A bizarre claimed regarding Barcelona and Liverpool has emanated from Spain.
According to Spanish publication Sport, Barcelona have made a late move to sign Thomas Lemar from AS Monaco, in part to spite Liverpool for their refusal to part company with Philippe Coutinho.
There is no doubt this is a strange one, and Barca would never sign a player - especially such an expensive one - just to get one over a club who said no to their advances.
The La Liga club know how the transfer window works and clubs are well within their rights to say no even if a huge offer arrives. That is what Liverpool did when they were given the chance to cash in on Coutinho, but are we really to believe that Barcelona have responded by attempting to ruin the Reds' hopes of securing Lemar?
According to Sport: 'Barca have entered fully into negotiations for the signing of Lemar with the aim, also, of blocking the English club, who refuse to sell Coutinho."
It smacks of playground politics and is surely untrue, with the player expected to cost in the region of £74million. But why let that get in the way of a good headline with time running out to generate fresh rumours?
Liverpool have impressed so far this season, and adding Lemar to their attacking options would significantly strengthen Jurgen Klopp's forward line.
If Barcelona are genuinely interested, so be it. However they are only going to sign the 21-year-old if they genuinely want him, not just to spite a Liverpool side they may still want to do business with in the future.