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Liverpool and Barcelona confirm £142m Philippe Coutinho transfer

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Liverpool have confirmed the £142m sale of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona.

The Brazilian will become the third most expensive player in history after the Reds agreed a deal which will net them £105m up front, with a further £37m in performance-related add-ons.

Coutinho has flown to Spain to complete the transfer, having been given permission to miss Liverpool's warm-weather training camp in Dubai.

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

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

The 25-year-old has missed the last two games with a sore thigh, but negotiations between the Reds and Barcelona have progressed swiftly with a deal now finalised. Coutinho will attend Barcelona's game with Levante on Sunday, and could make his debut for his new club on Thursday in the Copa del Rey against Celta Vigo.

Barcelona were keen to land the midfielder in the summer, only for Liverpool to refuse to sell despite two formal offers.

But with Coutinho's determination to leave remaining, the decision has been taken to allow him his dream switch, rather than waiting until the end of the season.

Liverpool made efforts to convince the former Inter Milan star to stay at Anfield until the summer, but were unable to do so.

Now, the question is how Jurgen Klopp and the club's recruitment staff go about reinvesting the money.

The Reds are in the middle of a 17-game unbeaten run in all competitions, seeing off neighbours Everton in the FA Cup on Friday night, but losing Coutinho, who has scored 12 goals this season, is a huge blow to a side competing on three fronts.

It also continues the worrying trend of top talent leaving Liverpool in their peak years. Going back to 2004, the Reds have lost Michael Owen, Xabi Alonso, Javier Mascherano, Fernando Torres, Luis Suarez and Raheem Sterling, with Coutinho the latest star added to that list.


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