A new UEFA report claims that Manchester United has the most expensive squad in the history of soccer. Figures from the European Club Finance and Investment Landscape study show that the Red Devils paid about $1.5 billion in combined transfer fees on their players up until the end of the 2023 financial year.

Headlining the club’s costly squad are Antony, Harry Maguire, and Jadon Sancho. United spent a combined $295 million on the underperforming trio alone. Antony has scored just nine total goals (four in the Premier League) for the club since he arrived in Manchester in 2022.

Maguire, despite still retaining his place in the England national team, has seen his playing time dwindle with United. After featuring in every English top-flight match in his freshman campaign with the team, the defender has played fewer and fewer games in subsequent seasons.

Sancho is still on the books at United despite currently being out on loan. The winger recently rejoined his former club Borussia Dortmund on a temporary deal. United boss Erik ten Hag exiled the youngster after a public feud at the start of the season. Although he struggled back in England, Sancho recorded assists in each of his first two Bundesliga matches with Dortmund.

Figures do not include three recent summer signings

The aforementioned trio, however, are not the only costly players for United. Other expensive deals for the team include Casemiro ($88 million), Bruno Fernandes ($70 million), Anthony Martial ($65 million), and Lisandro Martinez ($62 million). Out of this particular group, only the Fernandes and Martinez signings have panned out.

The new study also, however, does not include transfers that occurred after the 2023 financial year. This means that major deals for Rasmus Hojlund, Mason Mount, and Andre Onana are not even part of the $1.5 billion figure. The new trio recently cost United about $219 million in combined transfer fees.

Outside of United, other Premier League teams quite predictably landed near the top of the spending list. Manchester City and Chelsea finished second and third in the financial table. Real Madrid now has the fourth-most expensive squad, a fall from the study’s previous figures. The LaLiga side previously had the most expensive team in the sport in 2020 after spending $1.4 billion on their players.

Club has struggled lately despite spending spree

Despite having the most expensive squad based on transfer fees, it has not exactly translated to immediate success for United. The Red Devils did manage to collect the Carabao Cup during the 2022/23 season. Nevertheless, they also finished a distant third in the Premier League table and were bounced from the Europa League in the quarterfinal stage.

Many fans and pundits believed the club would bounce back and improve during the current campaign. This, however, has not yet happened. United recently finished bottom of their Champions League group in December. As a result, Ten Hag’s crew could not even grab a Europa League spot.

The Red Devils also currently sit sixth in the Premier League standings as well. They have already recorded the same number of losses in the top flight as they did the previous season.

Things have improved for the team in recent weeks though. United has not lost a league match since late December and has slowly started to move up the table. Ten Hag will have to continue this climb to justify the club’s spending and help retain his job.