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Josep Maria Bartomeu reveals what Liverpool were asking for in Coutinho negotiations

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Liverpool fans who were hoping the close of the transfer window would signal the end of the relentless stories over Philippe Coutinho's future have been sadly mistaken.

The Brazilian made his first start of the season during the Reds' 1-1 draw with Burnley at the weekend, following months of speculation linking him to Barcelona.

The Catalans saw numerous bids rejected over the course of the summer window as Liverpool held their ground.

While supporters on Merseyside were generally delighted the club didn't give in and accept either of the £100m + offers, the Barcelona fans' perception has been very different.

In what was an extremely frustrating window for the Catalans, the club president Josep Maria Bartomeu has come under serious pressure for failing to land Coutinho.

And although it looked like Liverpool were totally unwilling to sell their prized asset - regardless of the offers coming in - Bartomeu has said differently.

Speaking to Spanish TV, the Barca president has revealed Coutinho would be their player had they met the Reds' asking price of €200 million (£178m).

"I will not say how much we offered, but [Liverpool] asked for 200m euros" said Bartomeu, as per Sky Sports.

Liverpool v Burnley - Premier League

"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."

So that explains why the deal never really got off the ground then.

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Whether that asking price will stay the same next summer, or even in January, remains to be seen.

Undoubtedly the biggest transfer of the summer was Neymar's record-breaking switch to Paris Saint-Germain, though.

It was a deal that caught just about everybody by surprise, including Bartomeu, who assumed Neymar was happy at the Camp Nou following a conversation with his father.

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He added: "Neymar? Officially, we learned he was leaving when he told us...at the end of July we saw things weren't going well, but his father told us it was nothing.

"We believed his father's word but there should have been more honesty, but we need to be self-criticism (sic)."

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Topics:
Philippe Coutinho
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