January 8, 2018 / 3:21 PM / a year ago

Barcelona signed Coutinho at reduced price, says vice-president

Soccer Football - FC Barcelona - Philippe Coutinho News Conference - Auditorium 1899, Barcelona, Spain - January 8, 2018 FC Barcelona's new signing Philippe Coutinho during the news conference REUTERS/Albert Gea

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Barcelona signed midfielder Philippe Coutinho because they were given a significant discount on the price Liverpool were asking for him in the last transfer window, vice-president Jordi Mestre said on Monday.

Coutinho became the third most expensive player in football history when he signed a five-and-a-half year contract with Barca on Monday following a 160 million-euro ($192 million) deal between the clubs.

Barcelona director Albert Soler said in September the club abandoned their pursuit of the Brazilian playmaker last year because Liverpool were asking for 200 million euros.

“The club has always been interested in signing Coutinho, the difference to last summer is that there was a big cut in price,” Mestre told reporters on Monday at Coutinho’s official presentation.

“We won’t state the numbers because Liverpool don’t want us to, but there was a big price cut.”

Reporting by Rik Sharma, editing by Ed Osmond

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