Bayern Munich have been able to tide over the disappointment of not bringing in Leroy Sane by agreeing a loan deal for Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho. The 27-year-old makes the switch to the Allianz Arena on a loan deal but there is an option to make the deal permanent. Coutinho was not involved in the club’s shocking 1-0 loss against Athletic Bilbao on Friday night.
Barcelona opened the new season with this defeat, as uncertainty continues to affect the club in terms of the squad.
Niko Kovac and Bayern Munich have been actively pursuing a winger to replace the likes of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery. The departure of these two stalwarts over the summer has left a huge void in terms of attacking wingers at the club. Sane had been the first choice target for quite a while and Bayern were even ready to pay in excess of £100 million to secure the player. Yet, the German international picked up a long-term injury a few weeks ago and it effectively ruled him out of a return to German football.
Bayern were also left disappointed in the pursuit of Callum Hudson-Odoi. The Chelsea youngster even went as far as handing a transfer request last January, but he is believed to have made the choice of staying with the blues.
The lack of serious options appears to have forced Bayern to look into the loan market. Coutinho has been surplus to requirements at Barcelona, who have been keen to bring in Neymar in this role. The pursuit of Neymar has been so intense from Barcelona that they have even been willing to include Coutinho as part of a player plus cash deal.
However, PSG did not accept the terms and Coutinho found himself in a spot of bother ahead of the new season. The interest from Bayern may have come late, but it offers a great alternative for all parties involved. As one of the highest earners in the squad, Coutinho is a big strain on Barcelona’s wage bill and letting Bayern take the problem provides the Catalan club with the opportunity to seriously considering making a move for Neymar.
Even though Coutinho played regularly during his 18 months at Barcelona, his first-team opportunities were expected to be severely hampered in the 19-20 season. The Brazil international is a confidence player as demonstrated by his ability to shine at Liverpool after previously struggling at Inter Milan. The one-year loan deal also provides Bayern with an opportunity to get first-hand experience of the player, as it could even result in the club deciding against a move for Leroy Sane next summer.
Coutinho made the switch to Barcelona in January 2018 for a fee of £142 million. Even though his first six months at the club was relatively good, his performances tailed off in the previous campaign. The winger still has four years left on his contract and it makes it very difficult for Barcelona to get him off the books. Now, it is the turn of Bayern to extract the level of performances that Coutinho showed during his Liverpool days.