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Saturday, 6 January 2018

Barcelona announce Philippe Coutinho transfer from Liverpool for £142m on five-and-a-half year contract

Barcelona have announced the signing of Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool for £142m, bringing to an end the Brazilian midfielder’s long-running transfer saga.
Coutinho has agreed a five-and-a-half year contract at the Camp Nou with a buyout clause at €400m (£355m).
Liverpool are expected to receive around £106m up front for the 25-year-old with the rest in potential add-ons, dependent on the success of both Barcelona and Coutinho over the course of his contract.
The transfer ranks as the second most expensive transfer in football history behind only Paris Saint-Germain’s £198m purchase of Neymar from Barcelona last summer.
Barcelona confirmed the news on the club’s website and Liverpool released a statement which read: “Liverpool can confirm Philippe Coutinho will be leaving the club after a transfer agreement was reached with Barcelona, subject to medical and agreement of personal terms.
“The player now has permission to complete the usual formalities to conclude the transfer immediately.”
Jurgen Klopp said that he had tried to persuade Coutinho to stay but found that the player was “desperate” to move to the Camp Nou.
“It is with great reluctance that we – as a team and club – prepare to say farewell to a good friend, a wonderful person and a fantastic player in Philippe Coutinho,” Klopp said on Liverpool’s website.
 Transfers: Players that are out of contract in 2018
“It is no secret that Philippe has wanted this move to happen since July, when Barcelona first made their interest known. 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 Liverpool 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.”
Liverpool rebuffed interest in the summer and their tough stance has yielded a significant increase on the intial offer from Barcelona, thought to be closer to £80m.
The transfer marks a huge profit for the Anfield club on a player who cost £8.5m when he signed in January 2013 from Inter Milan. He scored 54 goals for Liverpool in all competitions but failed to win any silverware.
The Monaco winger Thomas Lemar is Liverpool’s main target to replace him but there is an acknowledgement that the Ligue 1 side are reluctant to sell this month.

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