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Coutinho is over priced, says Barcelona mate Rakitic

By Josey Samuel
Ivan Rakitic

Terrassa (Barcelona), January 9: Philippe Coutinho's arrival at Barcelona has been welcomed by all, including fellow midfielder Ivan Rakitic, though the Croat feels the price for the Brazilian is too high.

Barcelona fans welcome Coutinho arrival

The 25-year-old, who was signed for a club's record fee of 160 million euros, was present for his first promotional pictures at the Camp Nou soon after his new team-mates demolished Levante 3-0 in a La Liga away match.

"My opinion doesn't matter, but the price has gone a bit high, that's what the market dictates," Rakitic told reporters.

The fee is the biggest ever received by a British club -- as well as the costliest by a Spanish side -- and is the third-highest ever after Neymar's world record 222 million euros move to Paris Saint-Germain and the 180 million euros the French club paid for Kylian Mbappe.

"Every great player is welcome here. I congratulate the president and everyone else who made it possible for him to be here. He is one of the family now, we're going to enjoy him a lot, he's now at the biggest club in the world."

The former Sevilla star did though make reference to the fact Coutinho can't play any part in Los Cules' Champions League campaign.

"We're happy another player has joined us, one who's among the very best," he noted.

"Obviously, he can't play in the Champions League, but we already knew that.

"He'll help us in La Liga and hopefully the Copa del Rey, but we must give him time to settle."

It could be February before Barca fans have the opportunity to see the talent of Coutinho with the Brazilian suffering from a thigh injury which could keep him out for three weeks.

Coutinho's Barca debut may be delayed

A report in Spanish website Marca said, given the details that Barcelona have released, Coutinho will miss Thursday's Copa del Rey last-16 second-leg meeting against Celta Vigo, plus both legs of the quarter-final should they progress. Additionally, trips to Real Sociedad and Real Betis in La Liga will come too soon.

He would have to be considered doubtful for the home match against Alaves late in the month, meaning his debut could come in the derby fixture against Espanyol on February 4.

Coutinho scored seven goals and assisted seven more in the 14 Premier League appearances he made for Liverpool this season, but it has been a campaign troubled by injury issues.

He has missed three spells due to a variety of problems already, including a back problem that prevented him playing at all in August when Barca's interest first became apparent.

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    Story first published: Tuesday, January 9, 2018, 13:00 [IST]
    Other articles published on Jan 9, 2018
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