Liverpool have suffered a setback in their attempts to sign Alexis Sanchez, with Barcelona club president Josep Maria Bartomeu stating he would not be leaving the club, according to Goal.com.
Sanchez was thought to be one of the players Barcelona were willing to let go as a part of their summer clear out. With Sanchez having to battle with Pedro for a starting spot, one of the wingers is expected to leave.
But Bartomeu told El Mercurio of the club’s desire to hang on to the Chilean.
"He's not for sale," said Bartomeu. "He has a contract with us and is an important part of the squad.
"Sanchez has had a great season and, of course, will be a part of Barcelona next season as well."
The winger enjoyed his most prolific season to date, scoring 21 goals in all competitions, nearly double his tally from last season. He also set up teammates on 15 occasions.
Liverpool were said to be interested in Sanchez, as well as team mate Pedro, with the Chilean also linked with a move back to Italy with Juventus.
Barcelona’s new found reluctance to sell the winger could be through a realisation of his importance in the side. Conversely, they could be trying to up any bid made by potential suitors.
It is a clever move by the Barcelona president. With many lead to believe the 25-year-old was available, interest was high.
But with Sanchez not on the transfer list, the likes of Liverpool and Juvenus would need to pay in excess of £25 million if they are to prise him away from the Camp Nou.
Should he stay, Barcelona know their are hanging on to a top player. Should he go, they will know they have squeezed as much money as they can out of the buyers.
The Turin club was also thought to have had a €15 million bid rejected, something Bartomeu also denied.
"I know nothing about interest from Juventus," he added. "No one has made an official offer.”
Many in Italy believe Sanchez has already agreed personal terms with the Scudetto winners, with the transfer fee the only sticking point.
Despite this, Liverpool may still have a chance of landing the winger if the price is right.
Following Liverpool’s admission into the Champions League, Brendan Rodgers needs to make top quality signings, particularly out wide, with Sterling the only recognised winger.
Oussama Assaidi is unlikely to remain at Anfield for much longer, with Liverpool demanding £7 million to make his move to Stoke permanent.
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