FM 18: Best Bargain Centre Backs

Looking for cheap FM 18 central defenders? We bring you ALL the best bargain buy central defenders under £5m on Football Manager 2018.


If you’ve got a small budget on Football Manager, you may feel you are up against it, especially with the inflated transfer fees this year. With various add-ons and clauses you can stick on transfer offers, you can make some fantastic deals, so have a play around and see what works.

Centre backs are perhaps the most important players on the pitch, being responsible for stopping goals rather than scoring them. We have compiled the best bargain centre backs on Football Manager 2018, with all of these players able to be bought for less than a £5 million fee.

For a full list of all our bargain centre backs, visit the table at the bottom of this page.

Andrea Barzagli (CA 162 – PA 167)

Age: 36

Positions: D (C)

Club: Juventus

Country: Italy

Best attributes: 20 marking, 19 positioning, 19 concentration

Value: £2.5 million

Wage: £95,000 a week

One third of Italy’s defensive line, Andrea Barzagli has been a fantastic servant to both his country and Juventus for the past six years. With his contract up at the end of the season, the centre back looks likely to leave the club or possibly retire, but if you act fast, you may be able to get one final campaign out of the 36-year-old.

The former Palermo man will set you back just £4.5 million on FM 18, with his wages costing you £95,000 a week. For that cost you can get yourself a solid, experienced defender who can help your youngsters, and offer 20 marking, 19 positioning and 19 concentration. His 162 current ability keeps him up there with the best defenders in the world. 

Jeremy Toulalan (CA 145 – PA 170)

Age: 33

Positions: D (C), DM

Club: Bordeaux

Country: France

Best attributes: 20 team work, 18 bravery, 17 tackling

Value: £2.9 million

Wage: £35,000 a week

Another experienced cookie, Bordeaux’s Jeremy Toulalan has now been in the game for 16 years. The 33-year-old picked up two Ligue 1 titles with Lyon back in their heyday becoming a regular for France in the process.

With the centre back or defensive midfielder playing the majority of his career in the France, can you entice him with one last move? You will need close to £5 million for the composed Toulalan with affordable wages of £35,000 a week. 20 team work, 18 bravery and 17 tackling would be assets to any side, contributing to his 145 current ability score.

Naldo (CA 145 – PA 161)

Age: 34

Positions: D (C)

Club: Gelsenkirchen (Schalke)

Country: Brazil

Best attributes: 20 jumping reach, 18 heading, 17 consistency

Value: £1.1 million

Wage: £51,000 a week

With a combined number of over 400 appearances for Werder Bremen and Wolfsburg, centre back Naldo has barrels of experience. Now a regular fixture at another German club Schalke, the 34-year-old is still as composed as ever. 

His low value means you can grab Naldo for little over £3 million and wages of £51,000 a week. His 145 current ability consists of 20 jumping reach, 18 heading and 17 consistency, encouraging you to at least enquire for the former Brazil international.

Jose Maria Basanta (CA 142 – PA 147)

Age: 33

Positions: D (C)

Club: Monterrey

Country: Argentina

Best attributes: 16 tackling, 16 penalty taking, 15 heading

Value: £1.6 million

Wage: £14,000 a week

A less familiar name is Argentina international Jose Maria Basanta. A spell at Fiorentina in 2014 didn’t work for Basanta, but the 33-year-old centre back has been one of the top performers in the Mexican league for the best part of a decade. 

The Monterrey man will cost you close to £5 million, giving you his 142 current ability and 147 potential. 16 tacking, 16 penalty taking and 15 heading are reliable stats, for which you will need £14,000 a week in wages.

Luisao (CA 140 – PA 153)

Age: 36

Positions: D (C)

Club: SL Benfica

Country: Brazil

Best attributes: 20 leadership, 19 consistency, 18 strength

Value: £850,000

Wage: £55,000 a week

It’s amazing to think that Luisao made his debut for Brazil back in 2001, with the 36-year-old a regular for Benfica since 2003. 14 years and over 500 appearances later, the centre back has captained the club to five Primeira Liga titles, and is still playing week-in-week-out.

Now in the final year of his contract, Benfica may be preparing for a final season without Luisao, but you could poach him for just £2.5 million on FM. His £55,000 a week wages will get you his 140 current ability rating and attributes of 20 leadership, 19 consistency and 18 strength. 

Alexis (CA 135 – PA 140)

Age: 30

Positions: D (C)

Club: Alaves

Country: Spain

Best attributes: 16 heading, 16 tackling, 15 dirtiness

Value: £2.4 million

Wage: £15,000 a week

An absolute journeyman, Spanish centre back Alexis has played for seven clubs so far in his career, six of which are in Spain. The fact he has been a regular for all of them shows his quality, and who knows, if he had settled somewhere he could have been capped by his country.

The Alaves man could be the most likely to move on Football Manager given his transfer history, and you will only need £4 million to sign him. For wages of £15,000 a week you will get Alexis’s 135 current ability rating which can still rise to 140. 16 heading, 16 tackling and 15 dirtiness suggest that the defender will spare no expense on the field. 

