It’s still hard to believe that Barcelona bid a mind-blowing £140 million for Philippe Coutinho towards the end of the summer transfer window.
It’s even harder to get your head around the fact Liverpool rejected it.
The Reds decided they wouldn’t sell, regardless of the size of the offer on the table, and their stance didn’t change once Coutinho submitted a transfer request last month.
It was clear the 25-year-old wanted to leave Anfield for the Camp Nou and, according to reports, that’s still the case now, a week after the transfer window closed.
The Brazilian playmaker, who cost Liverpool just £8.5 million back in 2013, is understood to have been left distraught after his move to Spain failed to materialise but still hopes a deal can be agreed in the New Year.
Barça, for their part, couldn’t have done any more in their attempts to sign Coutinho.
Their £140 million bid was a remarkable offer which even some Liverpool fans felt should have been accepted. They considered making an even bigger bid but realised it would be futile.
Neymar's transfer changed everything
Barcelona had money burning a hole in their pocket from the Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain deal, which changed everything this summer.
That deal resulted in Ousmane Dembele becoming the second-most expensive footballer of all time after sealing his move to the Camp Nou from Borussia Dortmund in a deal that could eventually be worth up to £135 million.
Mourinho: We were clever to act early
Jose Mourinho believes Manchester United would have been forced to pay considerably more money for Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic had they been signed after Neymar’s £200 million transfer to PSG was completed.
“I think we were very clever,” the Portuguese coach said in an interview with The Times. “We thought that something could happen that could change the market forever. Normally the last part of the market is less expensive, but this season, after Neymar, everything changed — and changed for the worse in terms of prices.
“I think Lukaku on August 31 would have been £150 million. Matic would have been £60 million or £70 million. Neymar changed everything.”
Mourinho: How much Coutinho is really worth
Mourinho went on to reveal how much he believes Coutinho would be worth in a market that hasn’t been hugely inflated by the Neymar transfer.
“If the biggest transfer in history had still been Pogba, I think Philippe Coutinho would now be in Barcelona at £101 million,” Mourinho added.
“People look to the £200 million figure now. Now the players of £20 million became £40 million, the players of £40 million became £60 million and everything changed. Lukaku and Matic, now, would have cost us £200 million in total. But because we did it in the first part of the summer, it was much less. I think we did well in financial terms and well in preparation terms, getting them before the season started. That is not crucial but it is important.”
So, Mourinho clearly thinks Coutinho is a player worth an awful lot of money and can see why Barcelona were so keen to take the South American off Liverpool’s hands.
Is Philippe Coutinho worth £101 million, like Jose Mourinho claims? Have your say by leaving a comment below.