Philippe Coutinho in record move to Barcelona
Liverpool have finally agreed the sale of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona for a reported record-breaking £142m fee.
The transfer is finally completing, ending a long drawn out transfer saga that began last summer. Following the departure of Neymar from Camp Nou to French club Paris Saint-Germain, it was expected Philippe Coutinho would fill the gap. A bid was made, and 25 year-old Coutinho made clear he wanted the move.
Liverpool firmly rejected Barca’s initial advances. Unusually they released a statement declaring Coutinho would NOT be sold in that transfer window.
Negotiations this time though succeeded, and saw the Merseyside club soften, thus resigned to the departure of unhappy talent Phillipe Coutinho.
In a statement on their website, Liverpool said: “Liverpool FC can confirm Philippe Coutinho will be leaving the club after a transfer agreement was reached with FC Barcelona, subject to a medical and agreement of personal terms. The player now has permission to complete the usual formalities to conclude the transfer immediately.”
The five year deal is set to become the biggest ever involving an English to Spanish club. Despite his transfer request, popular Coutinho has scored 12 goals in all competitions. His play-making and creativity will be missed.
Liverpool’s curve is an upward one. An impressive run of 17 games unbeaten in all competitions, with solid league performances has placed them in the top four. Loss of the playmaker could scupper progress for Klopp and the Reds.
Coutinho in London on Saturday
Coutinho was spotted on Saturday, preparing to fly to Barcelona from London thus linking with his new club. Also notably absent from Liverpool’s Friday night’s FA Cup 2-1 winning Derby clash with Everton. The decision seemingly alreay taken.
Lying 4th in the Premier League, Coutinho staying to the end of the campaign would have been the ideal scenario for Klopp. Having spent £75m on Virgil van Dijk from Southampton, it’s unclear if Liverpool will seek a replacement.
Adam Lallana’s return, the acquisition of Van Dijk, and FA Cup Derby victory, will be some compensation. Whether he can blend with Lallana and Oxlade-Chamberlain to maintain momentum remains to be seen. Jurgen Klopp and the fans will surely be looking to reinforce the side.
Which shop windows will the Merseysiders choose to look in? Finding calibre players that are Premiership ready, notwithstanding their availability, could be seen as Klopp’s biggest challenge so far.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 6, 2018