Philippe Coutinho has finished his transfer from Liverpool to Barcelona for a club-record fee but has been ruled out for around three weeks through injury, the Spanish club announced on Monday.
The 25-year-old Brazil international forward signed a five-and-a-half-year contract shortly after 1 p.m. local time, after which he was presented to media and supporters at the Camp Nou stadium.
Coutinho underwent his medical on Monday morning despite a thigh problem that ruled him out of Liverpool’s last two games, following the two clubs agreeing a deal on Saturday. The club said in a statement: “Coutinho has an injury to his right thigh and he is expected to be out for around 3 weeks.”
That means Coutinho is likely to miss at least Barcelona’s next three games — against Celta Vigo (Jan. 11), Real Sociedad (Jan. 14) and Real Betis (Jan. 21). Barca are at home to Alaves on Jan. 28, before playing a local derby away at Espanyol on Feb. 4.
The transfer fee was not confirmed publicly, but sources told ESPN FC that it would reach £142 million (€160m, $192.7m), with Liverpool receiving £105m (€120m, $142m) up front and the rest in performance-related add-ons.
Even the base figure would make Coutinho the second-most expensive player in world football behind Neymar, who left Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain last summer in a deal worth €222m (£200m, $263m).
After signing the deal, Coutinho said: “I hope to live up to all the expectations on the pitch. I’m grateful for the effort that the directors have made for me to be here.”
After donning the full Blaugrana kit for the first time and being greeted by more than 7,000 fans at the Camp Nou, he added: “I’m living a dream. Thanks to everyone for coming. It’s a dream for all the players who have been here and those who are here now. It’s hard to explain, but all my family are here to live this dream. I want to give thanks for my reception and I hope that soon I’ll be on the pitch to live up to the expectations.”
“[Coutinho] is a player that Barcelona have been trying to bring here since last summer,” Bartomeu told the gathered media at the Camp Nou moments after the Brazilian had signed his contract.
“It’s not been easy, but Coutinho was happy to come here and his effort and patience has been key in getting him here.
“We can be satisfied that one of the world’s star players has landed in Barcelona. There were other clubs interest in him, but his desire to come here has seen him become the latest part of [Ernesto] Valverde’s project.”