Tuesday 23 January 2018

Roberto Firmino's Liverpool contract contains strange 'anti Arsenal' clause

Liverpool's Roberto Firmino celebrates scoring with Philippe Coutinho
Liverpool's Roberto Firmino celebrates scoring with Philippe Coutinho

Mark Critchley

Roberto Firmino’s contract at Liverpool includes an unusual ‘anti-Arsenal’ clause, according to the latest documents released by the Football Leaks group.

The Brazil international, who arrived on Merseyside from Hoffenheim for £29m in the summer of 2015, has a €98m (£82.6m) release clause which can be triggered by any club except the Gunners.

Arsenal infamously offered £40,000,001 for Luis Suarez while he was still a Liverpool player in 2013, believing the extra £1 would trigger a break clause in the Uruguayan’s contract.

Liverpool refused to release Suarez, with the club’s owner John Henry tweeting: “What do you think they're smoking over there at Emirates?”

Suarez subsequently left Liverpool the following summer, joining Barcelona for a fee thought to be in the region of £75m.

The clause in Firmino’s contract, published in the Belgian newspaper Le Soir, appears to have been written with Arsenal’s unsuccessful pursuit of Suarez in mind.

Firmino has made an impressive start to his second full season in English football, scoring five goals and registering three assists in 13 Premier League matches.

The 25-year-old forward’s current deal at Liverpool expires in 2022.

The disclosure of Firmino’s contract is one of the latest revelations to be made by the Football Leaks group, which has spent the past two years publishing confidential information from within the game.

On Saturday, Cristiano Ronaldo and Jose Mourinho were alleged to have avoided paying tax on their earnings by channelling money into accounts based in the British Virgin Islands.

(© Independent News Service)

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