Philippe Coutinho’s 5-year sojourn in England has finally come to an end, as he becomes Barcelona’s most expensive signing after a deal worth €160 million was agreed with Liverpool, which is the new British transfer record.
La Liga’s leaders will part with €120m as a guaranteed base fee, with another €40m in performance and appearance-related add-ons that are expected to be triggered.
The 25-year-old moves ahead of Ousmane Dembele as Barca’s highest-cost recruit and surpasses Paul Pogba as the biggest player trade involving an English club.
Liverpool failed in their exhaustive efforts to convince Coutinho, who did not travel with the squad to a warm-weather camp in Dubai, to remain on Merseyside until the end of the season at the very least.
The Brazilian declined their proposed incentives and offer of a higher wage, repeating his intention to move to Camp Nou with immediate effect.
Having approached the Reds on July 20 with the first of three unsuccessful summer bids bloated by improbable clauses, Barca finally succeeded in their pursuit of the playmaker on Saturday.
Liverpool were definitive in their stance that Coutinho was not for sale at any price in the summer, rejecting his transfer request in the process, but with their No.10 maintaining his desire to depart and Barca finally tabling an acceptable package for his services, Jurgen Klopp agreed to sanction his sale.
The Brazilian made 201 appearances and scored 54 goals for Liverpool after signing in January 2013 from Inter Milan for just £8.5m.
Coutinho is now the third most expensive footballer in the world, behind Paris Saint-Germain pair Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.