After a summer of speculation and Liverpool turning down bid after bid for their Brazilian Midfield star Philippe Coutinho, he was officially paraded in front of the worlds press today as a Barcelona player after the clubs agreed on a £142m deal.
The 25 year old has signed a five and a half year deal, that has a £355m buy out clause attached.
The amount makes Coutinho one of the most expensive players in history, with only the £200m PSG paid Barcelona of Coutinho’s Brazilian teammate Neymar, while PSG are also expected to pay £167.5m to Monaco for Kylian Mbappe once his year’s loan period has finished.
Coutinho originally joined Liverpool as a relatively unknown from Inter Milan in 2013 for £8.5m but has since flourish into one of the best midfielders in the world, leading the Premier League side to agree a new five year deal last January, that didn’t include any release clause.
But 6 months is a long time in football, and after losing Neymar to PSG, Barcelona saw Coutinho has the perfect replacement, leading to the player handing in a transfer request, while the Spanish giants had 3 bids rejected during the summer months. The final bid was in the region of £118m and included add on’s to the value of £30m should he ever win the Ballon d’Or, along with the team winning the Champions league.
Liverpool management and owners made it clear their Star player was not for sale, but within hours of transfer window opening, speculation grew that Barcelona were ready to increase their offer as Liverpool prepared to cash in!
The player is expected to make his debut in three weeks has he recovers from a thigh strain that has kept him out of Liverpool last two games, while he will also miss the rest of this years Champions League as he is now cup tied after playing a key role in Liverpool’s progression to the knock out stages.