One of Liverpool’s biggest assets has a clause in his contract which deals very specifically with their Premier League rivals Arsenal.
Roberto Firmino has formed a deadly alliance with compatriot Philippe Coutinho and Senegalese winger Sadio Mane. The trio have been the focal point of the Reds’ dominant showing so far this season, and are crucial to manager Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool.
Holding on to them amidst interest from other top clubs in Europe is a priority for Liverpool. In this regard, Philippe Coutinho is believed to have an iron-clad contract with no release clause, running till 2020.
It has been revealed recently that Firmino’s deal with Liverpool may not be as secure. French publication Le Soir, are reporting that the Brazilian has a release clause of £82 million in his current deal with the Reds.
However an interesting stipulation that the report claims is that this release clause does not apply to Arsenal. This means that any other club apart from the Gunners, including bitter rivals Manchester United or Everton, can make a move for Firmino, but Arsenal can’t.
It is believed that this clause was inserted as a response to Arsenal’s botched attempt to sign Luis Suarez in 2013. Arsene Wenger bid £40 million + £1 for the Uruguayan striker, which they believed was just over his release clause at Anfield.
Le Soir specifically state: “Arsenal cannot buy Roberto Firmino for €98m nor for any other higher amount.”
— Get French Football (@GFFN) December 6, 2016
— Kristof Terreur 📰 (@HLNinEngeland) December 5, 2016
Firmino joined Liverpool from Hoffenheim in the summer of 2015 for a reported £29 million. He had a lukewarm time at the club under Brendan Rodgers, the manager who brought him in. However, new manager Jurgen Klopp has revitalized the 25-year-old.
The Brazilian has five goals and three assists in the Premier League so far this season. In fact, his three match goal drought has coincided with a difficult period for Liverpool, where they have dropped points against Southampton and Bournemouth.
It is still unclear whether Arsenal have an actual interest in Firmino. However, their botched attempt to sign Suarez seems to have really worked up the Anfield hierarchy.