Bayern Hook Coutinho on Season-long Loan Deal

The former Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho is on the verge of joining Bayern Munich on a season-long loan from Barcelona.

Coutinho, who was left out of Barcelona’s squad for their La Liga opener against Athletic Bilbao on Friday – which they lost 1-0 – looks set to join the German champions following a summer of speculation. His loan deal is expected to include an option for a permanent move.

“We can confirm that there is an agreement in principle for the loan of Coutinho to Bayern,” said Barcelona’s club director, Guillermo Amor, before the league match. “We just have to finalise the deal.”

Bayern’s sporting director, Hasan Salihamidzic, added: “I can confirm that [chief executive] Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and I were in Barcelona and we have reached an agreement with the club, player and agent,” Salihamidzic was quoted as telling the broadcaster ZDF.

“Only a few details are still to be sorted out. We are very happy that we will bring this player to Bayern.”

The 27-year-old joined Barcelona from Liverpool in a £142m deal in January 2018 but has struggled to find his form in Spain. He is pencilled in to have his Bayern medical next week.

Bayern’s coach, Niko Kovac, who saw his side drop two points at home in a 2-2 draw with Herha Berlin in their opening game of the Bundesliga season, also welcomed the impending arrival of Coutinho.

“I am of the opinion that not only FC Bayern, but the entire Bundesliga and all of Germany can look forward to welcoming such a top player here in this league,” he said.

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