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: 314710

Reported Deaths: 7254
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21646260
Hinds20369416
Harrison17949309
Rankin13643278
Jackson13450246
Madison10113217
Lee9986174
Jones8384163
Forrest7689152
Lauderdale7198240
Lowndes6403148
Lamar623686
Lafayette6203119
Washington5341134
Bolivar4802132
Oktibbeha462998
Panola4596107
Pearl River4519146
Marshall4450103
Warren4393121
Pontotoc420872
Monroe4115133
Union411176
Neshoba4031176
Lincoln3969110
Hancock379586
Leflore3498125
Sunflower336290
Tate334784
Pike3327105
Scott316274
Alcorn313368
Yazoo311770
Itawamba300577
Copiah297465
Coahoma295579
Simpson295388
Tippah288768
Adams286982
Prentiss280060
Marion269380
Leake268473
Wayne262841
Grenada261587
Covington259881
George248148
Newton246862
Winston227581
Tishomingo227067
Jasper221148
Attala214473
Chickasaw208057
Holmes189174
Clay185554
Stone182833
Tallahatchie178941
Clarke178080
Calhoun170932
Yalobusha164638
Smith162534
Walthall134245
Greene130633
Lawrence128724
Montgomery127142
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123142
Carroll121829
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107133
Tunica105726
Claiborne102430
Benton100025
Humphreys96733
Kemper95828
Franklin83923
Quitman81116
Choctaw76418
Wilkinson67531
Jefferson65728
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 539829

Reported Deaths: 11038
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson798271529
Mobile41261809
Madison35132506
Tuscaloosa25915455
Shelby25294249
Montgomery24705593
Baldwin21392310
Lee15987172
Calhoun14569319
Morgan14422280
Etowah13918353
Marshall12275225
Houston10641282
Elmore10147206
Limestone10065151
St. Clair9946245
Cullman9761194
Lauderdale9457243
DeKalb8865188
Talladega8339176
Walker7260278
Autauga7001108
Jackson6836112
Blount6771139
Colbert6320135
Coffee5578118
Dale4876113
Russell445138
Chilton4369113
Franklin426282
Covington4138118
Tallapoosa4044153
Escambia394777
Chambers3590123
Dallas3568153
Clarke351461
Marion3137101
Pike311977
Lawrence302698
Winston275773
Bibb264564
Geneva254078
Marengo249665
Pickens234862
Barbour232056
Hale223978
Butler219069
Fayette212662
Henry189643
Cherokee184645
Randolph182442
Monroe178141
Washington167739
Macon161150
Clay157157
Crenshaw153557
Cleburne149641
Lamar143236
Lowndes140553
Wilcox127430
Bullock123242
Conecuh110829
Coosa109228
Perry107826
Sumter104932
Greene92634
Choctaw61024
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Partly Cloudy
82° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 82°
Columbus
Partly Cloudy
80° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 80°
Oxford
Mostly Cloudy
79° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 80°
Starkville
Partly Cloudy
79° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 79°
High pressure will continue to dominate our weather forecast for the end of the weekend. We will see our area filled with plenty of sunshine but clouds will be on the increase into the evening hours. There will be some changes for the start work week in our weather forecast as low pressure brings back some chances for showers and thunderstorms.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather