Liverpool wanted £183m for Philippe Coutinho, say Barcelona
By Nick Lustig
Last Updated: 02/09/17 3:17pm
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.
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.
"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.
"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.