Barcelona have confirmed the signing of Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho on a five-and-a-half-year deal.
The 25-year-old has a release clause of £335m and will be presented as a Barcelona player ‘shortly’.
“FC Barcelona and Liverpool FC have reached an agreement for the transfer of Philippe Coutinho. The player will sign a contract for the remainder of the season and five more and will have a buyout clause of 400 million euros,” said Barcelona’s statement.
“The midfielder arrives at FC Barcelona after demonstrating his class as a player with Liverpool and the Brazilian national side. Coutinho is one of the most talented midfielders in the world with the potential to get even better. We will shortly inform you of the details of the player’s arrival and presentation.”
According to the Guardian, Barcelona and Liverpool agreed a £142m deal for Coutinho, with a basic fee of £106m, plus £36m in variables. An additional £17m would be payable when Coutinho makes 100 appearances for Barcelona, £4.4m per 25 games.
A further £4.4m would be paid for Champions League qualification in the first two seasons, with a £4.4m bonus for winning the competition. In total, Coutinho’s five-and-a-half-year deal is worth £12.1m-a-season.
Liverpool were resigned to losing the Brazilian international after he made it clear he wanted out of Anfield. It’s not the first time Coutinho requested a transfer at Liverpool but the Merseysiders couldn’t turn down such a lucrative bid from Barcelona this time round – having doubled the asking price since July 2017.
The Merseysiders may have also felt they could cope in his absence, boasting six wins and a draw from the nine league games Coutinho missed this season. Mohamed Salah has enjoyed an outstanding debut season too, scoring and creating 22 goals in 21 Premier League appearances, which should be provide some solace to supporters.
The Reds are currently fourth in the table with 44 points from 22 games, just three points adrift of second-placed Manchester United.