Football 2018-01-09 5:11 AM

BARCELONA’S sporting director Jordi Mestre has revealed the real reason Philippe Coutinho did not move to the Nou Camp in the summer.


Coutinho completed the £142million switch over the weekend and became the third most expensive player of all time in the process.

The Brazilian was officially unveiled to the world’s media yesterday and he said it was “a dream come true” to join Barcelona.

But Mestre had a subtle dig at the Reds for dragging the transfer out over the winter months.

He believes that Liverpool demanded a higher fee originally but were negotiated downwards to ensure the player got his wish to move

“The interest of the club has always been to sign Coutinho,” Mestre said.

“The difference with the summer is that there has been a big reduction in the price.

“By desire of Liverpool, we cannot give the figures, but there has been a very important reduction.

“If I said something, it would be to break the pact we have with Liverpool.

“It’s bad for me but we cannot give any figures.”

Liverpool are now expected to dip into the transfer market to fill the void left by Coutinho.

They have already spent £75m signing defender Virgil van Dijk from Southampton.

But Jurgen Klopp is keen to add another attacking-minded player to his squad, with the likes of Riyad Mahrez and Monaco’s Thomas Lemar both being linked with a move to Anfield.



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