Madrid, January 8: Barcelona sporting director Jordi Mestre has revealed a drop in the cost of signing Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool was key to his arrival at Camp Nou, with the Anfield club keen to keep the price under wraps.
Coutinho was heavily linked with a move to Catalonia during the close-season but a transfer never materialised as Liverpool were steadfast in their determination not to sell the Brazil international.
But Mestre claims the Premier League side significantly reduced their asking price for the attacker, allowing a deal to be done for a reported €160million.
"The interest of the club has always been to sign Coutinho," Mestre told a news conference.
"The difference with the summer is that there has been a big reduction in the price.
"By desire of Liverpool, we cannot give the figures, but there has been a very important reduction.
"If I said something, it would be to break the pact we have with Liverpool.
"It's bad for me, but we cannot give any figures."
Discussing his time at Liverpool, Coutinho told reporters: "I gave everything I could. Unfortunately we couldn't win .
"But I lived there for five years and my family was very happy there, so I just would like to thank them again."