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'Who would leave Liverpool for Barcelona?!' - The world reacts to Coutinho's record transfer

19:35 GMT 06/01/2018
Philippe Coutinho Liverpool
The news that Liverpool's Brazil star was on the way to Camp Nou provoked plenty of debate between fans, with Lineker putting his own spin on the news

An ironic tweet from Gary Lineker was not well received by Liverpool fans fuming over reports that Phillippe Coutinho is Barcelona-bound, as the Brazilian's record transfer provoked great debate on social media.

Both Liverpool and Barcelona confirmed on Saturday that a deal had been struck over his sale, in a move that is expected to smash the British transfer record. 

And Lineker had his own take on matters that puzzled some of his followers. 

"Outrageous really that a player in his prime would ever want to leave a club in Liverpool for Barcelona," he wrote on Twitter after news of the move broke. 

Fans with shorter memories might not have been aware that his post was laced with self-referential irony: in 1986 the newly crowned World Cup Golden Boot winner swapped Everton for Barcelona, where he would spend three seasons. 

And Lineker was suitably grateful to those who took the trouble to point that fact out to him. 

The ex-England star was far from the only person on the social media website to comment on the news, as Coutinho's decision to leave Anfield divided Liverpool fans and neutrals alike.