Barcelona agrees to sign Coutinho from Liverpool for reported €160M fee

by
Liverpool's Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho controls the ball during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Leicester at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on December 30, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Paul ELLIS /
PAUL ELLIS / AFP / Getty

It's official. Philippe Coutinho is joining Barcelona.

Barcelona and Liverpool reached an agreement for the transfer of Coutinho on Saturday. According to the Liverpool Echo's James Pearce and Neil Jones, the Reds agreed to a fee of €160 million (£142 million). The Brazilian star will have a buyout clause of €400 million.

The reported fee will make Coutinho the second-most expensive footballer on the planet, behind Neymar, who joined Paris Saint-Germain from Barcelona in a transfer worth €222 million.

Liverpool will apparently receive £105 million up front, with the rest received in performance-related bonuses. Per the Guardian's Sid Lowe, £17 million would be payable for Coutinho's first 100 games at Barcelona, £4.4 per 25 matches. Another £4.4 million would allegedly be paid if Champions League qualification is achieved, with a £4.4-million bonus for winning the tournament.

Liverpool apparently rejected numerous bids from Barcelona in the summer, as the Reds maintained that the product of Vasco da Gama wasn't for sale. They allegedly stood firm when a transfer request was submitted the day before the beginning of the Premier League season, but the footballer's desire to join the Blaugrana never wavered, and the English club's position softened.

In August, Fenway Sports Group published a statement on Coutinho, reading: "The club's definitive stance is that no offers for Philippe will be considered and he will remain a member of Liverpool Football Club when the summer window closes." After it closed, Albert Soler, Barcelona's director of professional sports, said: "Liverpool put a €200-million price tag on a member on their squad. Logically, the club decided that it was not going to go ahead with the operation."

Coutinho will reportedly attend Barcelona's La Liga game versus Levante UD on Sunday, and could make his debut when the Blaugrana and Celta Vigo play the first leg of their Copa del Rey tie on Thursday.

Coutinho tallied seven goals and six assists in the Premier League this season, and five goals and two assists in the Champions League.