Serdar Tasci (CA 134 – PA 146)

Age: 30

Positions: D (C)

Club: Spartak Moscow

Country: Germany

Best attributes: 17 consistency, 16 natural fitness, 15 marking

Value: £2.5 million

Wage: £38,000 a week

Given Germany’s quality at the back (Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng, Niklas Sule, Antonio Rudiger, Jonathan Tah etc), it may surprise you that Spartak Moscow centre back Serdar Tasci has 14 caps for his country. The 30-year-old even had a loan spell at Bayern Munich last year, showing how high he is regarded.

The former Stuttgart man has a 134 CA score on FM, and he still could hit a 146 potential if he finds some good form. Tasci’s 17 consistency, 16 natural fitness and 15 marking will cost you £4.5 million, with his weekly wages currently £38,000. 

Andreas Granqvist (CA 134 – PA 139)

Age: 32

Positions: D (C)

Club: Krasnodar

Country: Sweden

Best attributes: 16 concentration, 16 leadership, 15 marking

Value: £2.4 million

Wage: £34,000 a week

A former Premier League player, Andreas Granqvist has felt most comfortable with Russian Krasnodar. After making his name in his native Sweden with Helsingborg, a stint at Wigan was followed by spells in Holland and Italy, with Granqvist finally finding a home at Krasnodar.

Now 33 and with 150 appearances in Russia under his belt, one last move would make perfect sense for Granqvist, who can be yours for just £4 million on FM 18. 16 concentration, 16 leadership and 15 marking help towards a 134 current ability score, a great deal for £34,000 a week wages. 

Makoto Hasebe (CA 134 – PA 135)

Age: 33

Positions: D (C), DM, M (C)

Club: Frankfurt

Country: Japan

Best attributes: 18 team work, 17 natural fitness, 17 versatility

Value: £1.6 million

Wage: £18,000 a week

The Bundesliga has always given plenty of opportunity to Asian talent, with Makoto Hasebe currently at his third German club in the form of Eintracht Frankfurt. He was a regular at Wolfsburg, winning a famous Bundesliga in 2009, but now could be the perfect time for the 33-year-old to try a new country. 

The Japan veteran will cost you just £4 million and offer you 18 team work, 17 natural fitness and 17 versatility. His £18,000 a week wages will get you his 134 current ability rating, which should be good to start for most top-flight mid table clubs. 

John Terry (CA 133 – PA 180)

Age: 36

Positions: D (C)

Club: Aston Villa

Country: England

Best attributes: 20 leadership, 20 team work, 19 determination

Value: £940,000

Wage: £60,000 a week

After 18 years, it was with a heavy heart that John Terry left Chelsea in the summer, in the search of first team football. In order to ensure he wouldn’t play against his beloved club, the former Blues captain dropped down to Championship side Aston Villa, and is now leading their promotion challenge. 

You can still purchase Terry on FM 18, but you will need to put together a pretty good package. You will need £5 million plus various add-ons for him, which will get you his 20 leadership, 20 team work and 19 determination. Those attributes help towards Terry’s 133 current ability rating, for which you will need a hefty £60,000 a week.

More centre back bargain buys

Player
Age
Pos
Club
Country
CA/
PA
V
W
Phil Jagielka34D (C)EvertonEngland133/
157
£1m£50k
Emiliano Moretti36D (C)
D (L)
TorinoItaly133/
145
£520k£19k
Ivan Ramis32D (C)EibarSpain133/
144
£2m£16k
Xabi Etxeita29D (C)Athletic BilbaoSpain133/
138
£3m£16k
Gareth McAuley36D (C)West BromNorthern Ireland133/
133
£1m£35k
Chico30D (C)GranadaSpain132/
142
£3m£9k
Vasili Berezutski29D (C)CSKARussia132/
140
£700k£16k
Nicolas Burdisso36D (C)TorinoArgentina131/
155
£430k£19k
Paolo Cannavaro36D (C)
SW
SassuoloItaly131/
144
£430k£19k
Alexander Barboza22D (C)River PlateArgentina131/
140
£1m£5k
Cala27D (C)GetafeSpain131/
136
£2m£14k
Dede28D (C)CruzeiroBrazil130/
153
£880k£28k
Ron Vlaar32D (C)AZ AlkmaarHolland130/
148
£2m£4k
Sergei Ignashevich37D (C)CSKARussia130/
143
£510k£18k
James Collins33D (C)West HamWales130/
134
£2m£35k
Dominic Maroh30D (C)KolnSlovenia130/
130
£3m£18k

V = Value

W = Wage

Who have you snapped on Football Manager 2018? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Contract Expiry Signings

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Alastair Pusinelli

I am RealSport's Editor-in-Chief having covered almost everything across the board on the platform. Starting with content on football and the Chinese Super League, I have expanded into esports and gaming, via a stint as rugby editor.

With RS now focused on gaming and working alongside Gfinity, I led the site's coverage on the football titles of FIFA, Football Manager and PES. This has enabled me to cover official esports events such as the FIFA eWorld Cup, FUT Champions Cups and the Gfinity FIFA Series.

Elsewhere, I have been published in The Sunday Times and Variety magazine, as well as working in the offices of Brighton & Hove Albion FC and Hampshire CCC.

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