Barcelona thankful to Liverpool for Coutinho dealJanuary 8, 2018
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has thanked Liverpool for reaching an agreement over the signing of Philippe Coutinho.
After weeks of rumours linking the Brazilian international with a move to Camp Nou, the Catalan club announced the deal a day before their 3-0 win over Levante in the league.
Coutinho arrived in Barcelona on Saturday evening and was met by former Anfield team-mate Luis Suarez upon arrival and has now signed a contract with the La Liga leaders, which is five and half years and features a buy-out clause of 400m euros.
The former Espanyol man arrived in Barca, sacrificing Champions League football as he will be Cup-tied after featuring for Liverpool in the competition earlier this season.
And, Bartomeu has heaped praise and thanks on Coutinho’s former club, Liverpool, for their co-operation in the deal.
“We have signed one of the world’s best players,” Bartomeu told a press conference on Monday afternoon.
“I want to thank Liverpool, we finally sat down and reached an agreement, and without their willingness to negotiate it would not have been possible.
“His willingness to come and his patience have been completely decisive in this deal. I thank him for being here, he showed great desire to be at Barcelona.
“There were other clubs interested in signing Coutinho, but he was determined to sign for Barcelona and play under Valverde.”
Coutinho’s debut will have to wait as the Brazilian will be out for three weeks with a injury to his right thigh and will now be expected to make his debut against Espanyol on February 4th.
His arrival is now expected to see the likes of Rafinha and Arda Turan leave the club this month, whilst Andre Gomes’ future is now under question.
Coutinho is likely to be joined by Colombian central defender Yerry Mina, who is set to be announced next Wednesday following an agreement with Brazilian side Palmeiras.
Barca boss Ernesto Valverde now has three fresh faces in his side for the remaining six months of the season, with Frenchman Ousmane Dembele having returned from injury last week.
Dembele, who played twice at the start of the season for Barca after signing for Dortmund will act as almost a new signing for Valverde.