Why Barcelona agreed to amazing Liverpool demands to sign Coutinho

The Spanish giants splashed out £142million to capture the Brazilian playmaker last January to bring to an end a saga which had dragged on for a year.

And now it has emerged Barcelona were in such a rush to push through the Coutinho deal they caved in to Liverpool inserting a special clause to protect themselves from being raided again.

Reds Sporting Director Michael Edwards got tough with the La Liga champions after the Anfield board were left so disgruntled with their behaviour in their pursuit of Coutinho, 26.

He added an extra clause into the contract which states Barca will have to pay an added surcharge of £89million if they want to sign ANY Liverpool players for the next two years.

That paragraph means if the Spanish side attempted to sign Sadio Mane, they would have to meet the asking price for the striker plus cough up the added premium on top.

And with Mane valued around £75m, it would mean Barca would have to pay a total of £164m to Liverpool if they want to capture him.

It is an extraordinary demand which left Nou Camp bosses fuming, and they initially railed against it.

But having seen their attempts to complete the Coutinho deal fail in the previous summer window, they did not want to disappoint their fans and leave them short again.

So they caved in when Liverpool refused to remove it, and effectively ruled themselves out of signing any Reds stars until 2020 when the clause expires.

That means their interest in Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino has had to be shelved because there is little chance they could find the finances to get any deal done.

It is a remarkable success story for Liverpool, who found themselves being disrupted by Barca's pursuit of their star player for the best part of a year.

Despite rejecting a series of initial bids, the player's head had been turned to such an extent he attempted to force through the move himself.

The saga caused major problems for manager Jurgen Klopp and his side on the field, creating uncertainty which at the time threatened to undermine their challenge in the Premier League.

And Liverpool felt they had to do something to ensure the rest of their impressive group of players would not suddenly fall under the spell of Barca moving forward.

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