Barcelona new boy Philippe Coutinho has claimed that he left Liverpool for the Catalan giants because it was his dream move. The Brazilian signed for Barça on Monday, after completing a long-awaited switch away from Jürgen Klopp's side in a deal worth around £142m.

Posting on his official Instagram account, the 25-year-old wrote a heartfelt message to Liverpool fans, reflecting on his time at the club, explaining his decision to leave and thanking the Anfield faithful for their support. Coutinho said:

"Once the moment I arrived in Liverpool, me and my family have been made to feel so welcome and have made so many friends...in turn, I hope I have delivered memories and moments that have brought happiness to the Liverpool supporters.

"I leave Liverpool because Barcelona is a dream for me. Liverpool was a dream that I was fortunate enough to realise and I have given five years of my life to it. A career on the pitch only lasts for so long and to play for Barcelona as well as Liverpool is something I want to experience and enjoy while I am blessed enough to be able to do so.

"I hope the supporters understand that choosing to experience something new is not about diminishing their importance to me or the club’s importance. Nothing will ever diminish that in my heart."

Coutinho played 202 times for Liverpool during his six seasons with the club - scoring 54 goals. Joining the Reds for just £8.5m, the midfield maestro blossomed into a formidable number ten - tearing apart the Premier League with his rapid dribbling and powerful finishing. Coutinho is not expected to make his Barça debut until February, as he is recovering from a thigh injury.

In other news, Liverpool have been handed a huge boost in their pursuit of Monaco ace Thomas Lemar, as his manager Leonardo Jardim has admitted that the 22-year-old may leave the club before the January transfer window closes. The Reds will be eager to reinvest the funds acquired from the Coutinho sale, with a direct replacement top of Klopp's wishlist.