Luis Suarez has issued a statement via his social media account denying claims that he convinced Barcelona to sign Philippe Coutinho in 2018.
SPORT published a report claiming that Suarez had a big hand in Barça splashing the cash on the Brazilian in the January transfer window of 2018.
The report stated that Suarez called then-Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu in November 2017 and invited him over to his house, where he played videos of Coutinho starring for Liverpool, before urging the club to sign him.
It further claimed that Bartomeu found it a little surprising, but informed Suarez that the club had already been working on a deal for Coutinho as a potential replacement for Andres Iniesta.
Eventually, Barcelona signed the Brazilian playmaker for a massive sum of €160 million, making him the club-record signing. However, things failed to click for him at Camp Nou.
As for the claims made by SPORT, Suarez has issued a strong statement on social media denying any events reported by the Catalan publication, calling it ‘fake news’.
“Hello everyone, I wanted to DENY this FAKE news. That ‘supposed CALL’ never existed, nor did that man go to my house to see any VIDEO, nor was there a call from anything,” Suarez wrote.
However, he did acknowledge that Barcelona did ask him for an opinion on his former Liverpool teammate before signing, and he admitted to giving positive feedback.
“What if it is clear that when asking about a PARTNER that I had, OBVIOUSLY I am going to speak well of him accordingly,” he added.
“There is always a lot of news and you have to be oblivious to it, but in this case I CANNOT let go to DENY IT! One thing is to inform and it is ACCEPTED, but LYING? NO, NOT THAT! #noment #fake news #respect,” he further wrote.
Currently on loan at Aston Villa, Coutinho is expected to make the move to Villa Park permanent in a €20 million deal.