Philippe Coutinho is set to sign a record-breaking deal with Liverpool to keep him out of Barcelona’s clutches.
World-rated Coutinho will agree a five-and-a-half year contract that will make him the Reds’ highest-paid current player — and could even match the £200,000-plus a week pact with Luis Suarez that was the richest in Anfield history.
Crucially, there will be NO buy-out clause in it as the brilliant Brazilian commits himself long term to the Merseyside club – dashing any hopes Spanish giants Barca have of tempting him away.
The Catalans had made the 24-year-old their number one target , and were expected to make a massive bid in the summer to try to reunite him with former Liverpool team-mate Suarez.
But the Anfield board have headed off any possibility of losing their best and most-loved player with the new contract. They hope ongoing talks will be completed shortly after Wednesday night’s EFL Cup semi-final decider at home to Southampton.
Coutinho has indicated he wants to stay at Anfield for the long haul and try to win the top trophies under Jurgen Klopp, who he rates as the best manager in the business.
The extension will effectively keep a man signed from Inter Milan for £8.5million under Brendan Rodgers four years ago at the club until summer 2022.
The news will delight Liverpool fans who feared their biggest idol will be tempted away by Barca, just as Suarez was in 2014.
And it is good news for Klopp, who has indicated he wants to build a young side around Coutinho and develop it into Premier League champions.
The boss had made clear how much he wanted the Brazilian to stay, and now the board have backed their manager’s judgement by giving the player a record breaking contract.
Coutinho will start against Southampton and is likely to get a hero’s reception from the fans following the news that he sees his future at Liverpool, in pursuit of honours.
The Reds have already given new contracts to some of their best young stars, including Ben Woodburn and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
After finalising Coutinho’s deal, they will also look to wrap up long-term agreements with other players who have many years of football ahead of them, such as Emre Can, Divock Origi and Joe Gomez.
This post has already been read 996 times!