Posted on 23rd Nov 2018
It is an extraordinary deal which will limit Barcelona’s capacity to sign any more Anfield stars until 2020.
Barcelona agreed the deal with Liverpool as part of their decision to bring in Philippe Coutinho last January in a £142million deal. It was a deal that shook the football world and one which makes Barcelona tickets even more appealing.
The arrangement will prevent Ernesto Valverde from making an approach to bring in the likes of Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah or Sadio Mane, who signed a new contract this week, all of whom have been linked with the Nou Camp in recent times.
Anfield sporting director Michael Edwards insisted on a £100 million 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 a staggering £239 million.
Roberto Firmino responded to speculation of a move after he was recommended by Coutinho to join him at Barcelona, he said: “Everyone hears stories about what it means to be a Liverpool player, but, until you live it personally, you cannot really understand it,
“I’m only interested in Liverpool and winning everything I can with them. We have the best supporters in the world here, they are amazing.”
Meanwhile, Coutinho is fast approaching the end of his first year at Barcelona. After a relatively slow start to life in Catalonia, Coutinho - interchanging positions between midfield and attack - started to impress his new team and their always-demanding fans.
The 26-year-old was brought as a long-term replacement for the veteran, Andres Iniesta. Therefore, continually studying both Messi and Iniesta at the club's Ciutat Esportiva training complex, Coutinho is gradually developing into his role in the side with the La Liga giants.
"At Liverpool I studied Steven Gerrard all the time and improved my game that way. Here I absorb all I can from Iniesta and Messi," Coutinho said.
Before his recent hamstring injury, the Brazilian had contributed five goals and four assists in 16 matches this season, including scoring the curtain raiser in Barca's 5-1 win over Real Madrid in October's El Clasico at the Nou Camp.
Barca continue to impress in all competitions and with Coutinho now an integral part of the team, it may only be a matter of time before the Spanish giants come knocking to Merseyside once more in hot persuit of one of their talents.