Philippe Coutinho to have $481 million buyout clause after Brazilian joins Barcelona from Liverpool

His nickname is "O M-gico" and Barcelona will be hoping that Brazilian international Philippe Coutinho will continue ...

Posted: Jan 8, 2018 9:13 AM
Updated: Jan 8, 2018 9:13 AM

His nickname is "O M-gico" and Barcelona will be hoping that Brazilian international Philippe Coutinho will continue to weave his special brand of magic after moving to the Spanish club from Barcelona from Liverpool.

"FC Barcelona and Liverpool FC have reached an agreement for the transfer of Philippe Coutinho,' said the Spanish club in a statement.

Coutinho had wanted to join Barcelona in the summer

Klopp: "He's a fantastic player"

"The player will sign a contract for the remainder of the season and five more, and will have a buyout clause of 400 million euros ($481 million)."

Coutinho's transfer between the two clubs is widely reported to be worth $170 million, which would make the 25-year-old the third most expensive player in the world behind fellow Brazilian Neymar and Frenchman Kylian Mbappe, who both play for Paris Saint-Germain.

The French club paid a reported $263 million for the 25-year-old Neymar, while the 19-year-old Mbappe will cost PSG a reported $214 million at the end of his initial loan spell from Monaco.

READ: The secret life of 'O Magico'

READ: Salah named African Player of the Year

'Fantastic player'

Barcelona tried to sign Coutinho during the summer transfer window, but Liverpool refused to sell a player who has scored 54 goals in over 200 appearances for the Merseyside club and was a consistent creator of chances for other players.

But Coutinho's desire to join Barcelona and the form of Egyptian international Mo Salah, who has already scored 23 goals from just 29 games since moving to Liverpool from Roma, prompted a rethink by the English Premier League team.

"It is with great reluctance that we -- as a team and club -- prepare to say farewell to a good friend, a wonderful person and a fantastic player in Philippe Coutinho," Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp told the club's website.

"It is no secret that Philippe has 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.

"Despite that, we managed to keep the player here beyond the summer window, hoping that we would be able to persuade him to stay and be part of what we are looking to do."

Coutinho, who joined Liverpool from Inter Milan in 2013, has scored seven league goals this season and also played a key role in helping Klopp's team qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League.

"I can tell the Liverpool supporters that we, as a club, have done everything within our means to convince Philippe that remaining part of LFC was as attractive as moving to Spain, but he is 100% certain his future -- and that of his family -- belongs at Barcelona," added Klopp.

At Barcelona, Coutinho will link up with former Liverpool teammate Luis Suarez. During the 2013/2014 season the two South Americans combined to lethal effect, almost guiding Liverpool to their first league title in over two decades.

Family support

Coutinho's journey to Barcelona began in Rocha, in Rio de Janeiro's North Zone, in the shadow of the iconic Maracan- stadium.

The Brazilian's modest home was sandwiched between Favela da Mangueira, one of the city's oldest shantytowns which creeps up the hillside, and small industrial warehouses.

Importantly, it was also close to a concrete pitch, which is where he watched his older brothers Cristiano and Leandro challenge their friends, and where he would later conjure his magic.

"They were always with the ball like most children in the country, and of course, I wanted to be like them," Coutinho told CNN in an extensive interview in 2015.

Except he was better, a whole lot better. From the age of six, the squares of stone used by the community became his haven and the streets turned into his playground.

His diet was futsal -- a variant of the game employed on smaller fields with a heavier ball and just five or six players per team. With space restricted and the need for skill and improvisation heightened, the diminutive Coutinho flourished.

His family were always there witness to his expertise, but it was the grandmother of a friend who urged Jose Carlos to enrol his son into a football academy.

There was no hesitation from Coutinho's father, and the gifted youngster joined a local boys team. A few months later, Brazlian team Vasco da Gama's coaches approached the architect at a tournament and encouraged him to get Coutinho to attend a trial with the club.

