Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu says that Liverpool were prepared to sell Philippe Coutinho in the summer – for £177m.
Barcelona quite rightly refused to pay that exorbitant price for the Brazilian; their final offer was less than half that amount despite having received £198m for Neymar.
“I will not say how much we offered, but [Liverpool] asked for €200m,” Bartomeu said in an interview with TV3.
“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 it 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.”