Barcelona says Liverpool made late offer to sell Coutinho
ABS-CBN Sports on Sep 02, 2017 11:07 PM
Brazil's Philippe Coutinho, center, runs with the ball as Ecuador's Juan Cazeres, left, looks on during a 2018 World Cup qualifying soccer match in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona says it rejected a last-minute offer from Liverpool to sell midfielder Philippe Coutinho for 200 million euros ($237 million) the Spanish club on Friday, the final day of the transfer window.
Club official Albert Soler said on Saturday that "at the last hour, after weeks of offers and negotiations, Liverpool offered us a player that we were interested in for 200 million (euros)."
Soler said Barcelona turned down the offer because "Barca is a club owned by its members and it would have been irresponsible to put it at risk."
Barcelona acknowledged weeks ago that it was interested in signing Coutinho from the English club.
It had reportedly offered Liverpool a similar sum to the deal that it reached with Borussia Dortmund for France winger Ousmane Dembele last week. Dembele's transfer cost 105 million euros ($124 million) with add-ons that could take the final price to 147 million euros ($173 million).
Liverpool's proposal of 200 million euros for Coutinho would have brought it close to the world-record fee of 222 million euros ($262 million) that Paris Saint-Germain paid Barcelona to trigger the buyout clause in Neymar's contract last month.
Barcelona had said it wanted to buy "one or possibly two players" before the close of the transfer window in Spain on Friday, but it made no acquisitions after the signing of Dembele on Aug. 25.