Coutinho agrees big-money Barcelona switch

Philippe Coutinho's much-anticipated move from Liverpool to Barcelona has been agreed, subject to a medical at Camp Nou.

Philippe Coutinho was touted by Barcelona in the summer transfer window but the move did not materialise.   -  Getty Images

 

Barcelona has confirmed a deal is in place for the big-money signing of Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool, the Brazil international set to move for a reported fee of £142million.

Coutinho, who joined Liverpool from Inter in January 2013, was the subject of significant interest from Barca in the previous transfer window, but a move to Camp Nou failed to materialise as Liverpool rejected multiple bids and the playmaker's transfer request.

But the leader of LaLiga will now get its man, with the enormous fee set to make him the most expensive player in the history of Spanish football. It will also be the highest amount ever received by an English club.

READ: Liverpool did everything to keep Coutinho, insists Klopp

Barca's new signing has agreed a five-and-a-half-year deal and will add further attacking threat to a side already boasting the likes of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp reluctantly accepted the wish of his star midfielder after owing not to sell him in January. He told liverpoolfc.com, "“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.

“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 teammates 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 has made a fantastic contribution to this club over his five years of service and as disappointed as we are he doesn’t want to extend that, the relationship we have for him means with a heavy heart we wish him well.

“The player remained dedicated and committed to helping us win matches, producing good performances and training hard each day at Melwood after the summer window had closed, despite failing to convince us to allow him to leave during that period and that level of professionalism reflects positively on him."

In a statement, Barca revealed its new signing will have a buyout clause of €400m, with details of his arrival and presentation still to be announced. Liverpool also confirmed a transfer agreement had been reached, subject to a medical and personal terms being finalised.

ALSO READ: Coutinho storms into top three on all-time record transfer list

Coutinho's departure from Anfield, which comes two and a half years after Suarez made the same switch to Barca, undoubtedly represents a significant blow to Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.

In 152 Premier League appearances for the Reds, the 25-year-old contributed 41 goals and 35 assists, while he has found the net on 12 occasions in 20 appearances in all competitions this season.

Coutinho missed Friday's FA Cup win over rival Everton through injury and leaves with the Reds sitting fourth in the Premier League.

Dembele arrived from Borussia Dortmund in August as Barca made its first big move in attempting to replace Neymar, who joined Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record €222m deal.

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