Barcelona have claimed that Liverpool would have allowed want-away midfielder Philippe Coutinho to make the move he so desired had they offered €200 million, which is around £183 million.
They claim that Liverpool spoke to them over the phone on Friday, when the English transfer deadline had passed, but the Spanish window was still open, and would have let the Brazilian go if their price-tag was met.
In a press conference today, Barcelona director Albert Soler said, “Liverpool were asking for 200 million and logically we didn’t accept that.
“We thank the player for the efforts he made, because he did make a big effort and showed he wanted to play for us”.
Coutinho had effectively gone on strike to force through a move, but the ploy was unsuccessful.
Soler added, “The situation ended and there is nothing else we can do”.
Reds reject claims
Liverpool’s not-for-sale stance was in fact unwavering throughout the summer, and even had they had time to bring in Thomas Lemar from AS Monaco, owners Fenway Sports Group would not have cashed in having been so powerful in their resolve.
To go back on their extremely strong statement that he would not leave for any price would have made them look ridiculous, and would have rightly seen a barrage of criticism.
Liverpool have reacted to the Barcelona claims by denying them entirely. It is likely that Barcelona are only making the claims to cover up their own poor window, in which they lost Neymar to Paris Saint Germain, by attempting to show their supporters that they made every effort to get the deal done.
Coutinho has played for Brazil during the international break despite nursing a ‘back injury’ since the start of the season, and is likely to be back in the squad, and perhaps even the first eleven, for Liverpool’s next game, away at Manchester City.