sports: Barcelona sign Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho for £142million
Barcelona from Liverpool for a British record fee worth up to £142million after a deal was agreed between the clubs.
The 25-year-old playmaker was the subject of a £118million bid from the Catalan club in August, an approach Liverpool rejected, but the Brazil international is now heading to the Nou Camp.
A statement published on Liverpool's website read: "Liverpool can confirm Philippe Coutinho will be leaving the club after a transfer agreement was reached with Barcelona, subject to medical and agreement of personal terms.
"The player now has permission to complete the usual formalities to conclude the transfer immediately."
Barcelona said Coutinho would sign a five-and-a-half-year contract, having made him their number one target following his countryman Neymar's world-record £200.6million move to Paris St Germain.
It is understood the fee for Coutinho to consist of an initial 120 million euros (£106.5million), with a further 40 million euros (£35.5million) hinging on add-ons involved in the signing.
Barcelona said the buy-out fee in his new contract will be 400 million euros (£354.5million).
After being rebuffed by Liverpool in the summer, Barcelona instead bought French forward Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund for £93million.
That initially reassured Liverpool fans that Coutinho would not be pursued again, but Dembele has missed the last four months of action through injury and speculation about a renewed Catalonian bid for the Anfield favourite grew ever louder heading into the new year.
He had not played for Liverpool since the January transfer window opened because of a thigh problem and did not travel with the squad for their warm weather training camp in Dubai.
Coutinho instead headed to Spain to formalise his transfer on Saturday night and it is expected he will be presented by LaLiga leaders Barcelona on Sunday or Monday.