Friday, January 19, 2018

Coutinho signs contract to complete club-record Barcelona move

SoccerNews in La Liga 8 Jan 2018

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Philippe Coutinho has completed his transfer to Barcelona from Liverpool after signing a contract at Camp Nou on Monday.

The Brazil star put pen to paper on a five-and-a-half-year deal alongside club president Josep Maria Bartomeu, having earlier undergone a medical.

The 25-year-old, who flew out to Spain on Saturday to finalise his move, was then presented to fans inside the stadium.

Speaking to the media, he said: “I’m very happy. It’s my dream to be here, as I’ve said already. I hope to respond to the expectations on the pitch.”

Bartomeu claimed Barca beat competition from other clubs for Coutinho’s signature.

“We’re very excited for the fans to meet Philippe Coutinho, a player who we’ve tried to have here since last summer,” he said.

“Philippe was happy to come here, he was one of our objectives and his patience was decisive in his coming here.

“He is one of the stars of world football and he’ll be here for many years.

“There were other clubs interested in Coutinho but he was very eager to join Ernesto Valverde’s project. We’ve taken a very important step.

“I want to thank Liverpool for allowing Coutinho to leave.”

Coutinho has reportedly cost Barca a club-record fee of €160million, making him the third most expensive player in history, behind €222m compatriot Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, who will move to Paris Saint-Germain on a permanent deal from Monaco at the end of the season for €180m.

The former Inter man will not be able to make his first appearance for the club for approximately three weeks, however, due to a thigh injury.

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