Bayern Munich have signed Philippe Coutinho on a season-long loan from Barcelona with an option to buy the playmaker.
Philippe Coutinho moved to Camp Nou in a reported €160million deal from Liverpool in January 2018 but has since struggled to break through into the Barcelona starting XI and recreate the form he showed at Anfield.
Coutinho was linked with a move to PSG which would have also seen Neymar return to the Camp Nou. But Coutinho has instead joined Bayern Munich on loan with an option to buy.
Coutinho was not involved as LaLiga champions Barcelona suffered a surprise opening-day defeat to Athletic Bilbao on Friday, with the club’s official spokesman Guillermo Amor announcing prior to kick-off an agreement had been reached to send the former Liverpool man to Bayern.
Bayern Munich also got off to a similarly sluggish start to their Spanish counterparts, drawing 2-2 at home to Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga curtain-raiser.
Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic announced after the Bundesliga opener: “I can confirm that [Bayern chairman] Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and I have been in Barcelona this week and we have reached an agreement with Barcelona, with the player and his agent. We have had very good discussions, I would like to thank Barcelona.
Of course, there are still missing a few details, including the medical check and the signature. It is a transfer on loan for one year followed by a purchase option for Bayern.”
Salihamidzic continued: “Nowadays it is not easy in the transfer market. We tried very hard, it is clear that we want to offer our fans something spectacular. But to reinforce this team is not easy.
With Perisic, some will see that he is a really good player. Coutinho will offer us options; he can play in the middle or can come from the left. The fans can be happy.”
Niko Kovac told at a news conference after the draw with Hertha: “I am of the opinion that we – and I do not only refer to Bayern Munich but also to the whole Bundesliga, whole Germany – can be happy to welcome such a top player here in this league. He is a player that not only proved this in the clubs but also at the national team. If you look at the last Copa America, then you know what I am talking about. We are very delighted and I think he will fit well. He will show us what he is capable of – namely playing football very well.”
Valverde told Movistar about Coutinho following Barca’s disappointing LaLiga opener: “It is a situation that last season when the league ended the player had it in his head. This has come up, he has accepted and hopefully he is lucky.”
Robert Lewandowski also told reporters about Coutinho: “I don’t think he’ll need that much time to adapt to our system and ideas. I think he’s the sort of player that can settle in without many problems.”
Coutinho will help Bayern to replace James Rodriguez after his two-year loan from Real Madrid ended. The arrival of Coutinho will further help Bayern offset the departures of club legends Arjen Robben and Franck Riber.
Manchester City winger Leroy Sane had been a target, but Bayern’s attempt to pull off a deal was hindered by a serious knee injury sustained by the Germany international.
Coutinho will follow Ivan Perisic through the door, who has also joined Bayern on loan from Inter this week.
Mickael Cuisance has also passed his Bayern Munich medical and left Borussia Monchengladbach after the Bundesliga clubs reached a transfer agreement.
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