Football Manager

The best centre-backs to sign on Football Manager 2022

Tom Gott
Gomez is a great option at the back
Gomez is a great option at the back / Chloe Knott - Danehouse/GettyImages

Leading from the back and keeping goals out are just two of many jobs of a centre-back. Without a good one (or two), you're going to be in trouble.

When building your squad in Football Manager 2022, you better make sure you find someone you trust at the back. Fortunately for you, there are plenty of options to choose from.

Here are some of the best options after the Winter Update, regardless of your budget.

Cheap options

Erik Sviatchenko
Sviatchenko's release clause makes him an easy target / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Erik Sviatchenko

29-year-old Sviatchenko is an absolute monster in the air and good value for his £3.4m release clause.

Luis Romo

Comfortable in defence or at the base of midfield, Romo is available for a little over £3m and he's good enough to play a backup role for a top side.

Javi Martinez
Qatar SC

Former Bayern man Martinez is still top-flight calibre and can be picked up for just £2.1m. Just don't expect wonders from his 10 pace.

Jose Fonte

Enjoying a career resurgence in France, Fonte is still doing a job at 37 years old and can bring his skills to your side for around £1m.

Danilo D'Ambrosio

The versatile D'Ambrosio is a real bargain at £2.5m and can plug a hole in any area of your defence with ease.

Thilo Kehrer
Kehrer still has time to realise his potential / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

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Thilo Kehrer
Paris SG

Kehrer is one of the more expensive options at £5m, but he's also one of the few that offers a genuine long-term return. At only 24, Kehrer can grow into an elite centre-back (or right-back) with just a bit of patience and save you a lot of money down the line.

Kim Min-Jae

For a little extra cost at £7.5m you can land Kim. He's probably the best option available at this price tag.

Yaroslav Rakitskyi

Ukrainian icon Rakitskyi will set you back a cool £3.2m. He's a physical machine and his 15 long shots should make for a highlight or two.

Paulo Diaz

Diaz has already maxed out his potential so what you see is what you get. For just over £3m, you can't really complain.

Daniel Carrico

Carrico has high stats for pretty much everything you could want from a centre-back, which makes his £1.9m price tag feel like a bargain.

Reasonable options

Jason Denayer
Denayer is a smart pick-up / ANP/GettyImages

Jason Denayer

Denayer's expiring contract means you can pick him up for £11m, or take the risk of him hitting free agency in 12 months.

Gustavo Gomez

£9m is a fair price for someone of Gomez's ability. He's top tier quality and a wise investment at only 28 years old.

Amir Rrahmani

At 27 and still with a bit of room to grow, Rrahmani can come in and transform your defence for the next few years. He's a little pricey at £18m but you won't regret paying that if you go for him.


Pepe is one of the game's best centre-backs, but the problem is that he's 38. He'll cost you £10m to sign but he might not still be around in a year's time.

Matthias Ginter
Borussia M'gladbach

Another on an expiring contract, Ginter is available for a reasonable fee of £14m. He has, however, already confirmed he's leaving on a free, so you might just want to wait.

Luiz Felipe
Felipe always joins an elite side / Ivan Romano/GettyImages

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Luiz Felipe

Felipe is a 24-year-old star who is just a few years away from becoming a full-blown superstar. You'll always find him on a top side just a few years into every save, and that's because he costs just £16m to start the game.

Alessio Romagnoli

Romagnoli has some pretty high wage demands to go alongside his £15m price tag, but you can't really argue when you're signing a player of his quality.

Chancel Mbemba

Mbemba will walk away from Porto for free in 2022, but if you want him in 2021, you'll have to part with around £13m.

Rafael Toloi

Atalanta is always a great place for a shopping spree. Ageing defender Toloi can be picked up for £18m and his wages should be no problem for a side with that kind of spending money.

Lucas Martinez Quarta

Just a few years after he joined Fiorentina for £12m, Martinez Quarta could be on his way out for pretty much the same price. 16 tackling and 15 marking are his stand-out stats.

Expensive options

Gabriel Paulista
Gabriel is a decent shout / Rafa Babot/GettyImages

Gabriel Paulista

A well-rounded centre-back with some nice physical stats, Gabriel is available for around £22m, which isn't bad for somebody who is yet to turn 31.

Sebastian Coates
Sporting CP

Statistically the 18th best centre-back on the game, Coates' value of £30m is actually a real bargain. He's not yet 31 so will compete with the best for a good few years.

Thiago Silva

If we're talking about elite centre-backs, let's not forget about Silva. Soon to turn 37, he's obviously a short-term investment at £20m, but you won't find many players who can match his level for a year or two.

A. Madrid

With 12 months left on his deal, Felipe will cost you around £13.5m to sign now. He's not going to improve on his already elite level, but that's not a massive concern.

Benjamin Pavard
FC Bayern

Already a star of our best right-backs list, Pavard at £19m is a steal. He's our recommended pick over there, so let's shake it up for this one.

Lucas Verissimo
Verissimo has impressive potential / Gualter Fatia/GettyImages

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Lucas Verissimo

He's not the best option available in this price tag just yet, but Verissimo is one of the younger candidates at 26. He can do a job right now but is just a year or two away from making his £22m price tag look like pocket change.

Lucas Hernandez
FC Bayern

£40m may look a little steep, but Lucas is an elite option at both centre-back and left-back. That kind of versatility doesn't come cheap.

Manuel Akanji
Borussia Dortmund

25-year-old Akanji boasts an eye-catching 16 pace and 16 tackling, so there aren't many players who will find a way past him. For £20m, you can't complain.

Joe Gomez

Too good for the limited game time he'll get at Liverpool, Gomez can be yours for a solid £31m. At 24 years old, expect him to be worth double that fairly soon.

Milan Skriniar

If you've got cash to burn, look no further than Skriniar. As far as the elite-elite options go, Skriniar's £55m value is very respectable.