Liverpool news: The Coutinho clause

Coutinho-on-the-pitch-at-Barcelona
No Coutinho hasn't become Father Christmas but reports are suggesting there may be a very interesting clause tied into his sale from Liverpool to Barcelona.

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Maybe Countinho will have felt his ears burning recently as we've debated whether he's left an as yet, unfilled hole (no Jay) in our side but now folks will definitely be talking about him on a larger scale.

I don't think it's a stretch to say that for a long while our transfers left a fair bit to be desired. In recent times though we seem to have bucked our ideas up. We're doing increasingly well with the fees we attract and as one example,  in 2015 we sold Sterling to City for £49million which was a pretty good price at the time. Although it's debatable if we didn't actually shoot ourselves in the foot by putting profit ahead of the performance boost we were giving to one of our main rivals.

Before jettisoning young Ripper Raheem though, in 2014 we of course sold Chewy Luis to Barcelona for a reported £75million and that's not an amount to be sniffed at either. Or lost down the back of the sofa and not reinvested in other players. Which may or may not be the case with our owners depending on how you view things.

Moving swiftly on, we saw yet another one of our best players snatched away from us this year in 2018, as Coutinho was also sold to Barca, this time for a fee of £142million. Or if you ask Barcelona themselves they bought him for £150 and a packet of Haribo. But and it's a big J-Lo-esque shaped butt, this time around have we been a lot sharper than your average carper?

According to Irish sports site Balls.ie (no Jay) the sale of Coutinho to Barcelona included a clause which forbids them from signing any more of our players for three seasons. Now if this is true and it's a big J-Lo-esque shaped if? Then yes in my opinion we've been very blooming clever indeed.

I have not heard of such a clause being included in a player sale before (although I'm sure it has been) but particularly with our main rivals, which on the European stage Barcelona are, this seems like a master stroke. In fact I'd say it should be an absolute condition of all future sales to any of our closest competitors. That way if our best players want to leave, and it's been widely accepted that short of ending up stuck with an unhappy player, there really isn't much you can do to stop them, then this type of clause at least prevents others from following in their footsteps for a while.

As an example of this in practice, if we'd done similar with the Suarez sale then the Coutinho deal itself might not have been able to take place and so if such a clause has been included in his transfer it could really pay dividends down the road and potentially, much credit should go to FSG and their employees for becoming a lot more forward thinking.
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