?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.