In what is a shocking news for us Liverpool fans, the club has confirmed that Philippe Coutinho has completed his British-record €160million (£142million) move to Barcelona. As shocking as it may sound, the Brazilian has signed a five-and-a-half-year deal with a whopping €400m release clause. (The Telegraph)
The player has already landed in Spain to finalise the move and reports suggest that the Catalans have to pay €120m as a guaranteed base fee, with another €40m in performance and appearance-related add-ons. The magical midfielder is expected to complete his medical today and the deal is all done.
A statement from Liverpool read: “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.”
Coutinho has been linked with a move to Barcelona since time immemorial and after months of negotiations and rejected bids, it looks like we have agreed to sell our talismanic attacker. Although we managed to keep hold of Coutinho in the summer, it seems we couldn’t do much this time around.
There are reports which suggest that Coutinho has paid out of his pocket to seal his dream move. Barca reportedly refused to budge from their offer of £97.5m plus £35m in add-ons following the Nike gaffe, so Coutinho offered to pay the £12.5m difference out of his own salary.
Philippe Coutinho will move ahead of Ousmane Dembele as Barca’s highest-cost recruit as well as surpass Paul Pogba as the biggest player trade involving an English club.
The Brazil attacker could attend Barcelona’s game against Levante on Sunday, with the club hoping to have him training with his new team-mates on Monday. He should be available for Barcelona when they face Celta Vigo in the Copa Del Rey on Thursday.
This is disheartening, to say the least. Coutinho could have stayed with us at least until the summer as the season looked like it was taking shape. With the arrival of van Dijk being done a few days back, all that we needed was this set of players to remain intact and keep fighting on all fronts. Nevertheless, it is always better to let go of a player who doesn’t have his heart at the club.
Philippe Coutinho is not bigger than Liverpool FC and I am sure that Klopp will do everything possible to ensure that the attacker’s departure doesn’t affect our performances.