Philippe Coutinho signs for Barcelona: LIVE UPDATES
Squad number revealed
14.40: Philippe Coutinho has been handed the number 14 at Barcelona.
And that means Javier Mascherano is off.
The Argentina defender has been linked with a move to China and has reportedly told his team-mates he’s leaving.
14.05: Coutinho talks about move and settling in.
“I saw the game yesterday in the hotel. Today I met some players (Rafinha, Paco Alcacer) they showed me where we train, where we eat. I’m anxious for everything to start.”
Coutinho is asked if he wants to make people forget about Neymar.
“I play with Neymar for Brazil and we’ve been friends for years.
“We’re different players. He is obviously a great player but we have different qualities.”
On Messi, he adds: “Messi is a great player and I’m very lucky to be able to play with him.”
Coutinho ready for expectations
13.20: Coutinho says it’s a dream come true to join Barcelona.
“I want to thank the president and all those who have made possible the signing,” he said.
“I am very happy, it is a dream come true and I hope to meet all expectations in the field.”
13.15: Philippe Coutinho has been presented on the Nou Camp pitch after signing his Barcelona contract.
He did some kick ups and had a kick about with some kids despite the injury that will keep him out for 20 days.
He is due to speak shortly at the press conference.
“All the Barca fans in the world are happy today to meet Philippe Coutinho,” Josep Maria Bartomeu.
“We’ve tried to get him to come and play for us since last summer.
“He was patient and that was the determining factor in bringing him here. I’m very happy to announce the signing of one of the stars of world football, we hope for a long time.
“Everyone knows him as a player. But what I can say is that it wasn’t easy to bring him here. But he wanted to be here and he’s part of the new project with Ernesto Valverde.
“He has a lot of family with him here today which everyone wanted and that’s what we’ve done to make it happen.
“I also want to thank Liverpool, one of your big clubs, for allowing him to leave and come here. We sat down and agreed and can now present him.”
Philippe Coutinho wears the Barcelona shirt for the first time
12.58: Josep Maria Bartomeu revealed an insight into the deal.
“We’ve been working for months on this,” he said.
“But one of the important aspects was that he [Coutinho] wanted to come here. He made an effort, he was patient and that was a determining factor in bringing him here.
“Everybody knows him as a player, we know about his professional career, but what I can say is that it wasn’t easy to bring him here. He wanted to be here and he’s part of this new project with [Ernesto] Valverde.
“I want to thank Liverpool, one of Europe’s biggest clubs, for allowing him to leave.”
12.55: Philippe Coutinho has signed his Barcelona contact at the Nou Camp.
Coutinho is being unveiled today after Barcelona agreed to pay Liverpool £142m.
Coutinho signs a five-and-a-half year deal at the Nou Camp after jetting in on Saturday evening.
He becomes the second-most expensive player of all time and the most in a transfer involving an English club.
Coutinho underwent his two medicals in Barcelona this morning and has now signed on the dotted line.
Coutinho passes medical
11.20: Philippe Coutinho has passed his Barcelona medical and will his contract this afternoon.
Coutinho is being unveiled by Barcelona today after his £142m move was agreed over the weekend.
Coutinho is at the Nou Camp getting a tour and preparing to be unveiled officially.
Philippe Coutinho has signed for Barcelona
Philippe Coutinho will be officially unveiled by Barcelona today
10.00: Real Madrid are worried Barcelona will be unstoppable if they sign Antoine Griezmann as well as Philippe Coutinho.
Barcelona have agreed to make Coutinho the second-most expensive player in the world and will unveil him this afternoon.
He joins for £142m from Liverpool and could make his debut as soon as Thursday.
And Madrid fear falling further behind Barca if they make Griezmann their next signing.
Madrid slipped 16 points back for the La Liga leaders yesterday with a draw against Celta Vigo.
Zinedine Zidane was so furious with his team he kept them locked in the dressing room and missed his media duties.
But the big fear in Madrid is how Barcelona’s new-look side are taking shape.
