Philippe Coutinho meets new Barcelona team-mates and Luis Suarez again

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Back together: Coutinho and Suarez (via @LuisSuarez9 Twitter).

Philippe Coutinho met his new Barcelona team-mates for the first time on Tuesday following the completion of his €160million move to the Camp Nou.

Barcelona striker and former Liverpool teammate Luis Suarez welcomed his new colleague on Twitter, along with giving him a warm welcome at the club’s training facility.

Coutinho, who has signed a contract until 2023 with the runaway Spanish league leaders, played alongside Suarez at Liverpool until the Uruguayan made the same move in 2014.

The 25-year-old Brazilian did not take part in Tuesday’s training session with the rest of Ernesto Valverde’s squad as he has been ruled out until the end of January with a thigh injury.

Barcelona’s club record signing could make his debut against Alaves at the Camp Nou on Sunday, January 28.

The Catalans, who play Celta Vigo on Thursday in the second leg of their Copa del Rey last-16 tie, also saw French defender Samuel Umtiti return to training on Tuesday.

Umtiti had been expected to miss eight weeks after suffering a thigh injury in a 2-2 draw with Celta in La Liga on December 2, but could now come back a little earlier.

Barcelona drew 1-1 away to Celta in Galicia in the first leg last week as they look to win the Copa del Rey for the fourth season running.

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Philippe Coutinho pens emotional goodbye to Liverpool after Barcelona move

Alex Rea 9/01/2018
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Philippe Coutinho has penned an emotional and lengthy goodbye to Liverpool after completing his £142million move to Barcelona.

The Brazilian signed a five-and-a-half year deal on Monday, pulling on the Blaugrana jersey for the first time as he was officially present to the Camp Nou.

The 25-year-old’s debut is delayed, however, with a thigh injury keeping him out of action for three weeks but after an eventful week following a six month transfer saga, both Coutinho and the Reds are ready to move on.

Barca’s record signing thanked his Liverpool team mates, coach Jurgen Klopp, the support staff and the fans with a special message on his Instagram account.

“Since the moment I arrived in Liverpool, me and my family have been made to feel so welcome and have made so many friends,” Coutinho wrote.

“On the pitch and off the pitch, we have experienced the beauty of this club and its fans. In turn, I hope I have delivered memories and moments that have brought happiness to the Liverpool supporters.

“Moving to Liverpool, I knew the club’s greatness and history but what I did learn during my time was the unique heart and soul of the place. It has its own personality and character.”

Since the moment I arrived in Liverpool , me and my family have been made to feel so welcome and have made so many friends. On the pitch and off the pitch, we have experienced the beauty of this club and its fans. In turn, I hope I have delivered memories and moments that have brought happiness to the Liverpool supporters. Moving to Liverpool, I knew the club’s greatness and history but what I did learn during my time was the unique heart and soul of the place. It has its own personality and character. I leave Liverpool because Barcelona is a dream for me. Liverpool was a dream that I was fortunate enough to realise and I have given five years of my life to it. A career on the pitch only lasts for so long and to play for Barcelona as well as Liverpool is something I want to experience and enjoy while I am blessed enough to be able to do so. I hope the supporters understand that choosing to experience something new is not about diminishing their importance to me or the club’s importance. Nothing will ever diminish that in my heart. I wish Jürgen and the team nothing but joy and success for the rest of this season and beyond. This is an amazing team and they are getting better and better all the time. There are too many people I want to thank, but I cannot name everyone individually. To all the amazing club staff who have been part of my life in Liverpool - I will miss you. To the owners, whom have tried so hard to bring success, and to the football recruitment staff for showing faith in me to bring me here and rewarding me during that journey, and to my incredible teammates, past and present, who have helped me grow and improve as a player and a person, I would like to say thank you to you all. Anything I have achieved here would not have been possible without you. And finally, to the most important people of Liverpool - the Liverpool supporters. I can never thank you enough for what you have given me during this time and no matter where I go in the world, for the rest of my life, I will always cherish Liverpool in my heart. You, the club and the city will always be a part of me. You’ll Never Walk Alone. Philippe.

A post shared by Philippe Coutinho (@phil.coutinho) on

Coutinho plundered 54 goals in 202 games for the Reds as his midfield ingenuity lit up Anfield.

A crucial figure after the 2013/14 title-challenging squad was dismantled, the Brazil international matured into one of the finest playmakers on the planet during a five-year stay.

But Coutinho admitted the lure of a move to the Catalan giants was too strong.

“I leave Liverpool because Barcelona is a dream for me,” Coutinho continued. “Liverpool was a dream that I was fortunate enough to realise and I have given five years of my life to it.

“A career on the pitch only lasts for so long and to play for Barcelona as well as Liverpool is something I want to experience and enjoy while I am blessed enough to be able to do so.

“I hope the supporters understand that choosing to experience something new is not about diminishing their importance to me or the club’s importance. Nothing will ever diminish that in my heart.

All smiles: Coutinho at his Barcelona unveiling

All smiles: Coutinho at his Barcelona unveiling

“I wish Jurgen and the team nothing but joy and success for the rest of this season and beyond. This is an amazing team and they are getting better and better all the time.

“There are too many people I want to thank, but I cannot name everyone individually. To all the amazing club staff who have been part of my life in Liverpool – I will miss you.

“To the owners, whom have tried so hard to bring success, and to the football recruitment staff for showing faith in me to bring me here and rewarding me during that journey, and to my incredible team-mates, past and present, who have helped me grow and improve as a player and a person, I would like to say thank you to you all.

“Anything I have achieved here would not have been possible without you.

“And finally, to the most important people of Liverpool – the Liverpool supporters. I can never thank you enough for what you have given me during this time and no matter where I go in the world, for the rest of my life, I will always cherish Liverpool in my heart.

“You, the club and the city will always be a part of me. You’ll Never Walk Alone. Philippe.”

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Philippe Coutinho unveiled at Barcelona after completing move from Liverpool

Philippe Coutinho said he is targeting titles at Barcelona after finally completing his “dream” €160million move from Liverpool on Monday.

The Brazilian signed a five-year contract in a ceremony sitting alongside Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu, making him the third-most expensive player in history.

“It’s an honour for me, a great honour, but also a dream to be here,” Coutinho said after posing on the Camp Nou pitch in a Barcelona shirt.

“I have my goals; to get here, to be happy, win titles and have fun — I only think about that.”

Minutes before the midfielder put pen to paper after a whirlwind few days, the club said a thigh injury would delay his debut until the end of January.

The runaway La Liga leaders also claimed that Liverpool had cut their original asking price from €200million, after a long-running transfer saga dating back to the summer window.

“Due to a contractual issue and due to Liverpool’s desire, we cannot provide the exact figures, but there has been a very significant reduction (in price),” said Barcelona vice-president Jordi Mestre.

Barca’s swoop for Coutinho is outranked only by Paris Saint-Germain‘s stunning world record €222million signing of Neymar from Barcelona last year, and the Paris club’s capture of French striker Kylian Mbappe in a deal which will be worth €180million when the teenager completes his initial loan deal later this year.

Coutinho’s arrival will help Barcelona move on from the humiliation of losing Neymar, and his presence alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez will help take the pressure off another of the club’s stars, 33-year-old midfielder Andres Iniesta.

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