Philippe Coutinho to join Barcelona after deal agreed with Liverpool

Liverpool have confirmed the news that the Brazilian is off to Barcelona.
Liverpool have confirmed the news that the Brazilian is off to Barcelona. Photo credit: Getty Images

Philippe Coutinho is to realise his dream of moving to Barcelona despite Liverpool's "great reluctance" to let the Brazilian playmaker leave Anfield for a British record fee worth up to STG142million ($NZ268m). 

The 25-year-old was the subject of a STG118million ($NZ223m)  bid from the Catalan club in August, an approach Liverpool rejected, but he is now heading to the Nou Camp after a deal was agreed on Saturday.

"Liverpool can confirm Philippe Coutinho will be leaving the club after a transfer agreement was reached with Barcelona, subject to medical and agreement of personal terms," a statement on the Premier League club's website read.               

"The player now has permission to complete the usual formalities to conclude the transfer immediately."

Barcelona made Coutinho their No.1 target after his countryman Neymar made a world-record STG200.6million (NZ$354m)  move to Paris Saint-Germain in August and he will sign a five and a half year contract.           

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp stressed his club had done everything possible to persuade Coutinho to remain at Anfield, but revealed the player had been "desperate" to move to Spain ever since July.      

"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 Philippe Coutinho," Klopp said on Liverpool's website.              

"It is no secret that Philippe has wanted this move to happen since July, when Barcelona first made their interest known.               

"I can tell the Liverpool supporters that we, as a club, have done everything within our means to convince Philippe that remaining part of Liverpool was as attractive as moving to Spain, but he is 100 per cent certain his future - and that of his family - belongs at Barcelona."                  

Barcelona said the buy-out fee in his new contract will be 400 million euros ($NZ671m).

PA