PHILIPPE COUTINHO will have to wait at least three weeks to make his Barcelona after his medical revealed a thigh injury.
The Brazilian becomes the Premier League's biggest-ever export when he completed his £145m move to the Nou Camp from Liverpool today.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona_es) January 8, 2018
However, any hopes Barca fans had of seeing their new man in action this Thursday in the Copa del Rey against Celta Vigo have been dashed.
Coutinho's medical was over two stages, with the first beginning at 7.30am local time and the second later in the morning.
And the scans showed that the 25-year-old has a slight issue with his right thigh.
That means he will miss this week's cup clash along with La Liga matches against Real Sociedad, Real Betis and Alaves.
Thank you, @Phil_Coutinho, for your determination and the desire to come to our club. Welcome to Barça!
— Josep Maria Bartomeu (@jmbartomeu) January 8, 2018
After his medical has been fully completed the South American was officially presented to the media at the Nou Camp this afternoon.
Although his start to life with Barca will be slightly delayed, Coutinho cannot wait to get started after securing his "dream" move following months of speculation.
He said: “It is incredible to know I will be around idols, with players who have such a great history like Leo Messi, Luis Suarez, Andres Iniesta, Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets — all the great players.
“To be able to play football, win titles, make the fans happy and play with a smile. These are the objectives.
“I am very happy to know I will be playing with them and I hope to be able to learn, live and win together.
“I am very happy. I have always said I am living a dream, we are very happy to be here.”
And he will not struggle to settle after his former Liverpool team-mate Luis Suarez sorted him with a home to live in.
Coutinho will move into a property owned by his former Liverpool team-mate, located on the same neighbourhood as the Uruguayan and superstar Lionel Messi.
And Suarez believes the arrival of his fellow South American will help the club to bag even more trophies.
Suarez said: “As a team-mate and as a friend, I’m very happy.
“He’s going to contribute a lot to the team and everybody knows the quality that he has.
“He’s been in the elite for many years and we’ll help him to feel at home and adapt straight away.”
Meanwhile, Liverpool’s Fenway Group owners are reported to have asked Barcelona if Coutinho could have been loaned back for the rest of the season, given he is cup-tied in the Champions League. But this was rejected by the Spanish giants.
Coutinho jetted into Catalonia on Saturday but did not attend Barcelona’s 3-0 home win against Levante last night, where Lionel Messi marked his 400th Barcelona appearance with a goal.
That was to prevent any distractions on the pitch, but boss Ernesto Valverde was happy to talk about Coutinho afterwards.
He said: “He can provide us with a lot of things. He can score goals, make assists and he can play in the middle and on the flanks.
“We hope he will help us and that he has a lot of luck. He is one of the important names in the world of football.”
Coutinho, who received congratulatory phonecalls from Brazil team-mates Willian and David Luiz, fills the gap left by compatriot Neymar’s world-record departure to Paris Saint-Germain last summer for £198m.
But many Nou Camp experts expect him to become club captain Andres Iniesta’s long-term replacement.
Valverde would not be drawn on the long-term plans and said: “We’ll wait for him, to see him train for at least one day. I’ve seen him play in many positions, both in Liverpool and in his national team and, of course, I don’t see him as a goalkeeper.”
Coutinho’s contract also has a 400m euros buyout clause inserted to ward off all suitors.
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