Barcelona transfer news: Coutinho's price claims, Messi wants player sold and more - 9th January 2018
Liverpool rebuff price reduction claims from Barcelona
At last, Philippe Coutinho is a Barcelona player and the long-drawn saga has come to an end. Talking on the subject, club vice-president Jordi Mestre spoke how Liverpool lowered the asking price, thereby facilitating the deal. He said:
The interest of the club has always been to take Coutinho to Barcelona 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.”
This comes in stark contrast to reports from the Liverpool end which stated that they had refused to sell for any price in the summer and it was eventually Jurgen Klopp's decision to let the player leave that led to the sale this month. Further, it has been reported that Coutinho himself has paid £9 million, rising to £11.5 million from his own pocket to complete the move, a fact confirmed by Mestre when he said:
“Philippe, welcome. We know that you have made a personal and economic effort. In the last months, we have dreamed of this moment, we wish you the best, which is the best for all.”
While all three parties will continue to speak in their own best interests, one can expect the truth to lie somewhere in between.
Gerard Deulofeu no longer in Valverde's plans
The 23-year-old winger re-joined Barcelona in the summer after spells at Everton, Sevilla and AC Milan. However, things did not pan out the way he would have wanted and Deulofeu currently finds himself being a squad player under Ernesto Valverde.
Now, the arrival of Philippe Coutinho puts his place in more risk and the Spaniard reportedly told his team-mates of his desire to leave the club. In fact, Barcelona's manager of institutional sporting relations, Guillermo Amor, told recently in an interview by BeIN Sports:
“There are many players in our team, some are part of our plans and others are not. For the moment Deulofeu is amongst these and needs to wait for his chance. In order for us to understand his future better, we need to wait a few days to see what happens.”
Now, the Blaugrana are looking to start a bidding war, as per Tuttosport. Inter Milan are reportedly interested in signing the player on loan with an option to buy. However, the Catalan club want to sell the winger or want an obligatory buy option in his loan deal. Hence, they are willing to wait for a few days to see if Roma and Napoli come in, as per the report.
Either way, it was just not meant to be for Deulofeu and he can still have a good career elsewhere.
Lionel Messi wants Aleix Vidal to leave in January
The 28-year old joined the Spanish giants from Sevilla in 2015 and has failed to make the right-back spot his own during the time. Now, he finds himself below the pecking order with Sergi Roberto and summer signing, Nelson Semedo, ahead of him. Further, the arrival of Coutinho will require the club to sell several players in order to balance the books and Vidal is on that list.
Now, Diario Gol has reported that Messi has asked the club to sell the right-back in January and Valverde agrees with his superstar. Sevilla look to be interested in the player with current team-mate Ivan Rakitic endorsing the move recently. As quoted on FourFourTwo, he said:
”If he decides to go to Sevilla then, as a team-mate and a Sevillista, I would that like very much. I wish him all the best. He already knows them very well, he is a player of the highest quality and Sevilla are among the best in Europe.”
Thus, Vidal could be one of the sure-shot exits this month at Camp Nou.