Barcelona sign Philippe Coutinho

Barcelona have completed the signing of attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool, the club have confirmed.

The BBC have reported that the deal will cost £142 million – making the Brazilian international the second-most expensive player in history.  Liverpool are expected to receive £105 million up front.

Coutinho has signed a five-and-a-half-year deal at Camp Nou with a €400 million buyout clause in his contract.

The 25-year-old has been excellent for the Premier League side over the past season and a half and had been strongly linked with a move to Barcelona over the summer.

Philippe Coutinho scored 41 goals in 152 Premier League appearances for Liverpool from an attacking midfield role.  Many of these were spectacular goals and free kicks.

The 31-time Brazil international started his career with hometown team Vasco de Gama before agreeing to sign for Italian giants Internazionale when he was just 16.  However, he had to wait until he was 18 before he could move overseas.

During his time with the Serie A side, Coutinho was sent out on loan to Espanyol for the second half of the 2011-12 season where he got to taste La Liga football for the first time.  He would join Liverpool in January 2013 for £8.5 million.

Coutinho is a versatile midfielder with great technical ability.  His attacking ability should allow him to play alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez in Ernesto Valverde’s side.