New details revealed today concerning the deal that took Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona earlier this year have turned up an astonishing clause.
The Brazilian playmaker made the move to the Catalan giants in January 2018 for £142 million after Liverpool initially resisted the La Liga side’s advances in summer 2017.
And now, it has been revealed that Liverpool’s sporting director Michael Edwards negotiated a clause into the deal that means Barcelona would have to pay an £89 million premium on top of any transfers from Liverpool until 2020.
That essentially means that if Barcelona made a move for Mohamed Salah, who is currently valued at least £150 million, the club would have to pay a staggering £239 million to even open transfer talks.
Liverpool had written to Barcelona in summer 2017 warning that any further approaches at the time for Coutinho would result in them being reported to FIFA for illegal transfer activity. Nevertheless, Barcelona’s shirt sponsors Nike continued to provoke the Reds further some months later by announcing the Brazilian’s transfer weeks before any agreement was reached.
Coutinho himself also pushed hard for the move by ruling himself out of Liverpool’s summer playing activity with a “bad back” and never made his desire to join his former teammate Luis Suarez at the Nou Camp a secret.
The move finally happened when manager Jurgen Klopp agreed to let Coutinho leave, but only on terms that were satisfactory to Liverpool, terms that now appear to have severely limited Barcelona’s ability to pursue any more Anfield targets, at least for the next few years.
While the La Liga leaders are often linked to the Red’s star performers, especially their attacking trio of Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino (they have also been linked to Alberto Moreno and Dejan Lovren in recent weeks), it seems Klopp’s Liverpool squad are safe for now.