Belfast Telegraph

Philippe Coutinho to be unveiled as Barcelona player on Monday

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

Coutinho was at the Nou Camp to watch his new side's 3-0 win over Levante on Sunday following his British record move, which could be worth up to £142million.

The 25-year-old Brazil international will perform a ceremonial signing of his contract at 1130GMT before a photo shoot on the pitch and a press conference.

Coutinho, who arrived at Liverpool from Inter Milan for £8.5million in January 2013, scored 54 times for the Anfield side.

And former Reds striker John Aldridge has warned Liverpool must move quickly to replace Coutinho.

"I am not surprised but disappointed he is leaving because he is a fantastic player to watch," Aldridge told BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek programme. "£140million is a lot of money and Liverpool have to spend it wisely.

"They have spent £75million of it wisely on Virgil van Dijk - a player we have needed for some time in a leader at the back - but he (Coutinho) needs replacing and we have got to do it ASAP."

Leicester's Riyad Mahrez - a key player for the Foxes when they won the Premier League in 2016 - has been linked as a potential candidate to fill Coutinho's shoes.

And Aldridge, who scored 63 times for Liverpool, believes the 26-year-old Algeria international must be considered.

"If you look at the way Coutinho plays, he (Mahrez) is very similar," Aldridge added. "He is older, he has played in the Premier League for some years and everybody has seen the ability he has got, so he ticks a lot of boxes.

"You need that type of player similar to Coutinho who sees that pass, can do something extraordinary outside the box, can bend it in the top corner and is good on free-kicks as well."


From Belfast Telegraph