Liverpool have dismissed Barcelona’s claim the Premier League club put a price of 200m euros (Â£183m) on Brazil international Philippe Coutinho.
The Spanish club made three attempts to sign Coutinho, the last a Â£118m bid made up of a large number of add-ons.
Despite the 25-year-old having made a transfer request ahead of the new domestic campaign, Liverpool’s stance has always been adamant that the player was not for sale.
On Saturday, Barcelona sporting director Albert Soler told a press conference at the Nou Camp there had been one last attempt to land Coutinho during the final day of the Spanish transfer window, which ended 24 hours later than England.
Soler said: “Yesterday, at the end of the day, and after many weeks of dealing with them, Liverpool put a price on a player that we were interested in. They asked for 200 million euros.
“Logically after indications the club had given, we decided not to go ahead.
“We appreciate the effort the player has made, because he showed he wanted to come to Barcelona and be with us, but the situation is over as it has ended.”
However, Press Association Sport understands Liverpool consider the claim of a 200m euro valuation as ” absolutely false”, with the club’s position remaining unchanged throughout the whole course of the transfer window in both countries.
Coutinho, who penned a new five-year deal in January, has not featured for the Reds this season as he recovers from a back problem.
The midfielder was, though, able to return to action for Brazil in their World Cup qualifier against Ecuador on August 31, scoring the second goal in the 2-0 win in Porto Alegre.
Barcelona sold fellow Brazilian Neymar to Paris St-Germain in what was a world-record Â£200.6million move.
Soler suggested those figures involved meant Barcelona were now faced with “exorbitant” prices for any of their own transfer targets, which included bringing in forward Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund which could eventually cost the Spanish side Â£135.5m.
“T he fact Neymar has executed a clause of 222 million euros in his contract has caused everyone to know that the club had money,” Soler said.
“And here is where we have tried to manage the money with the sports needs that are the priority and that line cannot be crossed.
“Therefore when you go into the market and they know you have money, the requests that arrive are exorbitant.”
Published at Sat, 02 Sep 2017 19:24:00 +0000