Did focusing on Coutinho cost Barcelona a chance to sign Juventus's star Argentine forward Paulo Dybala?
Barcelona have come under fire once again for their dealings in the transfer window, with reports in Spain that the club turned down two chances to sign Paulo Dybala in the summer in favour of continuing their doomed move for Philippe Coutinho.
AS carry reports from Spanish broadcaster La Sexta which claim that the reigning Italian champions were willing to do business with Ernesto Valverde's side to make a deal for the Argentina star happen.
A vice-president from the Catalan club was involved on a call with Dybala’s brother and representative on August 17 with a Juventus executive also present, in which they were informed that the player was interested in a move to Camp Nou.
Juventus even indicated that they would be willing to make a deal happen for somewhere in the region of €120m - just over half of what Liverpool demanded for the services of Brazilian midfielder Coutinho on deadline day two weeks later.
The Catalan giants were yet to complete their move for Ousmane Dembele at the time of the conversation with Dybala's brother, and ended up ditching the move for the dynamic 23-year-old in favour of securing Coutinho - on the basis that the Liverpool man would be more suited to playing alongside Lionel Messi.
Orienting new signings in the context of their compatibility of Messi could be seen as a statement that the club are confident of the Argentine signing his long-awaited new deal - with less than 12 months left on his current contract.