Barcelona on Saturday announced that they had reached an agreement to sign Brazilian star Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool in a deal reported to be worth up to €160 million.
“Barcelona and Liverpool have reached an agreement for the transfer of Philippe Coutinho. The player will sign a contract for the rest of the season and five more years with a release clause of 400 million euros,” said a Barcelona statement.
Liverpool also confirmed the news on their website.
“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.”
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp praised Coutinho for his contribution to the Merseyside outfit, and said while the club did everything possible to keep the Brazilian at Anfield, he was fulfilling a dream to play out of 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 told liverpoolfc.com
“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 percent 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.”
AFP, Staff Writer