Sports

New Cruyff? Barcelona Set to Give Philippe Coutinho Club Legend's Iconic Number

New Cruyff? Barcelona Set to Give Philippe Coutinho Club Legend's Iconic Number

The 25-year-old Brazilian only signed a new five-year deal, which did not include a release clause, with the Anfield club in January.

Coutinho, who completed his move from Liverpool on Monday, could potentially play in Barcelona's midfield or up front - offering a threat to a range of players' first-team prospects.

"The club has always been interested in signing Coutinho, the difference to last summer is that there was a big cut in price", Mestre told reporters on Monday at Coutinho's official presentation.

He has a minor thigh injury and missed the club's past two games, including Friday's FA Cup third-round win against Everton.

Barcelona's new Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho shows his new jersey before holding a press conference in Barcelona on 8 January 2018.

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He added: "We knew it was not going to be easy to get him here. 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". "He will be out for 20 days", Barcelona said in a statement, meaning he is likely to make his debut in the Catalan derby against Espanyol on February 4.

"Firstly God, my family, my parents, my partner, my daughter, they are with me through every moment".

Coutinho is already familiar with the city, having spent time living in Barcelona while on loan at Espanyol from Inter Milan in 2012, before eventually joining Liverpool from the Italian side for €10m the following year.

"I am very happy, it's a dream come true and I hope to be up to the job on the field".

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