The rumbling saga of Barcelona's attempts to sign Philippe Coutinho took a weird turn this morning. One would have thought with the transfer window closing on Thursday, with no agreement reached that that would be the end of it for a while.
However, this morning at a press conference, Barcelona director Albert Soler decided to reveal that Liverpool were seeking a fee of €200 million for the Brazilian.
Liverpool were asking for 200m and logically we didn't accept that.
His motivation for making this kind of detail public seems somewhat petty, especially combined with his later statements where he did his best to remind everyone just how much Coutinho wanted the move.
We thank the player, he made a big effort to come here and showed that he wanted to play for us, but the situation ended the way it did and there was nothing else we could do.
According to well-placed journalist Chris Bascombe, Liverpool are furious at the development.
LFC position on Barca claims today is they are absolutely false. Not true in any shape or form.
— Chris Bascombe (@_ChrisBascombe) 2 September 2017
Things were already tense between the two clubs after Barcelona apparently made offers which included lots of add-on's rather than the whole fee up front. The final alleged offer of €130 million was also just deemed too low.
This bizarre behaviour from Barcelona further demonstrates why there are efforts underway at the Nou Camp to oust the likes of Soler.
A vote of no-confidence was launched against him and the board yesterday after what has been an absolutely disastrous summer overall for the Catalans.
Not only have they sold Neymar after saying that there was a '200% chance' he would stay, but they claimed Lionel Messi had signed a new contract only for it to emerge he hasn't and could leave on a free transfer next summer. They have also bungled attempts to sign Marco Verratti and Hector Bellerin.
Suffice to say that this is a board under huge pressure at the moment and publicising details from negotiations, allegedly false ones too according to Liverpool, seems like a desperation attempt to try and justify their failure to land another big target.
If the Coutinho to Barcelona story is to reemerge, it's likely that Liverpool will be dealing with a new boardroom team when they sit down for negotiations.