Liverpool have confirmed the £8.5 million signing of Inter Milan midfielder Philippe Coutinho, according to the BBC.

The 20-year old Brazilian was granted a work permit by the Home Office after a hearing in London yesterday, and becomes Brendan Rodgers second winter signing following the capture of Daniel Sturridge from Chelsea.

Coutinho told Liverpool’s official website:

“I’m feeling very happy, it’s a very important step in my career.

“Liverpool is a great club with great players. We’ve always heard about Liverpool’s history in Brazil. I know they believe in me and my football.”

The move was in danger of collapse last week when Liverpool made a take-it-or-leave-it offer to Inter Milan after their initial bid of £6 million was rejected. Premier League rivals Southampton were thought to be interested and Brendan Rodgers was not prepared to enter a bidding war with the Saints, who’s manager Mauricio Pochettino worked with the player at Espanyol last season.

Southampton were thought to be willing to rival Liverpool’s bid and offer £10 million, but Rodgers has got his man.

Along with Lucas Moura and Neymar, Coutinho is considered one of the hottest young properties in South American football and has been likened to the likes of Ronaldinho, Kaka and Alexandre Pato. He can play either up front or on the wing, which will provide Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool with a new attacking dimension going into the second half of the season.

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This article was first posted on January 30, 2013