Philippe Coutinho is joining Barcelona after Liverpool agreed to sell the Brazilian in a deal that makes him one of the most expensive players in football history. The 25-year-old playmaker completes a 160-million-euro ($192 million) move. It is the third richest in history, that he described as "a dream come true".
Last year, Paris Saint-Germain shelled out a world record 222 million euros to lure Brazilian star Neymar from Barcelona before the French champions then agreed to pay Monaco 120 million euros for Kylian Mbappe in a deal which will be officially activated once the striker's loan period is completed.
Coutinho has agreed a deal through to 2023 and is looking forward to playing alongside Messi, Luis Suarez and Andres Iniesta. Barcelona said Coutinho will sign a contract for the rest of the ongoing season and five more seasons. He still needs to finalize personal terms and pass a medical examination.
"It is no secret that Philippe 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." Said Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.
Barcelona had tried to sign him in the summer, but his departure is a blow to Liverpool as the playmaker has just returned to top form after an injury-hit start to the season.
Coutinho won't be able to play for Barcelona in the Champions League since he has already featured in the competition with Liverpool in the group stage. But he will be available for Barcelona's bid to reclaim the Spanish league title from Real Madrid and defend its Copa del Rey crown.