Liverpool targets Mahrez to replace Countinho

Posted Enero 08, 2018

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) - Philippe Coutinho arrives at Barcelona bearing both his huge price tag and the legacy of the long line of Brazilian stars who have dazzled at Camp Nou.

Philippe Coutinho has been presented as a Barcelona player for the first time.

Barcelona will officially unveil Philippe Coutinho on Monday, the Spanish club have announced.

"Everyone knows the quality that he has - he has been in the elite group of players for many years".

His new boss Ernesto Valverde is confident he'll prove a valuable addition to his star-studded squad. Barcelona said the buy-out fee in his new contract will be €400m.

"As a teammate and a friend, I'm very happy".

A formal announcement is imminent and it is possible that Coutinho could attend Barcelona's match at the Nou Camp against Levante this afternoon. If the Reds are eyeing a player who can provide something similar to Coutinho, there are better options elsewhere. And while Mahrez is versatile, his influence is lessened in any other area of the field.

The signing means that Barca have managed to tie down the two targets they identified following Neymar's departure to Paris Saint Germain in the summer, with Ousmane Dembele joining in the summer. However, even the Águias weren't able to unlock his potential and after spells in the UAE, Cyprus and Greece, Alípio eventually returned to Brazil in 2015.

But Valverde has also gotten good results this year- including a 3-0 victory at Real Madrid last month- with just Messi and Suarez in attack and a four-man midfield including Paulinho, who has given the team goals and added muscle since his arrival in the offseason.

"It's hard to get my head around what Philippe is going to gain because he can't play Champions League football for them, they are running away with the league, and he's got the World Cup at the end of the season", Thompson said on Sky Sports.