Jurgen Klopp helped Borussia Dortmund drive up the price of Ousmane Dembele by ‘using’ Philippe Coutinho, according to Raphael Honigstein.
Barcelona were desperate in the summer to sign both Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele to compensate for the departure of Neymar, who joined PSG for a world-record fee of £198 million.
Raphael Honigstein, who is Jurgen Klopp’s biographer, has revealed on the Totally Football Show podcast that the Liverpool manager helped Borussia Dortmund drive up the fee for Ousmane Dembele by telling them to ask for more money because the Reds would be refusing to sell Coutinho.
Dembele joined Barcelona for a fee that could rise, with add-ons, to as much as £135,5m. As Honigstein points out, this is, in part, due to Klopp.
“They basically revealed that they really benefited from Barcelona’s interest in Coutinho in the summer,” Honigstein said.
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“Jurgen Klopp passed on the message to Dortmund saying ‘don’t worry, we’re not going to sell, so if Barcelona come to you for Dembele be assured that they have enough money to spend on him, and ask a lot of money for him.'”
Of course, Barca did eventually get both players with Coutinho joining the club this week for an incredible £146 million but Honigstein believes the La Liga side will soon need to balance the books due to their spending.
“I think it was a bit of a surprise that Barcelona have been able to have that kind of significant outlay again (on Coutinho), only six months later,” Honigstein said.
“I don’t know how that leaves them with the likes of Antoine Griezmann. Barcelona, I think, need to sell, to generate more money now.”