The once-dead Coutinho-to-Barcelona transfer, a hot rumor of the post-Neywatch soccer landscape, is now, suddenly, a done deal: today Barcelona and Liverpool reportedly agreed to a £142 million transfer fee that will send the midfielder to Catalonia. Per ESPN:
Multiple reports in both Spain and England suggest the two clubs reached a transfer fee of £142 million (€160m, $192.7m), with Liverpool receiving £105m (€120m, $142m) up-front and the rest in performance-related add-ons.
Barcelona said Coutinho would sign a five-and-a-half year contract with a buyout clause of €400m. Liverpool said the deal was still subject to formalities including a medical and agreement of personal terms.
Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp issued a long statement via the team’s website, describing the organization’s efforts to keep “a good friend, a wonderful person and a fantastic player” in town, to no avail:
It is no secret that Philippe has wanted this move to happen since July, when Barcelona first made their interest known.
Philippe was insistent with me, the owners and even his teammates this was a move he was desperate to make happen.
Despite that, we managed to keep the player here beyond the summer window, hoping that we would be able to persuade him to stay and be part of what we are looking to do.
I can tell the Liverpool supporters that we, as a club, have done everything within our means to convince Philippe that remaining part of LFC was as attractive as moving to Spain, but he is 100 per cent certain his future – and that of his family – belongs at Barcelona. It is his dream and I am now convinced there is nothing left at our disposal to change his mind.
If there’s good news for Liverpool, it’s that the reported transfer fee is a whopping £24 million higher than the highest reported offer from Barcelona over the summer. Hmm. That sounded a lot more impressive in my head. This blows for Liverpool.