Some good news for Manchester United: selling the world's most valuable player hasn't always meant an instant decline for clubs.

Barcelona after Diego Maradona

Having never quite settled in Barcelona, Maradona moved to Napoli for £5m in 1984. The very next season, Barca won their first league title in 11 years and in the following reached their first European Cup final in 25.

PSV Eindhoven after Ruud Gullit

Maradona's successor as the world's most expensive player in 1987 but the difference was that PSV used their asset properly. So surely the loss would have been more lasting? Within nine months they had won every trophy available including a first ever European Cup.

Marseille after Jean-Pierre Papin

The sale of the French club's only Ballon D'Or winner in 1992 immediately lead to their only Champions League win, and against his new club AC Milan in the final at that.

Barcelona after Ronaldo

Despite enjoying the original Ronaldo's greatest ever season in 1996-97, Barca still didn't bring back La Liga. On selling him they won it twice in a row while new club Inter would have to wait until four years after his departure.

Lazio after Christian Vieri

The Pope preaches about the price, the fans cry about Vieri's farewell. But in less than a year they'd be celebrating as Sven Goran Eriksson's management delivers only a second ever Serie A in 2000.

Juventus after Zinedine Zidane

Granted, he did score that volley for Real Madrid in Hampden Park but Juve didn't exactly suffer without him. In 2002 – just a year after his departure – they won their first Scudetto since 1998, while in 2003 they'd retained it and reached their first Champions League final since 1998, knocking out Real along the way.