Philippe Coutinho finally got his wish on Saturday when Barcelona agreed to sign the Brazilian star from Liverpool for €160 million.
The deal for the 25-year-old attacking midfielder will be the third biggest in football after the €222 million PSG paid Barcelona for Neymar last year and the €120 million that Kylian Mbappe will cost PSG from Monaco once the French player’s loan period with the Ligue 1 champions is completed.
Barcelona had tried to sign him in the summer, but his departure is a blow to Liverpool as the playmaker has just returned to top form after an injury-hit start to the season.
He scored six goals in the last seven games of 2017 to put his side firmly in the Champions League places.
Here, we take a look at the five most expensive deals from Premier League players signing to Spain.
GARETH BALE (TOTTENHAM TO REAL MADRID) – €100 million
Real Madrid broke the world transfer record to sign Tottenham forward Gareth Bale in 2014.
The Wales star agreed a six-year deal after securing a €100 million move which eclipsed the €94 million fee Real paid Man United for Cristiano Ronaldo five years previously in 2009.
Bale was one of five new signings for Real Madrid that summer – and has gone on to make 106 appearances for the Bernabeu outfit, scoring 53 goals.
CRISTIANO RONALDO (MANCHESTER UNITED TO REAL MADRID) – €94 million
The five time Ballon d’Or winner became the most expensive player in the world in 2009 at the tender age of 24.
The Portuguese left Manchester United to sign a six-year-deal deal at Real Madrid for a world record fee of €94 million.
Since joining the Bernabeu outfit, the 32-year-old has won two La Liga titles, three Champions Leagues and three Club World Cup titles.
He has also scored 289 goals in 277 matches.
The Uruguayan signed for Barcelona on a five-year deal from Liverpool in 2014.
Suarez was in electric form for Liverpool during the 2013/14 season, scoring 31 league goals before putting pen to paper on a € 82.3 million move to the Camp Nou after the World Cup in Brazil.
At Barcelona, the 30-year-old has continued his instrumental form, scoring 95 goals in 111 appearances.
DIEGO COSTA (CHELSEA TO ATLETICO MADRID) – €65 million
The Spaniard completed a move from Chelsea back to Atletico Madrid in September for a fee of €65 million.
Despite the transfer going through back in September, the 29-year-old could not line out for Diego Simeone’s side until last week as the transfer window ban came to an end on January 1.
Costa left Madrid for West London in 2014 and scored a stunning 59 goals in 120 appearances for Antonio Conte’s side.
He also won two Premier League titles at Stamford Bridge before returning to the Wanda Metropolitano.
DAVID BECKHAM (MANCHESTER UNITED TO REAL MADRID) – €37. 5 million
England captain David Beckham agreed a four-year contract with Real Madrid in 2003 for €37. 5 million.
It didn’t take long for the Englishman to get off the mark either, scoring against RCD Mallorca in the second leg of a Spanish Super Cup tie before the start of the La Liga season.
Despite lining up alongside star-studded names like Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo, Ronaldo and Raul, Beckham only won two trophies during his four seasons at the Bernabeu: the 2003 Super Cup and the La Liga title in 2006/2007.
He scored 20 goals and provided 33 assists in 155 appearances before signing for LA Galaxy in 2007.