The best centre-backs to sign on Football Manager 2023

Torres is an excellent signing
Torres is an excellent signing / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

You can score all the goals you want, but without a good defence, you won't win anything in Football Manager 2023.

Regardless of the sort of money you've got to play with, there are plenty of smart signings out there which could make the difference for your side.

Here are the best centre-backs to sign in FM23.

Cheap options

Santos Laguna

A gem in the Mexican league, Doria is an excellent pick-up at just £1.3m. If you haven't got the pull of a top side, he is the defender you should be looking at.

Mateo Musacchio
Free Agent

If money is tight, turn to Musacchio. The 31-year-old is still a good option and won't cost you a penny.

Luis Romo

Romo was a real gem last year. He's more expensive this time around at £3.5m but that's about right for a player of his ability.

Juan Escobar
Cruz Azul

At £54,000, you won't find better value for money than Escobar.

Ivan Marcano

Marcano is 35 and clearly not one for the future, but if you need some immediate help, his £1.1m price tag is pretty reasonable.

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Sorry to all the managers dealing with smaller sides, but someone of Pepe's value needs a shout-out here. He's one of the best defenders in the game and can be snapped up for as little as £2.8m. If you can convince him to join, it's a no-brainer.

Sergio Mosquera
Atletico Nacional

A gem of a signing from the Mexican league, Mosquera looks like a smart signing for £1.2m. His 15 marking, 15 tackling and 17 heading will help any side.

Jose Fonte

A veteran at 38, Fonte won't give you too many years of service but, at just £825,000, you don't really need that from him.

David Lopez

Dominant in midfield or in defence, Lopez is statistically one of the best options at this price point and his £3.7m price tag makes this deal even better.

Raul Albiol

Albiol is 36 and other obviously in the twilight of his career, but he's still an elite defender. £3.2m for one season at that level makes a lot of sense.

Reasonable options

R. Madrid

A star at centre-back and a real force on both sides of defence, Nacho is a smart buy at £16.75m. Move quick before he signs a new contract.

Stefan de Vrij

An expiring contract also makes De Vrij a sensational signing. His asking price has dropped to just £11.25m after the winter update.

Mouctar Diakhaby

At £8.5m, Diakhaby is one of the cheaper options at this price point. If that's your sort of budget, you won't find a whole lot better than him.

Lucas Verissimo

A nasty knee injury complicates signing Verissimo early on but, when he returns, you should try and land him for somewhere close to his £13m asking price.

Daley Blind
FC Bayern

Blind has only just joined Bayern but he's on an expiring deal and won't get a lot of minutes, so expect him to be available on the cheap soon. The Dutchman starts off with an asking price of just £7.5m.

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Nicolas Otamendi

Otamendi is one of the best centre-backs on the game but the combination of his age (34) and expiring contract leaves him available at £4.7m. You'll need to offer him a sizeable salary but the overall price of the deal is a major bargain.

Jonny Evans

Evans might be getting on in years but his asking price of £4m is a great deal, particularly if you're an English side looking for a homegrown player.

Nordi Mukiele

New on the books at PSG is the versatile Mukiele. He's another who might grow frustrated with his limited minutes pretty quickly, at which point his £13m asking price could be a steal.

Nikola Milenkovic

Any seasoned FM player should know about Milenkovic, who is still only 24 when the game begins. For £18.5m, you can land yourself a real gem here.

Jose Luis Palomino

Valued at just £6.25m, Palomino would start for any mid-table side and is good enough to cover for an elite one.

Expensive options

Kim Min-jae

Kim comes with a £39m release clause but you can't sign him immediately as he's just moved to Naples. Give it a few months and then you'll want to lodge a bid, because that's unreal value.

Amir Rrahmani

Kim's partner is the towering Rrahmani, who brings 16 heading and 15 tackling and looks like a smart buy for £24.5m.

Milan Skriniar

Skriniar's agreement to join PSG is not actually part of FM just yet so he's still on an expiring contract with Inter. He's a sensational signing for just £43m.

Juan Foyth

Foyth has been more of a right-back in recent years but his stats look more like those of a central defender. His £20.5m release clause is definitely worth activating.

Pau Torres

Another pairing. Torres is one of the best defenders on the game and his potential is really impressive. If you want to be sorted in this position for the next decade, he'll cost you £52m.

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Benjamin Pavard
FC Bayern

Every year, Bayern want rid of Pavard. This time around, he's got two years left on his contract and can be snapped up for £26.5m, giving you an excellent option at both centre-back and right-back.

Lucas Hernandez
FC Bayern

Another versatile defender at Bayern, Lucas is more expensive at £46m. That's still a good deal but it shows just how cheap Pavard actually is.

Sergio Ramos

If you want to recruit the legendary Ramos before he eventually hangs up his boots, it'll cost you £17.5m. A great price if you can look past the fact he's 36.

Sebastian Coates
Sporting CP

Coates is one of the best outside Europe's top leagues. Sporting don't want to sell him but they can't do anything about his £39m release clause.

Mats Hummels
Borussia Dortmund

Hummels' physical stats loom like those of a 33-year-old centre-back but his mental and defensive attributes are through the roof. If you can find a way to make that work, his £18.5m price tag is great value.