Liverpool and Barcelona agree Coutinho deal

Philippe Coutinho

Liverpool have announced a deal has been agreed which will see Philippe Coutinho join Barcelona, for a fee believed to be £145m.

After news broke earlier on Saturday that a deal was close to being completed, both clubs subsequently released statements announcing the transfer.

Coutinho was spotted in London on Saturday as he jetted off to Spain ahead of an expected medical on Monday.

According to Barcelona, the Brazilian will sign a five-and-a-half-year contract, with a buyout clause of 400m Euros (£354.6m).

“FC Barcelona and Liverpool FC have reached an agreement for the transfer of Philippe Coutinho,” a Barcelona statement said.

“The player will sign a contract for the remainder of the season and five more, and will have a buyout clause of 400 million euros.

“In the next hours we will inform you of the details of the player’s arrival and presentation.”

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Liverpool released a statement on its website which said: “Liverpool FC can confirm Philippe Coutinho will be leaving the club after a transfer agreement was reached with FC Barcelona, subject to medical and agreement of personal terms.

“The player now has permission to complete the usual formalities to conclude the transfer immediately.”

Manager Jurgen Klopp said Liverpool did everything they could to keep Coutinho at Anfield, but that his heart and mind were set on a move to Barcelona.

“It is no secret that Philippe has wanted this move to happen since July, when Barcelona first made their interest known,” Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com.

“Philippe was insistent with me, the owners and even his team-mates this was a move he was desperate to make happen.

“Despite that, we managed to keep the player here beyond the summer window, hoping that we would be able to persuade him to stay and be part of what we are looking to do.

“I can tell the Liverpool supporters that we, as a club, have done everything within our means to convince Philippe that remaining part of LFC was as attractive as moving to Spain, but he is 100 per cent certain his future – and that of his family – belongs at Barcelona. It is his dream and I am now convinced there is nothing left at our disposal to change his mind.

Philippe Coutinho 2

“I have been here long enough now to know in the history of Liverpool, key players have left before – but the club always goes on. You cannot transfer the heart and soul of Liverpool Football Club, although I am sure there are many clubs who would like to buy it.

“I have so much belief in the talent we have here already and even more faith, together with our owners, that we will make continued investment into the playing squad, which will allow more growth and more improvement.”

Liverpool rejected three offers from Barca for Coutinho in the previous transfer window – the last for £118m – and denied a transfer request from the player himself.

Philippe Coutinho

While the latest offer from Barcelona could well have swayed the reluctant Reds, it seems Coutinho’s own insistence at leaving Anfield was also a decisive factor.

The £145m fee marks a new record transfer for the Premier League, and the second highest transfer fee ever after the £200m Paris Saint-Germain paid for Neymar earlier this year. It’s made all the more remarkable by the fact that Liverpool bought Coutinho for £8.5m from Inter Milan in 2013.

While Coutinho will soon turn out for Barca in La Liga, he will not be able to represent them in the Champions League for the remainder of the season, having already played in the competition for Liverpool.

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