Coutinho completes 160-million-euro Barcelona move

BARCELONA: Philippe Coutinho officially joined Barcelona on Monday, completing a move from Liverpool thought to be worth 160 million euros ($192 million), making it the third richest transfer in history.

Coutinho, 25, signed a five-year contract in a ceremony alongside Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

But minutes before he put pen to paper, the club said a thigh injury would delay his debut until the end of January.

Barca coach Ernesto Valverde has predicted the Brazilian will comfortably fit into a team already containing global superstar Lionel Messi.

In a video message on Sunday showing Coutinho posing for photographers at the Camp Nou wearing a Barcelona jacket, he said: “I want to play, win trophies and make the supporters happy. Those are my objectives.

“Barca fans, I’m here now. It’s a dream come true!” Coutinho said he was excited about playing alongside Messi, Luis Suarez and Andres Iniesta.

He described them as well as club stalwarts Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets as “idols”.

Coutinho has already lined up alongside Suarez for 18 months at Liverpool before the Uruguayan made the same move to Spain in 2014. —Agencies

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