FC Barcelona and Liverpool FC have reached an agreement for the transfer of Philippe Coutinho in a £142m (MK702 billion) deal, one of the most expensive transfers of all time. The transfer fee is more than half of the Malawi’s total national budget.
“The player will sign a contract for the remainder of the season and five more, and will have a buyout clause of 400 million euros” said the Nou Camp club in a statement.
The Reds are expected to receive £105m up front – a British record – for the 25-year-old Brazil international, with the rest in realistic add-ons.
He joined Liverpool from Inter Milan for £8.5m in January 2013,
The final deal will be eclipsed only by the £200m Paris St-Germain paid Barcelona for Neymar last summer, and the £165.7m Kylian Mbappe will cost PSG at the end of his initial loan spell from Monaco.
Coutinho stayed behind on Merseyside while final negotiations were concluded as his Liverpool team-mates flew to Dubai for a mid-season break.
“He will have a buyout clause of 400 million euros” said Barcelona.
Liverpool rejected three Barca bids and a transfer request from the player during the summer transfer window.
The last of Barcelona’s three bids was £118m – which included add-ons totalling in excess of £30m based on Coutinho winning the Ballon d’Or and other built-in clauses.
He then signed a new 5-year deal with the Anfield club in January. The contract did not include a release clause.
Barca have described Coutinho as a “versatile attacking force” whose technical ability and vision allow him to play in midfield.
“His attacking instincts also mean that he is equally at home in a more advanced role on the wing. Coutinho is quick and always willing to take on defenders and his nose for goal is undeniable as he scored 13 times for Liverpool last season” reads part of the statement issued by the club.
A Brazilian international since his debut in 2010, he played in the Copa América in 2015 and 2016 for his country as well as playing a vital part in helping the ‘canarinha’ qualify for the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia.
Meanwhile, Liverpool official club website crashed after they announced the sale of Coutinho to Barcelona.