Barcelona’s long drawn out pursuit of Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho is set to reach a conclusion, with the Brazilian set to seal a move to Camp Nou.
Barcelona have made an official statement to confirm that they have completed the signing of Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool. The Brazilian playmaker has reportedly completed the switch to Camp Nou for a reported fee of £142 million, as per reports from BBC.
The Catalans have been pursuing the Brazilian since the summer transfer window, after they had sold star man Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain for a world record £200 million fee. But, Liverpool rejected three big offers for the 25-year old, the last of which was reported to be in the range of £118 million.
Coutinho too, on his part, was keen on getting a move to Camp Nou and in that regard, had even submitted a transfer request to Liverpool in the summer. But, the Merseyside club showed great resolve and did not move from their stance all through the summer.
However, Liverpool have now accepted a mega offer from Barcelona, which will make Coutinho the second most expensive player in the world, after compatriot Neymar.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 6, 2018
Liverpool signed Coutinho from Serie A side Inter Milan in January 2013, for a fee reported to be just £10 million. The Brazilian soon went on to establish himself as one of the most important players for the Reds under then manager Brendan Rodgers and had taken his game to a whole new level under Jurgen Klopp.
Despite having been disappointed over the failed summer move, Coutinho showed great application and desire so far this season for Liverpool and had emerged as one of their best players. In the 2017/18 campaign, Coutinho has featured 20 times across all competitions, scoring 12 goals and registering 9 assists.
Once the move is completed, Coutinho will not be able to represent Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League this season, because he will be cup-tied, having already played for Liverpool in the competition.
Nevertheless, the Brazilian’s addition should end Barcelona’s pursuit of signing a long-term successor to Andres Iniesta, who is fast approaching the end of his glittering career. The player’s addition would also bode well for Iniesta, who has often cut a tired figure this season due to the heavy work load of playing in three competitions.