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Coutinho’s ‘dream’ jump to Barcelona complete

Reuters

Barcelona’s new signing Philippe Coutinho gestures from the pitch on Monday.

AFPBARCELONA (AFP-Jiji) — Philippe Coutinho said he is targeting titles at Barcelona after finally completing his “dream” €160 million ($192 million) move from Liverpool on Monday.

The Brazilian signed a five-year contract in a ceremony while sitting alongside Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu, making him the third-most expensive player in history.

“It’s an honor for me, a great honor, but also a dream to be here,” Coutinho said after posing on the Camp Nou pitch in a Barcelona shirt. “I have my goals: To get here, to be happy, win titles and have fun — I only think about that.”

Minutes before the midfielder put pen to paper after a whirlwind few days, the club said a thigh injury would delay his debut until the end of January. The runaway La Liga leaders also claimed Liverpool had cut its original asking price from €200 million, after a long-running transfer saga dating back to the summer.

“Due to a contractual issue and due to Liverpool’s desire, we cannot provide the exact figures, but there has been a very significant reduction [in price],” said Barcelona Vice President Jordi Mestre.

Coutinho’s arrival will help Barcelona move on from the humiliation of losing Neymar, and his presence alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez will help take the pressure off another of the club’s stars, midfielder Andres Iniesta.

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