Coutinho Completes £145m Deal to FC Barcelona

Philippe Coutinho has finally completed his move to Spanish giants FC Barcelona after passing his medical this afternoon. The Brazilian will be signing a five-year contract with the Catalan side and will have a €400m buy-out clause.

The move was confirmed on Saturday when Liverpool and Barcelona announced that a fee has been agreed in the region of £145m with over £100m up front and the rest in add-ons.

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Coutinho being unveiled in the Barcelona kit at the Nou Camp. Image Credit: FC Barcelona’s Twitter

Coutinho started off his career at Brazilian side Vasco De Gama before moving to Inter Milan in 2008 where he spent five years. In the 2012 season, Coutinho spent a year at Espanyol on loan before completing an £8.5m deal to Liverpool in 2013.

It was clear from the summer transfer window that Coutinho had set his sights on Barcelona after they had three bids rejected. Liverpool’s owners FSG had even released a statement saying Coutinho will not be sold in the summer window.

Despite not getting his move, Coutinho shined for the reds this season having scored 12 goals in 20 appearances. His last goal for the side was against Swansea.

After signing for Barcelona, Coutinho had thanked club President Josep Maria Bartomeu for making his dream come true. “I want to thank the president and everyone who has made it possible. I am very happy, it’s a dream come true and I hope to be up to the job on the field.”

“My dream was to come here and these opportunities are unique and I had no doubts. Even though I can’t play now in the Champions League, I will be able for the next 5 years”

“It’s very emotional for me to wear the shirt of the most important club in the world. I am anxious to get going”

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Josep Maria Bartomeu and Phillipe Coutinho after signing his contract. Image from: Barcelona’s Twitter

In an interview with Lee Clayton, head of sport at the Daily Mail, Coutinho spoke of his admiration for his former club. “Liverpool are in a healthy position, with very, very good footballers. The signing of Virgil van Dijk is a statement, Mo Salah is a wonderful footballer. I look forward to watching them win trophies and to celebrating their success.”

On his move to Barcelona:

“I would not have left for any other club, but Barcelona is something different. It is a dream, a place of magic for me. When I was young I would watch Ronaldinho play, I would watch him give magic. Now they have Messi doing the same.”

On his time at Liverpool:
“I gave 100%, 100% of the time I played for Liverpool. Five years, I did everything I could possibly do. I love this club, but it is time for a new adventure. I have so many memories and have so many people to thank at Liverpool. I have to improve as a player.”
In his 201 appearances for the Merseyside club, Coutinho scored 54 goals and had 46 assists. His presence will be missed at Liverpool and the question now is who will replace the magician.
Barcelona fans will have to wait to see the magician in action as it was revealed he will be out for up to three weeks with a thigh injury.

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