Liverpool would only sell Philippe Coutinho for 200m euros (£178m) this summer which priced Barcelona out of a deal, according to Josep Maria Bartomeu.
Liverpool denied putting a price tag on Coutinho earlier this month, Sky sources understand, but Barcelona’s president has reiterated the Spanish club ended their pursuit due to the Reds’ asking price.
Speaking to Spanish TV, Bartomeu insisted Barcelona would not have been able to meet Financial Fair Play rules had they met Liverpool’s transfer demands.
We weren’t going to give €200m or €150m – we decided to step away from such an expensive market, our offer was less than €100m, with add-ons it could have reached €120m.
“Money has come into football from outside the game and made [the transfer market] more expensive, which explains what happened with Coutinho.
“We have to make these investments in La Masia and the club’s academy, we must respect the rules.