- Barcelona failed to sign Angel Di Maria or Philippe Coutinho before the deadline
- The Spanish club were under pressure to make a big signing after Neymar’s exit
- Liverpool demanded €160m for Coutinho while PSG want €80m for Di Maria
Barcelona have been savaged by the Spanish press for their failure to sign either Philippe Coutinho or Angel Di Maria on the final day of the summer transfer window.
Officials at the Nou Camp have been chasing a deal for the Liverpool playmaker ever since Neymar departed for Paris Saint-Germain while Di Maria was seen as an alternative to Coutinho should they fail.
But routes to both players were blocked by their respective clubs on deadline day, leaving the Barcelona board at the mercy of Catalan newspapers Sport, Mundo Deportivo, while Madrid’s AS also picked up on their shortcomings.
Mundo Deportivo claim Liverpool wanted €160m for Philippe Coutinho on deadline day
‘Zero Transfers’: Sport sum up the sombre mood at the Nou Camp with a black background
Mundo Deportivo claimed the biggest scoop of the day, saying talks for Coutinho broke down after Liverpool demanded an incredible €160m (£146.5m) and also wanted him loaned back until January.
Baulking at the price, Barcelona turned to PSG in the hope of signing former Real Madrid star Di Maria but were unwilling to meet the €80m (£73m) price set by the club that coaxed Neymar away.
Sport have gone with the headline ‘Cero Fichajes’, translating to ‘Zero Transfers’ set on a black background, symbolising the sombre mood that hangs over the Nou Camp as the new season starts in earnest.
AS lead with Agusti Benedito’s demand for Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu to resign
There are also questions raised over the decision to allow Munir El Haddadi to leave the club as he sealed a season-long loan deal to Alaves without an option to make the move permanent.
Although falling short of the huge expectation that hung over him from an early age, his departure leaves Ernesto Valverde with even fewer options in attack.
The dealings inspired former Barcelona presidential candidate Agusti Benedito to call for Josep Maria Bartomeu to resign his post with immediate effect and issue a vote of no confidence to the entire board.
‘This board has done a staggeringly bad job,’ he said as he left a meeting. ‘Bartomeu should resign, he is out of control. We are facing a really important institutional crisis and must act.’
The arrival of Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund was not enough to allay concerns