Madrid - Barcelona have an "agreement in principle" to send Philippe Coutinho on loan to Bayern Munich, both clubs confirmed Friday.
Coutinho was left out of the squad for Barca's La Liga opener against
Athletic Bilbao on Friday, with club director Guillermo Amor confirming
the Brazilian is close to joining Bayern.
"We can confirm that there is an agreement in principle for the loan
of Coutinho to Bayern and we just have to finalise the deal," Amor told
Movistar, ahead of the game at San Mames.
Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic also confirmed the loan deal later on Friday.
"I can confirm that we were in Barcelona and have agreed terms with
the player and his agent," Salihamidzic told broadcaster ZDF following
Bayern's own league opener, a 2-2 draw with Hertha Berlin.
"We have a good relationship with Barcelona. We are still missing a
few details such as the signature and the medical, but we are happy to
have got a player like him."
Coutinho joined Barcelona from Liverpool in January 2018 for an
initial €120 million, plus another €40 million in potential add-ons.
But despite huge excitement around Coutinho's arrival, he has struggled to find his place at Camp Nou.
Initially tried in midfield, Coutinho was pushed into the front three
by Ernesto Valverde last season in a bid to help him rediscover his
Yet the 27-year-old was too often a bystander in games and some suggested his style and positioning clashed with Lionel Messi.
Gerard Pique was asked earlier this month about the possibility of
Coutinho leaving. "I want him (Coutinho) to stay," Pique said. "But at
the end of the day it's what he wants and I want him to be happy."
At Bayern, the Brazilian will provide welcome reinforcement in attack
following the departure of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery at the end of
Coutinho's departure to Bayern could also have implications for Barcelona's hopes of re-signing Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain.
Barca have already spent around €250 million this summer and it
had been suggested PSG were keen for Coutinho to be included in any bid.
"There is a lot of talk about Neymar at the moment," Amor added. "He
is in the newspapers every day and I don't think we should get into it
"Anything can happen while the market is still open but for now there is nothing and Neymar is a PSG player."