Barca: Liverpool wanted £183m for Coutinho

Philippe Coutinho

Barcelona have revealed that a deal for Philippe Coutinho fell through because Liverpool wanted 200m euros (£183m) for him.

The Reds turned down three successive offers from the Spanish giants before setting a price that was too steep for the Catalans.

“Liverpool were asking for 200m and logically we didn’t accept that,” said Barcelona director Albert Soler.

“We thank the player for the efforts he made, because he did make a big effort and showed he wanted to play for us.

Soler added: “The situation ended as it ended and there is nothing else we can do.”

Philippe Coutinho

Liverpool turned down offers of £72m, £90m and £114m for the Brazilian prior to the deadline.

Coutinho signed a new five-year deal at Anfield in January which did not include a release clause.

While the players wanted to leave for Barcelona and submitted a transfer request, the Reds were unmoved.

The club maintains that Coutinho has been out with a back injury, causing him to miss the first three games of the Premier League season, as well as both legs of their Champions League qualifier against TSG Hoffenheim.

Coutinho did make his first appearance of the season on Thursday for Brazil in their 2-0 World Cup qualifying win over Ecuador. The 25-year-old playmaker scored their second goal of the evening:

When asked why Barcelona balked at the £183m asking price, Soler said the club didn’t want to risk getting caught up in an inflated market and falling foul of Financial Fair Play rules.

Paris Saint-Germain currently find themselves under investigation by UEFA after more than doubling the world record transfer fee by signing Neymar.

They have also signed Kylian Mbappe on loan, and could pay £165.7m for him in 2018.

“PSG came to us with 222m euros [for Neymar] and that meant everyone knew we had money,” said Soler.

“When you go to the market and you have a lot of money, the demands made of you are extortionate.

“We found ourselves in unbelievable situations.”

Neymar

PSG are owned by the Gulf state of Qatar, via its Qatar Sports Investments fund. Soler said it was troubling that countries were now getting involved in the transfer market.

“What has happened in the market this year takes us to a model of football different to the one we are used to,” he said.

“We used to be the ones that led the market and now countries and investment funds are leading it. Countries have become the main agents in the football world.”

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