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15 May

That rejection meant Real were forced to withdraw their interest and the £177m bid never became a formal one.12.40: Barcelona signing Philippe Coutinho does not mean Antoine Griezmann will join Manchester United, claims Guillem Balague.

Balague asked if that would be the case following Coutinho’s £142m transfer but he says Barca are still keen on Atletico Madrid star Griezmann.“No, not necessarily,” Balague said.“Barcelona have been flirting with Griezmann, Griezmann likes the idea of going to Barcelona.

The 25-year-old was best known for his ability to control Liverpool’s attack and bring everyone else into play.Barcelona have spent close to £360m since Neymar was sold on forwards alone with Lionel Messi’s signing on fee and Ousmane Dembele.And they are still expected to be in the hunt to sign Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid in the summer.But Balague insists they will not be able to afford to bring in any more players until they reduce their squad size.“It’s an interesting time for Barcelona because it looks like, with Dembele as well, they want to get Griezmann too for €100m in the summer,” Balague said on his You Tube channel.“They want to get rid of about eight players between now and the summer.”Coutinho will not play every week: Liverpool legend Phil Thompson can’t get his head around why Philippe Coutinho would want to leave Liverpool midway through the season.The 25-year-old will not be able to play for his new club in the Champions League having already featured in the competition for Liverpool.