Philippe Coutinho's Barcelona debut delayed by 20 days because of injury as he completes £142m move

 

Barcelona's record signing Philippe Coutinho will not be able to make his debut for the club for about three weeks because of a thigh injury he sustained while at Liverpool.

The Brazilian playmaker passed a medical on Monday during which Barcelona doctors analysed the injury that kept him out of Liverpool's Premier League win over Burnley on Jan. 1.

 

"Coutinho has an injury in his right thigh. He will be out for 20 days," Barcelona said in a statement, meaning he is likely to make his debut in the Catalan derby against Espanyol on Feb. 4.

Barcelona agreed a £142 million-pound deal with Liverpool on Saturday to buy Coutinho, who became their record signing.

The Brazilian was presented to more than 7,000 fans at the Nou Camp and later told reporters that it was a dream for him to play for his new club.

More than 7,000 fans turned up to the Nou Camp to welcome Coutinho Credit:  AP

"I am really happy, it's a dream and of course I am here thanks to many people," said Coutinho.

"Firstly God, my family, my parents, my partner, my daughter, they are with me through every moment. The effort of Barcelona, the president, the directors.

"I am also grateful to Liverpool for the five years I spent there. The directors understood it was my dream, they would have liked me to stay but it was my dream to come here and they understood.

"They were men of their word, and the (Liverpool) fans, we had good moments together. I am happy to arrive here at my new home."

Coutinho's debut will have to wait because of his injury, but the player is anxious to make an impact at his new home.

"Many, many times, I have dreamed of scoring my first goal, important goals," added Coutinho.

"I've dreamed of playing here many times. My job is to work hard to be available."

 

Update

Philippe Coutinho presented with a thigh injury during a medical with his new  club Barcelona, which the Spanish side says will keep him sidelined for around  20 days.

 

Preview

Philippe Coutinho says the prospect of playing with the likes of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez means his move to Barcelona is a dream come true ahead of his official unveiling.

The finishing touches have been put on his British record transfer from Liverpool, which could be worth up to £142million, and the Spanish club will parade him at the Nou Camp on Monday.

The 25-year-old Brazil international, who watched his new side's 3-0 win over Levante on Sunday, will perform a ceremonial signing of his contract at 1130GMT on Monday before a photo shoot on the pitch and a press conference.

He told Barca TV: "I'm very happy, very happy. I have always said that it is a dream that I am living and I am very happy to be here.

"To be able to play, win titles, make the fans happy... always play with joy.

"It is incredible to know that I am going to live with idols, players with a lot of history.

"Footballers like Leo Messi, Luis Suarez, (Andres) Iniesta, (Gerard) Pique, (Sergio) Busquets.

"I am very happy to be able to live together, to be able to learn from them and be able to win together."

Having earlier been presented at a photocall, Coutinho posted a short video message on the Barcelona Twitter feed.

"Hi Barca fans. I am already here, it is a dream come true, and I hope to see you tomorrow," Coutinho said.

Coutinho is joining a team that are nine points clear at the top of LaLiga and seemingly on the way to another title.

And boss Ernesto Valverde is confident Coutinho, who arrived at Liverpool from Inter Milan for £8.5million in January 2013, will prove a valuable addition to his star-studded squad.

"I think he can bring us a lot of things," Valverde said at a press conference after Sunday's game, as quoted by Spanish media outlet Marca.

"Coutinho scores goals, assists, he can play both inside (down the centre) and outside (on the flanks).

"I have seen him play in many positions both for Liverpool and in his national team.

"After taking a long break, he is already with us, we hope he will help us and we will wait to see him train for at least one day to assess his condition."