Barcelona president blasts Liverpool for Coutinho treatment
The president of Barcelona pJosep Bartomeu looks to have aimed a thinly-veiled dig at Liverpool for keeping their playmaker Philippe Coutinho against his will in this summer’s transfer window.
The Camp Nou side were reportedly desperate to sign the Brazilian attacking midfielder after losing Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain, but failed to get a deal over the line before last week’s deadline.
Coutinho was also understood to be keen on the move to Barcelona, though Liverpool were believed to have turned down as much as £138m for their No.10 star.
The Catalan giants still seem bitter about the saga, with Bartomeu taking the opportunity to aim a dig at the Merseyside giants when discussing Lionel Messi’s future at the Nou Camp.
Despite the Argentine being a crucial performer for the club, Bartomeu insists Barcelona would never keep a player against his will, unlike other top sides.
During his interview with Diario Sport, Bartomeu said: ‘Barca will never make a player stay if he tells us he wants to leave, as happens at other clubs in Europe.
‘We have a different way of being to other clubs.
‘It doesn’t matter if the clause is €500m, €600m, €1,000m or €1,500m, we can put any clause that we want because if a player wants to leave, we will have to sit down and speak about how we will do it.’
Liverpool have made enquiries about signing 27-year-old Bayern Munich superstar
According to the latest reports from German media outlets, Premier League trio Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal have made enquiries about signing Thomas Muller from Bayern Munich in this summer transfer window.
All three clubs were looking to bolster their attacking options before the start of the 2017/18 campaign and SportBild suggests that the Premier League trio had asked about the availability of the 28-year-old Germany international.
It is also believed that Thomas Muller would not consider leaving Bayern Munich, who he has been with for 17 years, although that could now change following the forward’s turbulent start to the season.
After he was left on the bench for the majority of the 2-0 win over Werder Bremen, Muller went public in his criticism of Bayern and the head coach Carlo Ancelotti.
‘I don’t know exactly which qualities the coach wants to see,’ he told ARD. ‘But mine seem not to be 100 per cent in demand.’
But despite his unhappiness at falling down the pecking order at Bayern, Muller’s Germany teammate Sami Khedira believes the German champions will not be looking to sell the forward.
Liverpool £70m target back in training following endless transfer links
According to the reports, Virgil van Dijk has surprisingly been allowed back into training with the Southampton first-team after the summer of speculation linking him with a move to the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool.
The Dutch centre-back was deemed not to be in the right frame of mind to train or play with the club by the Saints new manager Mauricio Pellegrino earlier in the summer, following the disappointment of failing to get his move away from St Mary’s.
However, the Daily Mirror claim that the 26-year-old star may now be in contention to play this weekend versus Watford in a surprise development.
Chelsea and Liverpool led the race for Van Dijk for much of the summer as a transfer seemed almost certain, but the Saints refused to budge on an asking price believed to be in the region of £70m.
The Netherlands international has a contract with Southampton until 2022, putting them under little pressure to buckle and sell for anything less than they judge as an acceptable fee.
Long known for being something of a selling club, Southampton have lost a number of key players to Liverpool in particular in recent years, such as Nathaniel Clyne, Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren.