The Blaugrana, it’s claimed, are ready with a deal worth £98.6m despite bidding almost £20m more in the summer. That was rejected by Liverpool and Barcelona chief executive Òscar Grau is managing the Merseyside club’s expectations about the fee they will receive.
“We are ready to buy Coutinho in the winter market, or any player the technical staff request,” Grau said.
“But it is important to adjust ourselves, so if there are to be arrivals, there must be exits as well. We must forget about the price paid for Neymar last summer,” he emphasized. After taxes we received about €188m in income and a direct financial impact on the club’s treasury of €144m.”
In other words, Barcelona are not in a position to pay £150m for the Brazilian and Neymar’s deal just isn’t comparable.
Not that the message will cut any ice in the headquarters of the Fenway Sports Group. Liverpool’s owners are not interested in selling and pleading some kind of footballing poverty isn’t going to make the Reds more inclined to sell.
All the signs are that this is going to be another protracted saga for the winter transfer window and in all likelihood, next summer as well!