By 90Min
January 09, 2018

Borussia Dortmund reportedly benefitted from Barcelona's desire to sign Philippe Coutinho last summer - by earning a much higher transfer fee for Ousmane Dembele.

That is according to German football journalist Ralf Honigstein, who spoke to the Totally Football Show on Monday about Dembele's £135m transfer from the Bundesliga club to the Catalan giants.

In comments which will be seen as shocking to some, Honigstein revealed that Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp phoned his former side to reveal that the Premier League outfit had no intention to sell Coutinho to Barça last summer.

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That led Dortmund to be able to demand much more money from La Blaugrana for 20-year-old Dembele - a ploy that clearly worked as Ernesto Valverde's side had to stump up over the odds to land the talented France international.

Of course, Barça would eventually convince Liverpool to let Coutinho join in the January window to the tune of £142m, but the latter's resolve to dig their heels in over their playmaker saw Dortmund benefit from almost as much cash as they did.

It proved to be a handsome fee well earned for Die Borussen as Dembele was laid low with a ruptured thigh muscle in only his third appearance for Barcelona back in September.

(You may also be interested in Philippe Coutinho Pens Heartfelt Message to Liverpool Fans After Leaving for 'Dream' Barcelona Move)

The forward has since recovered and made his first appearance in four months in the 3-0 win over Levante last Sunday - Dembele playing 67 minutes of the routine win.

Coutinho, meanwhile, will have to wait three weeks to make his debut for his new club after his medical showed that the Brazil international was suffering from a thigh strain.

The 25-year-old picked up the issue ahead of Liverpool's FA Cup triumph over Merseyside rivals Everton last Friday, but was able to be unveiled by Barca at their home stadium on Monday.

Liverpool are said to be looking at bringing in Monaco's Thomas Lemar as Coutinho's replacement, while Dortmund could be ransacked again as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang apparently eyes a big-money move to China with Guangzhou Evergrande.

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