A new book, published in Paris this week, has revealed how Liverpool tried to use Philippe Coutinho as a bargaining chip to lure Gareth Bale to Anfield last summer.
Coutinho's name in Liverpool is but a distant memory since his eventual sale to Barcelona in January, but had the club got their way last summer, he'd be a Real Madrid player by now and Gareth Bale would be turning out at Anfield.
In the book 'PSG: Revelations of a Revolution', whereby the intricate details of Neymar's world record transfer from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain are revealed, an interesting point if made about Liverpool's attempts of ridding their star Brazilian.
At the time, Barca were desperately hoping to sign Coutinho, but the Reds had their sights on Bale, and had even offered Madrid an incredible €70m as well as their playmaker (who was eventually sold to the Blaugrana for €130m) in exchange for the Welshman.
Luckily for Liverpool, although they weren't aware of such fortune, Real weren't interested, and wanted Monaco's Kylian Mbappe instead, as is shown in an extract from the book.
"Contrary to what happens in Barcelona, the Brazilian does not generate consensus in Madrid. Florentino Pérez always thinks in reality in Mbappé, like PSG, so a sale of Bale to Paris could eventually satisfy everyone, in a three-pool billiard game if the Neymar operation collapsed,” via Mundo Deportivo.
Of course, the reliability of this can be questioned, but just imagine if it had come off. Yes, Bale would be back in the Premier League, and the thought of him combining with Mohamed Salah (whom Liverpool had already bought), Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. Deadly - even if they'd had their pants pulled down over the cost.