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Coutinho pens heartfelt Instagram post to Liverpool fans

Phil Coutinho completed his record-breaking £142m move to Barcelona yesterday. Credit: PA

New Barcelona signing Philippe Coutinho has told Liverpool fans he hopes they understand why he left for the Nou Camp in a £142million switch.

The 25-year-old Brazilian's five-year stint at Anfield ended at the weekend when Barca finally struck an agreement with the Reds, making Coutinho the second-most-expensive player of all time after they were paid an initial £105m up front.

Liverpool had rejected Barca's bids last summer, despite Coutinho's desire to force through the transfer, but having finally sealed his move in this window the outgoing playmaker has posted a message to Reds supporters on his Instagram account.

Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard also posted on Instagram calling Coutinho "up there with the best I've shared a pitch with."

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Coutinho out for three weeks ahead of Barcelona move

Coutinho had missed Liverpool's last two games due to injury. Credit: PA

Philippe Coutinho presented with a thigh injury during a medical with his new club Barcelona, which the Spanish side says will keep him sidelined for around 20 days.

Coutinho was undergoing his routine medical tests with Barca on Monday morning as he put the finishing touches on his record-breaking move to the Nou Camp.

The Brazil international missed both of Liverpool's opening two games in 2018 with a thigh problem and Barca have confirmed he is now set to be sidelined for the rest of January.

A club statement read: "Coutinho has an injury to his right thigh and he is expected to be out for around three weeks."


Coutinho refuses to commit future to Liverpool

Coutinho refuses to rule out a move away from Liverpool in the future. Credit: PA

Philippe Coutinho has pledged to continue to do his best for Liverpool but refused to commit his future to the club.

The Brazil international was frustrated when his transfer request was rejected in the summer as the club rebuffed three bids from Barcelona.

Since then speculation has continued to encircle the 25-year-old, who captained the side and scored a hat-trick in the 7-0 demolition of Spartak Moscow which booked their place in the knockout stage of the Champions League, with his Catalan suitors reportedly ready to make another approach.

"I am at Liverpool and I always do my best when I have the opportunity to play, respecting the jersey and the supporters," said Coutinho, who has scored nine goals in 13 appearances this season.

"I do not know how the future is going to be. What will happen in January, we will know it in January. I do not know if there will be an offer.

"Last summer there was a job offer in the same way that happens with any employee and I was interested in it. Since I stayed I have played with will and desire.

"Of course a lot happened in the summer but my will is always to play and do the best wherever I am - that has not changed.

"I am here (at Liverpool), we have a lot of games and I try to do my best to help."

Southampton's Pellegrino surprised by Guardiola's success

Pellegrino and Guardiola will be in opposing dugouts when Southampton take on Man City on Wednesday. Credit: PA

Mauricio Pellegrino has admitted he did not expect former team-mate Pep Guardiola to be so successful as a manager.

The pair, who won the LaLiga title playing alongside each other at Barcelona during the 1998/99 season, will be in opposing dugouts on Wednesday evening when Pellegrino's Southampton attempt to end the unbeaten record of Guardiola's Premier League leaders Manchester City.

While Pellegrino has yet to lift silverware as a coach, Guardiola has an extensive medal collection, picking up three Spanish league titles, three Bundesliga titles and two Champions League trophies during prosperous spells in charge of Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

"I never imagined that he can achieve something like he did," said Pellegrino, who joined Barca on a season-long loan from Argentinian club Velez Sarsfield.

"But obviously as soon as I arrived, Pep was one of these type of players always looking for new ideas, asking how we were training in Argentina, in different places.

"And also he had a good reading on the pitch and it's something that after (he finished playing) he translated much better outside the pitch."

For Pellegrino it was his introduction to European football and he went on to enjoy a productive six-year stay at Valencia, winning two league titles and the 2004 UEFA Cup, as well as playing in two Champions League finals.

"We were team-mates and I think we had a beautiful moment together," Pellegrino added.

"We won the league, for me this experience in Barcelona was really good because I discovered a lot of things in European football."

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