Coutinho ruled out for three weeks

Philippe Coutinho will have to wait for at least three weeks to make his debut for Barcelona after the club confirmed his absence with a thigh injury.

The Brazilian playmaker became the club’s record signing for an initial €118m with a further €42m in ‘realistic add-ons’ after an agreement was struck with Liverpool.

However, the Blaugrana now report he will be unavailable for selection for ’20 days’ due to a thigh injury he has been carrying whilst at Liverpool.

The 25-year-old missed recent matches against Burnley and Everton due to the knock, which was questioned by sceptical fans as an attempt to force through a move to the Camp Nou.

The former Espanyol ace has put pen to paper on a five-and-a-half year deal with the Catalan giants, with the late January home clash with Alaves now pencilled in for his official debut.

However, should Coutinho not return in time for that clash, his first appearance could come in the following week’s Catalan derby against his old club at the RCDE Stadium.

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