Liverpool have struck a deal with Inter Milan that may help fundamentally alter their organization now and deep into the future. According to BBC Sport's Twitter feed, the two world powers have agreed on a $13.43 million (£8.5 million) transfer agreement for midfielder Philippe Coutinho:
Liverpool have agreed an £8.5m deal for Inter Milan's 20-year-old Brazilian midfielder Philipe Coutinho.#bbcfootball— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) January 26, 2013
UPDATE: Wednesday, Jan. 30, at 11:08 a.m. ET by Tyler Conway
The deal is now reportedly official, as Liverpool's official website has announced that Coutinho and the club have come to a long-term agreement:
Liverpool Football Club are delighted to confirm the signing of Inter Milan midfielder Philippe Coutinho. The 20-year-old becomes the Reds' second signing of the January transfer window after penning a long-term contract with the club and follows the arrival of Daniel Sturridge.
This move completes a fantastic transfer window for the Reds, as they also acquired another young building block in Sturridge. With Coutinho and Sturridge in place, the future certainly looks bright for Liverpool.
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As always is the case in transfer agreements, there is still some work left to be done.
Coutinho and Liverpool still have to come to personal terms, and the young midfielder has to pass a physical before the transfer becomes official.
But assuming all goes as planned, Saturday's announcement culminates the Reds' long chase for the 20-year-old Brazilian. Liverpool had submitted three different offers to Inter for Coutinho over the transfer period, and were embroiled in a battle with Southampton for the talented star.
By beating their English Premier League rival, Liverpool have undoubtedly struck a blow that could have huge ramifications going forward.
Considered one of the most talented young midfielders in the world, Coutinho has ascended quickly up the world ranks, starting in his native Brazil before transferring to Internazionale in 2008.
Though he did not join the Italian outfit until 2010, his career seemed on the path to stardom—at least initially. His creativity impressed many in Serie A, and Coutinho quickly became recognized as an up-and-comer across the world.
However, he seemingly fell out of favor pretty quickly. His playing time became sparse during the 2011-12 season, and the youngster was even sent away on loan to Espanyol.
Coutinho undoubtedly hopes this move to Liverpool will spark a mini renaissance in his young career. And considering the hefty fee paid, those at Anfield undoubtedly feel the same way.