Coutinho to wait for Barca bow

08 January 2018 09:02:27 EST

A thigh injury means Philippe Coutinho will have to wait three weeks to make his Barcelona debut after completing his £142million switch from Liverpool.

The 25-year-old Brazil international playmaker put pen-to-paper on a five-and-a-half year contract at the Camp Nou on Monday on completion of his medical with the Catalan outfit.

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.

Philippe Coutinho

The deal had been agreed with Liverpool on Saturday and Coutinho expressed his delight at finally securing a move to the La Liga leaders having missed out in the summer.

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."

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu added: "All the Barca fans are excited to have Coutinho here.

"It hasn't been easy but his effort in coming, along with his strength and patience, have been key."

Despite Coutinho successfully passing his medical, the thigh problem which kept him out of Liverpool's 2-1 win at Burnley on New Year's Day is likely to keep him sidelined until the start of February.

That means he is set to make his Barca bow in the Catalan derby against Espanyol on 4th February.

Barca are on course to win La Liga this season while they are available at 5/1 to lift the Champions League and 2/9 to win the Copa del Rey.

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