Barcelona looked a mess in the summer with Neymar leaving for PSG and their top targets proving unavailable.
Ousmane Dembele was signed but Coutinho and Marco Verratti stayed where they were.
But Barca finally struck gold on the Coutinho deal this month and have made progress in their pursuit of Griezmann.
And Diario Gol claim that has got Madrid worried.
Messi slams Dembele
09.50: Lionel Messi has reportedly let rip at Ousmane Dembele following his performance in Barcelona’s 3-0 win over Levante.
Spanish outlet Don Balon claim Messi was far from impressed with the Frenchman’s performance and told him so in the dressing room after the match.
The report says he urged the Frenchman to pick up his game and to improve his link-up play with himself and Luis Suarez.
The 20-year-old also looked off the boil in the 1-1 draw with Celta Vigo in the cup in midweek and is clearly lacking match sharpness.
Speaking about his four-month injury lay-off in November, Dembele admitted it would be difficult for him to get back into the Barca team.
“It’ll be very difficult due to the amount of training I’ll have to do but I’ll be working extremely hard every single day to get back as soon as possible,” he said.
08.45: Leon Goretzka has been told to make his mind up.
The Schalke winger has been linked with Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Manchester United and Barcelona.
And Schalke’s supervisory director Clemens Tonnies has urged him for a decision.
“We’ve done everything to ensure he stays,” Tonnies told Welt am Sonntag
“In January, he wants to say what he’s doing. Schalke have accepted the financial conditions of Leon and his management.
“He was also important for the sporting development of the team last summer and, after the first half of the season, we’re in second place and in the quarter-finals of the DFB-Pokal.
“Leon can and must decide now.”
Mascherano exit looms
08.05: Barcelona star Javier Mascherano has played his last game at the Nou Camp ahead of a big-money move to China, according to reports.
Spanish outlet Don Balon claim the Argentina international played his last match for the Catalan side at the Nou Camp on Sunday in the 3-0 win over Levante.
The former Liverpool man has reportedly made it clear to his team-mates he will soon be departing to the Far East.
The report says his decision is based on a lack of game time as he does not expect to displace Gerard Pique and Thomas Vermaelen at the heart of Barca’s defence.
And he is determined to make the Argentina squad for the World Cup in Russia this summer and thinks a move will help.
Liverpool loan deal for Coutinho
07:00: Philippe Coutinho will officially be unveiled as a Barcelona player later today, but Liverpool made one final attempt to keep him at Anfield until the end of the season, according to reports.
One key consequence of him leaving this month means he will not be able to play in the Champions League for the remainder of the season, a decision which has confused many former footballers.
And it was one reason why Liverpool attempted to push through a deal which would see the 25-year-old stay on Merseyside on loan until the end of the campaign.
That’s according to the Daily Mail, who claim Liverpool’s owners Fenway Sports Group were desperate to keep the midfielder.
Barcelona rejected the option of a short-team loan deal back to Liverpool with Coutinho keen to begin a new chapter of his career.
Griezmann transfer decision
06:30: Antoine Griezmann has reportedly told Atletico Madrid he wants to join Manchester United over Barcelona, but on one condition.
The Sun claim Griezmann still has his hearts set on a move to Old Trafford.
But their initial wage offer of £290,000-a-week falls short of the incredible money Griezmann wants to complete a deal.
It is said he wants to be earning £400,000-a-week after seeing the transfer market prices sky-rocket.
Antoine Griezmann has decided he wants to join Manchester United
Messi makes Coutinho demand
06:00: Barcelona star Lionel Messi wants Ousmane Dembele dropped following the club’s signing of Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool, according to reports.
Barcelona have finally signed Coutinho, luring the Brazil international away from Liverpool for a huge £142million fee.
It means manager Ernesto Valverde is facing a huge selection dilemma with the club now in possession of one of football’s greatest attacking arsenals.
However, Spanish website Diario Gol claims Messi thinks he knows the solution to Barcelona’s problems.
And that is because the 30-year-old reportedly wants Dembele to be dropped for Coutinho when the latter is fit.