Liverpool, Barcelona & Philippe Coutinho
After a hectic weekend for Philippe Coutinho, the dust is starting to settle after world football’s third most expensive deal ever.
Barcelona signed Coutinho from Liverpool for £142 million.
The Brazilian playmaker has agreed a five and a half year deal to stay at the Camp Nou.
Although, it’s not clear when Coutinho will actually make his Catalan debut.
On Monday Coutinho completed his medical at Barcelona. Barca have since confirmed that the former Liverpool star is nursing a thigh injury which will keep him sidelined for 20 days.
That means he’ll miss matches against Celta Vigo Real Sociedad and Real Betis.
Coutinho could make his Barcelona debut at the Camp Nou on January 28 against Alaves.
And if Coutinho isn’t fit for that match, he could make his debut away at Espanyol in the Catalan derby at the start of February.
Of course, Coutinho previously played for Espanyol earlier in his career.
Liverpool call out Barcelona’s lies
One issue upset Liverpool on Monday following Coutinho’s unveiling at Barcelona.
As reported in the Times on Tuesday, Liverpool have accused Barcelona of falsehoods with regards to how the clubs agreed on the transfer fee:
Liverpool have dismissed claims from Barcelona that Philippe Coutinho’s £142 million move only happened because they slashed their original asking price for the Brazilian.
Barcelona attempted to score a political point over their rivals at Coutinho’s official unveiling yesterday when Jordi Mestre, the club’s vice-president, said “there has been a significant reduction” in price from last summer, which helped to facilitate the transfer.
Mestre suggested they had been quoted £176.5 million in August, but that version of events was picked apart because Liverpool’s stance throughout the Spanish club’s initial approach was that he was “not available at any price”.
Philippe Coutinho’s goodbye letter
On Monday night Coutinho posted a goodbye letter to Liverpool and their fans on social media.
The Brazilian has explained his move to the Camp Nou, writing:
I leave Liverpool because Barcelona is a dream for me.
Since the moment I arrived in Liverpool , me and my family have been made to feel so welcome and have made so many friends. On the pitch and off the pitch, we have experienced the beauty of this club and its fans. In turn, I hope I have delivered memories and moments that have brought happiness to the Liverpool supporters. Moving to Liverpool, I knew the club’s greatness and history but what I did learn during my time was the unique heart and soul of the place. It has its own personality and character. I leave Liverpool because Barcelona is a dream for me. Liverpool was a dream that I was fortunate enough to realise and I have given five years of my life to it. A career on the pitch only lasts for so long and to play for Barcelona as well as Liverpool is something I want to experience and enjoy while I am blessed enough to be able to do so. I hope the supporters understand that choosing to experience something new is not about diminishing their importance to me or the club’s importance. Nothing will ever diminish that in my heart. I wish Jürgen and the team nothing but joy and success for the rest of this season and beyond. This is an amazing team and they are getting better and better all the time. There are too many people I want to thank, but I cannot name everyone individually. To all the amazing club staff who have been part of my life in Liverpool – I will miss you. To the owners, whom have tried so hard to bring success, and to the football recruitment staff for showing faith in me to bring me here and rewarding me during that journey, and to my incredible teammates, past and present, who have helped me grow and improve as a player and a person, I would like to say thank you to you all. Anything I have achieved here would not have been possible without you. And finally, to the most important people of Liverpool – the Liverpool supporters. I can never thank you enough for what you have given me during this time and no matter where I go in the world, for the rest of my life, I will always cherish Liverpool in my heart. You, the club and the city will always be a part of me. You’ll Never Walk Alone. Philippe.
Also see: Update on Liverpool’s Alisson deal.