Philippe Coutinho signs new long-term deal at Liverpool

25 January 2017 08:23

Playmaker Philippe Coutinho has signed a new long-term contract with Liverpool.

Press Association Sport understands the Brazil international's new deal is for five years, making him one of the club's highest earners, and does not include a buy-out clause.

"I signed this new contract to stay here for a few more years because it's a great honour for me," the 24-year-old told liverpoolfc.com.

"It gives me great happiness because I was welcomed here with open arms by everyone at the club and the supporters right from my first day. I am very thankful to this football club for everything."

The Brazilian has just returned from almost seven weeks out with ankle ligament damage but prior to that he was in scintillating form, scoring six goals in 14 appearances as the Reds briefly went top of the Premier League, and prompting speculation he was attracting interest from the likes of Barcelona.

Liverpool have moved to secure Coutinho's long-term future and the absence of a buy-out clause puts them in a stronger position than when former striker Luis Suarez signed his long-term deal in December 2013 only to move to the Nou Camp the following summer after the Catalan club met the figure required to release him.

Manager Jurgen Klopp believes tying Coutinho down to a new deal is a big statement.

"I think everyone knows what a great footballer Phil is, that is not in question - but not everyone sees what an incredibly positive character he is and what a big influence he is on the dressing room," said the Reds boss.

"I knew of Phil before I came to Liverpool and I was well aware of what a talent he was, but since arriving here I have not only witnessed his ability up close, but also his ever-continuing development.

"He is truly world-class - in that very top bracket.

"The fact he wants to stay here and be part of what we are looking to build and develop shows his personal commitment is to make himself better and be an integral part of something that is very special.

"We have total belief in our project, but when a player of Phil's calibre and status commits for this length of time it shows that our faith is shared throughout the game.

"He knows he can fulfil his dreams and ambitions here at Liverpool. This is a big statement.

"I look forward to seeing Phil create many more great memories and moments for this club."

Klopp's impact since taking over in October 2015 was one of the factors which persuaded Coutinho his future lies at Anfield.

"Jurgen is a great manager. We all can see how much he has changed here since he arrived - and how much he will change in future. He is a winner," he said

"It's not only me, but every other player feels honoured to play at this great club for this great manager.

"This feeling has a very positive influence on us as players."

Coutinho has become a crowd favourite since arriving from Inter Milan for £8.5million in January 2013 and that is another reason why he is happy on Merseyside.

"Ever since my arrival here, I was welcomed with open arms by the supporters - and everyone at this football club," he added.

"This is an important factor that carries weight when you decide to remain here for a longer period - and this did have a lot of weight when I thought about the renewal of my contract.

"I can only thank every supporter for their faith in me. I really hope to repay them. I will do my very best on the pitch to create assists for my team-mates and score goals for us to try and win trophies and titles.

"It's not just me - since me and my family arrived here we have been welcomed with open arms by everyone.

"We feel at home in this city, we feel a part of this city.

"It is a very important day for me, my wife and my daughter. I am happy - and everyone is happy at home."

Source: PA


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