Liverpool wanted £183m for Philippe Coutinho, say Barcelona

Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho in action during pre-season
Image: Barcelona have claimed Liverpool were willing to sell Philippe Coutinho this summer

Barcelona have claimed they ended their summer-long pursuit of Philippe Coutinho on Friday after Liverpool quoted £183m for the midfielder.

The Spanish club failed with three bids for the Brazil international - the final offer being worth up to £118m - as they attempted to secure a replacement for Neymar, who departed for Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record £200m transfer.

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Liverpool maintained throughout the summer transfer window that Coutinho would not be sold, despite the 25-year-old handing in a transfer request in a bid to force through a move away from Anfield.

Manager Jurgen Klopp always insisted Coutinho is priceless to Liverpool, but Barca director Albert Soler has claimed the Merseyside club did put a price tag on Coutinho and were open to selling to him.

"On Friday, after weeks of offers and talks, Liverpool put a price on the player that we wanted [Coutinho]," Soler said in a media conference, alongside sporting director Robert Fernandez, on Saturday.

Jurgen Klopp talks with Philippe Coutinho after the match against Manchester United at Anfield
Image: Jurgen Klopp was desperate to keep Coutinho at Liverpool

"A price of €200m (£183m) 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.

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"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."

Coutinho pledged his future to Liverpool in January by signing a new five-and-a-half-year contract, with the deal including no release clause.

He is yet to feature for Liverpool this season due to a back injury, but is expected to play for Brazil in their World Cup Qualifier against Colombia on Tuesday.

Coutinho enjoyed a superb 2016/17 campaign, scoring 13 times and providing seven assists in 31 Premier League appearances as Liverpool finished fourth and secured Champions League qualification.

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