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  • Coutinho

    Coutinho's record-making deal only trails Neymar and Kylian Mbappe. | Photo: EFE FILE

Published 7 January 2018

The 25-year-old will reunite with former Liverpool teammate Luis Suarez upon signing the five-and-half-year contract with the Spanish club. 

Brazilian international Philippe Coutinho will make a move from Liverpool to Barcelona in a $192-million deal – the third most expensive transfer of all time.

Soccer's Neymar Closer to Quit Barcelona for PSG in $263M Deal

A statement on Liverpool's website said: “Liverpool FC can confirm Philippe Coutinho will be leaving the club after a transfer agreement was reached with FC Barcelona, subject to a medical and agreement of personal terms. The player now has permission to complete the usual formalities to conclude the transfer immediately.”

The move to Camp Nou carries a $480-million buyout clause.

"In the next hours we will inform you of the details of the player's arrival and presentation," the Spanish club said in a release.

The record-making deal only trails his Brazilian counterpart Neymar and Frenchman Kylian Mbappe.

The top five transfer fees are: $271 million - Neymar (Barcelona to Paris St-Germain) in 2017, $224 million - *Kylian Mbappe (Monaco to Paris St-Germain - *loan deal with option to buy) in 2017, $192 million - Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool to Barcelona) in 2018, $183 million - Ousmane Dembele (Borussia Dortmund to Barcelona) in 2017 and $120 million - Paul Pogba (Juventus to Manchester United) in 2016.

The 25-year-old will reunite with former Liverpool teammate Luis Suarez upon signing the five-and-half-year contract with the Spanish club. 

"It is no secret that Philippe has wanted this move to happen since July, when Barcelona first made their interest known," Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp stated. "Philippe was insistent with me, the owners and even his team-mates this was a move he was desperate to make happen."

However, Liverpool had previously rejected all three bids from the many-times La Liga champions, but the midfielder will now move from the English Premier League (EPL) team – for a record English club transfer fee – to Europe.

“It is with great reluctance that we – as a team and club – prepare to say farewell to a good friend, a wonderful person and a fantastic player in Coutinho. The relationship we have for him means with a heavy heart we wish him well," he added.

Coutinho joined Liverpool from Inter Milan for $11 million in 2013. In January 2017, he signed a new five-year deal, with the EPL side, which did not include a release clause.

Klopp  explained that the club “did everything within our means to convince Philippe that remaining part of Liverpool was as attractive as moving to Spain, but he is 100% certain his future – and that of his family – belongs at Barcelona.”

Praises have been heaped on the playmaker from Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino, who coached Coutinho at Espanyol, "Philippe has a special magic in his feet. I do think he has that same quality that Ronaldinho and Lionel Messi have."

Meanwhile, former striker Careca commented that the Brazilian “reminds me of Zico.”

Coutinho is ineligible to play for Barcelona in their Champions League last-16 tie against Chelsea.

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