Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu has today once again insisted that Premier League outfit Liverpool placed an asking price of 200 million Euro on Philippe Coutinho this summer.
Barca’s chase of Coutinho was one of the talking points of the summer transfer window, with Liverpool having rejected a number of big-money bids from the Catalans for their South American star.
Jurgen Klopp and co. maintained throughout the saga that Coutinho was not for sale at any price, a claim which the Blaugrana have repeatedly challenged in the aftermath of the failed transfer.
Following the close of the Spanish transfer market at the beginning of this month, Barcelona held a press conference during which members of the club’s board were questioned on their summer business.
Unsurprisingly, Coutinho’s name was high on the agenda, with many questioning exactly what unfolded between the two clubs over the course of the summer.
Barca, for their part, explained that Liverpool had requested 200 million Euro for their crown jewel, and that they were simply not willing to meet such a hefty valuation.
The Reds have since vehemently denied such claims, insisting that Coutinho was never for sale at any price.
However, when questioned on the subject in an interview with TV3 today, Josep Bartomeu, President of the Catalan giants, reiterated his club’s previous statement that Coutinho was in fact available for the right price.
‘I will not say how much we offered, but [Liverpool] asked for €200m.’
‘We weren’t going to give €200m or €150m – we decided to step away from such an expensive market, our offer was less than €100m, with add-ons it could have reached €120m.’
‘Money has come into football from outside the game and made [the transfer market] more expensive, which explains what happened with Coutinho.’
‘We have to make these investments in La Masia and the club’s academy, we must respect the rules.’
‘This is why I am happy with the investigation into PSG, which is a request made by European clubs.’