Liverpool are suddenly on course for a further windfall from their Philippe Coutinho transfer. Circumstances could leave them with a lot more in the bank.
Marca claims that Barcelona are now strongly considering keeping Coutinho next season. That goes against virtually all recent reports that say the Catalonians want rid of him. They make a good argument, however.
For one thing, selling the player is difficult in the current economic climate. No clubs no how much money they’ll have, let alone how much they can spend, while it’s also not clear what you’re investing in.
Usually, when you sign a player you know exactly how and when you can use them. That’s not the case when football is on hiatus – could you even use Coutinho in 2020?
His wages, too, are an issue. Barcelona pay him nearly £12m per year – that’s a figure few clubs can match even when times are good.
And so Barcelona are now considering playing it safe and holding onto the player for next season. That comes with a catch, though, and one that is very lucrative for Liverpool.
When the Reds sold Coutinho to Barcelona in 2018 for around £104m, there were several clauses involved. One of them, for instance, was Barca paying £4.35m to Liverpool once the Brazilian played 25 games. They met that clause and duly paid the money.
Another was for £8.7m once Barcelona qualified for the Champions League twice with Coutinho – again, they’ve paid that.
But another clause was that they’d owe Liverpool a little over £17m once Coutinho played 100 games for them. And that’s where their decision to keep him for a season comes in.
Because if they do keep and play Coutinho, he’ll almost certainly meet that clause. He’s only 25 games away, after all.
Liverpool couldn’t possibly have seen this coming, not with the player heading out on loan last season. Despite the odds, however, they could be set for another Coutinho windfall.