Philippe Coutinho, the $192m new signing by Barcelona didn’t put on any numbered jersey throughout his presentation to about 7,500 followers at Camp Nou immediately. But a number of studies mentioned the Brazilian playmaker who’s nursing a thigh harm will almost definitely put on the No 14 shirt.
According to The Independent of London, the shirt was just lately vacated by one other former Red, Javier Mascherano, who will full a transfer to China imminently.
The British paper mentioned the shirt was additionally made well-known by the late Johan Cruyff, who made it his trademark all through his profession and performed for Barcelona between 1973 and 1978, switching between No 14 and No 9, scoring 48 targets in 143 video games and profitable each La Liga and the Copa del Rey within the course of.
At the presentation, Coutinho mentioned he’s concentrating on titles at Barcelona.
According to a report on Barcelona’s web site, the brand new participant was cautious in juggling the ball, on account of an harm on the anterior rectum of his proper thigh.
Nevertheless, he participated in a rondo with eight younger gamers from FCBEscola, and was handed the keys to a brand new Audi automobile.
Coutinho commented: “I am very happy about the affection from the fans. It is a dream come true and I hope to answer all their expectations on the field.” Before leaving the Camp Nou pitch, the participant had pictures taken with a number of followers
The Brazilian signed a five-year contract in a ceremony sitting alongside Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu, making him the third-most costly participant in historical past.
“It’s an honour for me, a great honour, but also a dream to be here,” Coutinho mentioned 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 earlier than the midfielder put pen to paper after a whirlwind few days, the membership mentioned a thigh harm would delay his debut till the tip of January.
The runaway La Liga leaders additionally claimed that Liverpool had reduce their unique asking value from 200 million euros, after a long-running switch saga courting again to the summer time 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),” mentioned Barcelona vice-president Jordi Mestre.
Barca’s swoop for Coutinho is outranked solely by Paris Saint-Germain’s beautiful world document 222 million-euro signing of Neymar from Barcelona final yr, and the Paris membership’s seize of French striker Kylian Mbappe in a deal which might be price 180 million euros when completes his preliminary mortgage deal later this yr.
Coutinho’s arrival will assist Barcelona transfer on from the humiliation of shedding Neymar, and his presence alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez will assist take the strain off one other of the membership’s stars, 33-year-old midfielder Andres Iniesta.