Liverpool officials have rubbished the claims made by FC Barcelona that they had put a €200 million price tag on wantaway superstar Philippe Coutinho, according to ESPN.
Barcelona director Albert Soler claimed at a press conference on Saturday that the Reds had put a mammoth €200 million tag on Coutinho on transfer deadline day. Soler insisted that the negotiations to bring the Brazilian to Camp Nou failed because the Catalans were not prepared to “get caught up in such an inflated market”
“On Friday, after weeks of offers and talks, Liverpool put a price on the player that we wanted [Coutinho],” Soler said on Saturday.
“A price of €200m and we decided we wouldn’t do it. That’s an example of the way football is now. This club and this board will not get involved in that, though. What’s happened in the transfer market this summer has taken us to a totally different model of football which we’re not used to.”
Sources close to Liverpool have told ESPN that Soler’s claims were ‘absolutely false’ and were ‘not true in any way, shape or form’. It is believed that Liverpool rejected bids worth £72m, £90m and a final late bid of £136m from Barcelona to keep Coutinho at Anfield.
Coutinho handed in a transfer request earlier this summer and was keen to join Barcelona.
Barcelona struggled to sign star names following Neymar’s world record transfer to Paris Saint-Germain. But the Catalans did end up completing the transfer of Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund for an initial €105 million fee which could rise higher depending on add-ons.