"I was crying and I didn't want to play because I was shy," he remembers of the open day. He held onto his dad in the stands while the other kids warmed up. "I was new to the group, everyone knew each other so I was feeling a little uncomfortable and embarrassed.

"After a short while and some motivation, I was fine. When I actually started to play, it was all normal and natural. I wasn't shy anymore, I was enjoying it."

His parents, older brothers and his now wife Aine would follow him everywhere, watching every game.

Their support fuelled Coutinho's ability and at 16, his big breakthrough arrived. Italian giants Inter Milan paid $7.7 million to secure the services of the teenager, who would continue to develop at Vasco and join them two years later.

Again, his family proved pivotal. "They moved with me to help make the settling easier," explained Coutinho. "But it was hard for them. As they were old, it was difficult for them to learn the language or adapt to a new culture and ways of doing things like I could.

"Aine had to change her entire routine, my dad had to quit his job which was painful because he loves to be busy. My parents eventually moved back to Brazil, so since then it has been me and my wife, although they are always involved.

"If there is something that needs to be done on my behalf back home for example, my brothers take care of it for me. I share everything with my family; all my happiness and success is theirs."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 143879

Reported Deaths: 3676
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto952799
Hinds9520193
Harrison6801105
Jackson6043116
Rankin521996
Lee477094
Madison4595102
Forrest360685
Jones341687
Lauderdale3340142
Lafayette312047
Washington3043106
Lamar273849
Bolivar237583
Oktibbeha237460
Lowndes227562
Neshoba2170113
Panola210347
Marshall206547
Leflore200389
Pontotoc192527
Monroe188877
Sunflower188754
Lincoln183664
Warren171757
Tate163049
Pike159958
Union159025
Copiah158840
Yazoo149538
Scott149429
Coahoma146742
Itawamba144433
Simpson143153
Alcorn142724
Pearl River142067
Prentiss138426
Grenada135844
Adams134148
Leake131643
Holmes124261
George121523
Tippah120430
Covington116434
Winston115824
Wayne115522
Hancock113337
Marion109046
Attala106133
Tishomingo105542
Newton102829
Chickasaw102132
Tallahatchie94727
Clarke88153
Clay86226
Jasper80421
Walthall73728
Montgomery71925
Calhoun71213
Stone71014
Carroll70114
Lawrence69814
Noxubee68917
Smith68616
Yalobusha67626
Perry63925
Tunica59519
Greene58222
Claiborne57416
Jefferson Davis53817
Humphreys52318
Amite50714
Benton48217
Quitman4766
Webster41614
Kemper40615
Wilkinson38422
Jefferson33511
Franklin3155
Sharkey30617
Choctaw3057
Issaquena1094
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 232506

Reported Deaths: 3457
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson30318491
Mobile19260356
Tuscaloosa12446148
Madison12204146
Montgomery12000232
Shelby971276
Baldwin819984
Lee750464
Morgan610447
Calhoun5964113
Etowah585764
Marshall579453
Houston503338
DeKalb460835
Cullman409636
Limestone400844
St. Clair396055
Elmore391061
Lauderdale378353
Walker348096
Talladega334042
Colbert294341
Jackson290524
Blount275436
Autauga261739
Franklin243633
Coffee230315
Dale225454
Dallas219631
Russell21753
Chilton216137
Covington212333
Escambia194031
Tallapoosa168590
Chambers167548
Clarke154919
Pike154714
Marion133935
Winston122523
Lawrence121436
Geneva11678
Marengo116424
Barbour116010
Pickens114118
Bibb113617
Butler113341
Randolph99521
Cherokee98524
Hale91531
Washington89818
Clay88823
Henry8386
Fayette83116
Lowndes78529
Monroe76811
Cleburne74214
Crenshaw70030
Macon69420
Bullock68919
Conecuh66814
Perry6686
Wilcox62318
Lamar6227
Sumter55322
Choctaw41713
Greene39917
Coosa3064
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
37° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 37°
Columbus
Clear
31° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 31°
Oxford
Clear
34° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 29°
Starkville
Clear
32° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 32°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather