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Coutinho fulfils dream as he pulls on a Barcelona shirt for first time at public unveiling

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Coutinho fulfils dream as he pulls on a Barcelona shirt for first time at public unveiling

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If Philippe Coutinho's transfer to Barcelona from Liverpool FC were reported like business news, then it would be noted that the 160 million euro move, if performance-related bonuses are realised, is the second-largest piece of M&A market action this year.

Barcelona certainly look to have pulled off a canny bit of business even if they have broken the club record in the process, but the Brazilian is believed to be the answer for the looming Andres Iniesta-sized hole in the team once the genial playmaker finally hangs up his boots. He cannot go on forever.

Coutinho is the second-most-expensive footballer ever, and when he pulled on a Barcelona shirt in public for the first time, he made it clear he was achieving a lifetime ambition.

"I always made it clear to Liverpool that I wanted to come here. Of course they tried everything to convince me. I have to thank them because they understood that this was my dream and what me and my family wanted. I have to thank them because they did what they promised me," he said at the signing ceremony in Barcelona.

The 25-year-old joins the club after a drama-filled pursuit of him over the summer ended on transfer deadline day with no deal. Three months on and Barcelona reckon they have a bargain.

"The difference between now and this past summer transfer price was very important. The price we paid was much lower than what Liverpool were asking us for in the summer. We can't talk about the specific numbers because Liverpool asked us not to do so," said Barcelona's Sporting Director Jordi Mestre.

Fans will have to wait at least three weeks to see their new star in action, as he is recovering from a  thigh injury.