Philippe Coutinho is no longer when it comes to Barcelona, thanks to a deal that will see the midfielder head to Liverpool. This deal, one of the most expensive in the history of soccer, is worth $192 million.
While Barcelona was not forthcoming about what the deal was worth, a person closely associated with details on the transfer and speaking anonymously reported to The Associated Press it was worth €160 million or $192 million. This is a record for Barcelona
The only transfers that surpassed that of Coutinho were last summer’s acquisition by Paris Saint-Germain of Kylian Mbappe and Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior. The contract will include the current season and continue for an additional five years.
Three other deals were rejected for Coutinho by Liverpool in August
Barcelona has been keen on player acquisitions and in August signed Ousmane Dembele for €105 million and with contract extensions, could increase to €147 million. The club had been hopeful that at the same time they would acquire Philippe Coutinho, however, failed to get the deal done in time and it took until January before Barcelona could reach an agreement with Liverpool.
At that price, expectations will be high for Coutinho to meet the standards of the clubs talented midfielders. Barcelona had been seeking a top rated player who has talent and vision since the departure of 17-year veteran Xavi Hernandez to Qatar. It is expected that his addition to the midfield will be the rejuvenation that is needed. Led by Andres Iniesta (33) and joined by José Paulo Bezerra Maciel Júnior (29), Ivan Rakitic (29) and Sergio Busquets (29), Coutinho will be a welcomed addition.
Barcelona commented that is believe that Coutinho is:
a young player with potential still to be tapped.
With his arrival, it is expected that several Barcelona midfielders such as Rafinha, Arda Turan, and Andre Gomes will be off to a new home. While not able to participate in the Champions League due to having played for Liverpool during the group stage, however, Coutinho will join the club in its bid to take away the title from the Real Madrid in the Spanish League.
Coutinho hails from Rio de Janeiro and first played for Vasco de Gama, a club in Brazil. He then, in 2010, moved to Inter Milan. In 2012, he entered the Spanish League while on loan to Espanyol before finally joining Liverpool in 2013. It was at Liverpool that his skills flourished and he soon was seen as one of the Premier Leagues most talented playmakers. In his 152 appearances playing for Liverpool, the midfielder scored forty-one goals.
At the tender age of sixteen, Inter Milan signed Coutinho away from Vasco da Gama, and after his debut, had some likening him to Neymar da Silva Santos. Yet in his opening season with Milan, he only managed to score twice, and that saw him taking the advice of Neymar and moving to Spain versus the option of returning to Brazil. While playing his season with Espanyol, Coutinho played sixteen games and scored five goals, and that had Liverpool attention.
On Sunday, Barcelona will face Levante in La Liga, and then play host to Celta Vigo on Thursday. At the time of publishing this article, Barcelona has not stated when Coutinho will make his debut. However, with the news of the Coutinho transfer, it is expected that mobile bettors will be eager to keep abreast of any developments that will give them an advantage when the star midfielder makes his debut for Barcelona.