Please take a look at this screenshot:
As I’ve highlighted, there are two column named “MV” and “Free” in the table. What are those two refer to?
According to Wikipedia, MV stands for “Market Value”. Ok, but what does it mean? It means the average amount for a transfer in the session? Also, what’s the concept of “Free” in that screenshot?
I Googled “How is the market value of a footballer determined and got this result which told me more than I ever wanted to know about valuing footballers.
It seems that the MV (market value or MARCA value) of a player is determined by a semi-scientific process taking into account his (or possibly by now her) ability, age, injury record, remaining length of contract and so on.
It also seems that the MV of a player is the starting point of the negotiations, perhaps more like the guide price of a property at auction than anything else, and that many clubs pay a transfer fee well in excess of the MV for a player they really want. Thus your screenshot shows Fees much greater than the MV at the time.
If reports of football transfers were read by someone with no knowledge of the true situation they could think that players were slaves since clubs are often said to have been ‘sold’ by one club and ‘bought’ by another. This is, of course, untrue and the negotiations include the player who has to agree to the transfer before it can take place. The fee paid by one club to another is not actually a price, it is a sum paid in compensation for ending a players contract before it has expired. The fact that these fees are inflated is part of the business of football and, partly, the hype surrounding it.