£142m Bargain? Liverpool Refute Claims That Philippe Coutinho Was Sold for a Reduced Fee

?Barcelona vice-president Jordi Mestre has claimed that the club paid a reduced fee for Philippe Coutinho; a claim that Liverpool officials have now vehemently denied.

According to the ?Daily ?T?elegraph?, Liverpool have refuted claims that they gave ?Barcelona a £172m asking price last summer, £30m more than what La Blaugrana reportedly paid for the Brazilian’s services. 

“The interest of the club has always been to take Coutinho to Barcelona,” Mestre said, “the difference is that there has been a substantial reduction in the cost of this transfer.

“There has been a very important reduction, even though we cannot publicly give the figures.

We are not going to discuss the numbers. The important thing is we have the player here.

“If I reveal numbers I will be breaking our agreement with ?Liverpool.”

Coutinho, who reportedly paid £9m of his own money to facilitate the transfer, has cost Barcelona £105m up front with a further £37m in achievable add-ons. The fee is the second highest ever paid for a player; only eclipsed by the £200m Barcelona recouped for the sale of Neymar to Paris St Germain in the summer.

However, Coutinho will be pushed down to the third highest in the summer when Kylian Mbappe’s loan spell at PSG is made permanent.

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Liverpool Legend Steven Gerrard ‘Feels Sick’ Over Philippe Coutinho’s Move to Barcelona

?Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard has revealed that he is still digesting Philippe Coutinho’s move from Liverpool to Barcelona, but admits that he felt his old side did everything they could to keep the Brazilian at Anfield.

Coutinho’s £142m move to Barcelona was ?confirmed over the weekend, and like most Liverpool fans, it seems that the disappointment of losing their prised asset is still raw for Gerrard.

While working as a pundit for BT Sport on tonight’s FA Cup Third Round match between Brighton and Crystal Palace, Gerrard was asked how he felt about the move, and responded by saying: “I’m still digesting it as a Liverpool fan.”

Gerrard was then asked by fellow pundit Rio Ferdinand if he was “feeling sick” about the move, to which the former Liverpool skipper answered simply: “yeah.”

Asked if he was surprised that the move had taken place in January, Gerrard replied: “I’m not surprised, and I know that Liverpool have done everything they can to keep him.” The former England international then acknowledged: “when a kid’s got a dream, a South American, and wants to play for Barcelona and he thinks this is the only opportunity he’s going to get it’s very hard to stop him.”

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Gerrard did however admit that the attraction of Barcelona and Coutinho’s attitude since his move to the Nou Camp failed to materialise in the summer meant that he respected the Brazilian’s decision and wished him all the best.

Liverpool face a daunting start to life without Coutinho in their first match since his departure when they host league leaders Manchester City at Anfield on Sunday.

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Cristiano Questions Coutinho Move & Claims Brazilian Has Joined Barca to Provide for Messi & Suarez

?Real Madrid megastar Cristiano Ronaldo has reportedly questioned the wisdom of Philippe Coutinho’s whopping £142m move to ?Barcelona, suggesting he will play second fiddle to Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

In a move aimed to unsettle the Catalan giants, Ronaldo is reported to have said that Coutinho will live in the shadow of Messi and Suarez, picking up the role vacated by Neymar, who joined Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record transfer last summer.

New Barcelona Signing Philippe Coutinho Unveiled

According to Diario Gol, Ronaldo believes that Coutinho has been brought in to do the leg work for Barcelona’s two main superstars, creating more opportunities for the dynamic duo to add to their already impressive goal tallies.

Brazilian team-mate Neymar is understood to have left Camp Nou during the summer having become disillusioned with life at Barcelona, with many sources suggesting he had become unhappy playing a supporting role to his two team-mates.

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(You may also be interested in Real Madrid Star Casemiro Insists Los Blancos Can Still Close 16-Point Gap on Leaders Barcelona)

Despite this, Coutinho himself has claimed that his international colleague encouraged him to make the move to Barca, saying; ”I spoke to Neymar and he has nothing but good things to say about the team, the city and the dressing room.

Ronaldo’s alleged comments come at a time where ?Real Madrid find themselves significantly off the pace in La Liga, trailing their great rivals by 16 points and languishing in a lowly fourth place. 

The Portuguese icon is enduring his worst season for Los Blancos in terms of goalscoring, netting only four times in 13 league appearances, though he did become the first player in history to score in every group game of the Champions League, scoring nine times in total.

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Tottenham Pursue Barcelona Misfit as Coutinho Arrival Limits First Team Chances Further

?Tottenham could be about to offer Andre Gomes a way out of Barcelona, with a report claiming Maurcio Pochettino will renew his interest in the Portuguese midfielder after choosing not to move for Ross Barkley.

?The Express claims that Spurs ‘pulled out’ of the race for Barkley leaving him free to join Chelsea without competition and have since set their sights on Barcelona flop Andre Gomes, who has struggled to settle in Catalonia since his 2016 arrival.

The 24-year-old Euro 2016 winner, who arrived with high hopes and a higher price tag of €55m (including various add-ons) from Valencia, has featured mainly as a substitute this season and has played fewer than 400 minutes in all competitions, as his side have stormed to a nine-point lead at the top of La Liga table largely without him.

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The arrival of Philippe Coutinho is likely to only limit Gomes’ chances further at Camp Nou, but Spurs could be willing to offer the star a way out, according to the report.

West Ham and Manchester United are also cited as maintaining an interest in the central midfielder whose price tag is unknown, but Spurs appear to be the frontrunners and were allegedly close to wrapping up a deal for Gomes in the summer.

Meanwhile, Gomes is unlikely to be the only one in danger of an exit from Barcelona with Arda Turan, Aleix Vidal and Gerard Deulofeu all linked with winter moves. The latter could be about to return to Serie A and San Siro, ?with Inter reportedly keeping tabs on the attacking wide man.

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Lionel Messi’s Contract Without a Clause Should Catalonia Gain Independence in the Coming Years

?The political friction between Spain and Catalonia have increased in the last couple of months and many have speculated what impact it would have on the world of football. 

With ?FC Barcelona being the heart of the Catalans, fans have question what would happen to the likes of Lionel Messi should Catalonia become and independent country. 

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But according to Spanish outlet ?Sport, sources at the Catalan club have confirmed that any political factors will not have an impact on Messi’s contract clause, as he wishes to stay loyal to the Blaugrana. 

Messi will be committed to Barcelona until the end of his new contract which is in 2021. 

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Though the league leaders do not discuss contracts due to confidentiality, El Mundo reports that the Argentine will only continue to play in a Spain-independent Barcelona if the Catalans continue to play in a top European league. 

In a scenario where Catalonia does become independent, according to FIFA legislation, Barca will have to change federations, which not only effects Messi, but other players in the club too. 

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However, Messi insists that he will continue with Barcelona regardless of Spain’s political climate. 

So far this season in 17 league appearance, Messi has scored 14 goals and created 45 chances with six assists. 

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