Hands Off! The 9 Footballers With the Biggest Transfer Release Clauses in the World of Football

Transfer release clauses can often be triggered by clubs as a way of signing a certain player, but it would take the annual budget of a small nation for the following footballers to be prised away from their current clubs based on their transfer release clauses, as reported by the Express .

Here are the top nine...

9. Philippe Coutinho

Transfer release clause: €400m

The latest addition to this list, Philippe Coutinho's move to Barcelona from Liverpool, the second highest transfer fee of all time, included a release clause of €400m to ensure that the Brazilian stays at the Nou Camp for many years to come. 

8. Luka Modric

Transfer release clause: €500m

Real Madrid players dominate this list and the first of those is Luka Modric, who has a release clause of half a billion Euros, along with two of his fellow Los Blancos teammates at the Santiago Bernabeu. 

7. Toni Kroos

Transfer release clause: €500m 

Modric's midfield partner Toni Kroos also would cost a club an arm and a leg to take him away from the Spanish capital. The German international has been a pivotal cog in the Madrid side ever since joining from Bayern Munich

6. Gareth Bale

Transfer release clause: €500m 

Gareth Bale became the most expensive player in the world when he swapped Tottenham  Hotspur for Real Madrid back in 2013 so it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that the La Liga heavyweights are only inclined to lose him for a very large fee. 

5. Isco

Transfer release clause: €700m 

Yet another Madrid star whose future is very much secure, Isco has developed into one of the most talented midfielders in world football over the past couple of seasons and was crucial in Real's double-winning season last year. 

4. Marco Asensio

Transfer release clause: €700m 

Arguably the most promising star amongst the Real ranks, Marco Asensio has already showcased why he has a €700m release clause inserted into his contract with Zinedine Zidane's side. 

3. Lionel Messi

Transfer release clause: €706m 

Generally considered the top dog in world football in regards to ability, Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi is only third when it comes to the biggest transfer release clauses, although he has the most of anyone else outside of the Bernabeu. 

2. Karim Benzema

Transfer release clause: €1bn

Undoubtedly the most surprising inclusion on this list due to the constant rumours linking him with a move away from Real, mercurial French striker Karim Benzema has the joint-largest transfer release clause in the history of the sport.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo

Transfer release clause: €1bn

Of course the five-time Ballon d'Or winner has the largest transfer release clause in world football, albeit shared with teammate Benzema, yet he definitely warrants it following an incredible career.