It was Ben Chilwell last year. Harry Maguire the year before. Riyad Mahrez in 2018, Danny Drinkwater in 2017, and N’Golo Kante just weeks after that unforgettable Premier League title triumph in 2016.
At Leicester City, selling a star player has become an annual tradition, the inevitable downside of a period of success Foxes fans had never seen before.
And after Leicester missed out on Champions League football yet again, dropping out of the top four on the final day of the season for the second year in a row, there were genuine fears Harvey Barnes would follow Chilwell and co out the door.
Earlier this week, The Athletic reported Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool has a “concrete interest” in the lightning-fuelled England international.
Klopp, you may remember, described Barnes as an “unbelievable” talent in February after he tore Liverpool’s makeshift back line to shreds as Leicester triumphed 3-1.
And, with Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane all set to turn 30 in the next ten months, Barnes, like Diogo Jota before him, felt like the sort of long-term signing capable of bridging the gap between one era and the next at Anfield.
Would Leicester ever let Harvey Barnes leave for Liverpool?
But Leicester, determined to rid themselves of the ‘selling club’ tag and reach the Champions League at last, were never going to let their home-grown hero go the same way as Drinkwater, Kante, Mahrez and co.
In June, Goal reported Barnes was simply too expensive for a Liverpool side that has largely kept its powder dry during the pandemic.
And that was before Barnes put pen to paper on a new, long-term deal, one that purports to keep him at the King Power Stadium until 2025. Whatever he was worth before, he’d cost a lot more now.
“I’ve been here for so many years now, it feels like home. For me, it was a no-brainer. Of course I wanted to extend my stay here,” Barnes told Leicester City’s website.
“It has been something that’s been going on in the background and, to sign now, is great. It’s right at the start of a new season as well, which I know everyone is excited about.”
Here’s how some Liverpool supporters on Twitter reacted to the news of Barnes’ new contract: