Sunday 15 September 2019

Barcelona made to pay extra £89m by Liverpool for future signings in wake of Philippe Coutinho deal

Philippe Coutinho
Philippe Coutinho

Chris Bascombe

Liverpool agreed an extraordinary deal with Barcelona to limit the Spanish club’s capacity to sign any more Anfield stars until 2020.

Details have emerged of the preventative measures taken when Liverpool reluctantly sanctioned the sale of Philippe Coutinho to Barca for £142 million last January.

During negotiations, Anfield sporting director Michael Edwards insisted on a €100 million (£89m) premium on top of any transfer fee if Barcelona try to lure any more Liverpool players in the next few years.

It means if Barca ever moved for Mohamed Salah – whose current market value would conservatively value him at £150 million – the price for Barcelona would be £239 million.

The deal is a reflection of Liverpool’s distaste with how the pursuit of Coutinho progressed in the six months prior to the Brazilian’s departure. Edwards’ hard-line stance forced the La Liga club’s hand as they desperately sought to conclude a deal, with Coutinho also pushing for a move.

The process in the months leading to the transfer were not amicable, Liverpool earlier writing to Barcelona in the summer of 2017 warning them not to make further bids and threatening to report their European rivals to Fifa for an alleged illegal approach.

Coutinho did not play for Liverpool while the transfer window was open, citing a ‘bad back’.

Barcelona’s shirt sponsors – Nike – further riled Liverpool by announcing Coutinho’s arrival weeks before it was formally agreed.

Matters were finally resolved when Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp decided to grant Coutinho his wish, but only on the club’s terms – which when ultimately agreed by Edwards have proven to be more beneficial than originally thought.

The terms should ensure Barcelona’s scouts have little need to travel to Anfield for the next two years. They had earlier recruited Luis Suarez from the Merseysiders.

Barcelona have most recently been linked with a move for Sadio Mane, who unlike Salah and Roberto Firmino is yet to pen a new contract at Anfield despite ongoing talks. It is highly unlikely any Liverpool players will be following Coutinho to the Nou Camp in the near future.

Telegraph.co.uk

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