 million, sold for €100 million
3. James Rodriguez – to Real Madrid (2015) – purchased €45 million, sold for €75 million
4. Thomas Lemar – to Atlético Madrid (2019) – purchased €4 million, sold for €72 million
5. Anthony Martial – to Manchester United (2016) – purchased €5 million, sold for €60 million
6. Benjamin Mendy – to Manchester City (2018) – purchased €10 million, sold for €57.5 million
7. Bernardo Silva – to Manchester City (2018) – purchased €15.75 million, sold for €50 million
8. Fabinho – to Liverpool (2019) – purchased €6 million, sold for €45 million
9. Youri Tielemans – to Leicester (2020) – purchased €25 million, sold for €45 million
10. Tiemoué Bakayoko – to Chelsea (2018) – purchased €8 million, sold for €40 million
Top 10 French player transfers:
1. Kylian Mbappé – Monaco to PSG (2018) – €180 million
2. Ousmane Dembélé – Dortmund to Barcelona (2017) – €140 million
3. Antoine Griezmann – Atlético to Barcelona (2019) – €120 million
4. Paul Pogba – Juventus to Manchester United (2016) – €105 million
5. Aurélien Tchouaméni – Monaco to Real Madrid (2022) – €100 million
6. Lucas Hernandez – Atlético to Bayern (2019) – €80 million
7. Anthony Martial – Monaco to Manchester United (2015) – €80 million
8. Zinédine Zidane – Juventus to Real (2001) – €77.5 million
9. Thomas Lemar – Monaco to Atlético (2018) – €72 million
10. Tanguy Ndombélé – OL to Tottenham (2019) – €60 million