Philippe Coutinho’s time at Bayern Munich seems to be coming to an end after chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge confirmed the purchase option in his loan deal has expired without being activated by the Bundesliga giants.
It was hardly surprising news either. Coutinho’s not had a bad season with Bayern, he has nine goals and eight assists so far, but neither has he cemented a place in the XI and convinced the club to spend big on making his deal permanent.
Rumors of a return to the Premier League have grown louder as the season has progressed and the English top-flight looks the most likely destination for the Brazilian. Indeed his agent, Kia Joorabchian, has made it clear that’s where Coutinho wants to playing next season.
“The Premier League is something that he has always enjoyed playing in, and loved playing in, and would probably love to come back and play in.
“The question is what are going to be the financial conditions of all the clubs, including Barcelona and all the Premier League clubs at the end of this pandemic.”
Source | Sky Sports
Yet it’s not quite as simple as all that, particularly with clubs facing tough financial decisions amid the coronavirus crisis. Indeed Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers has already insisted Coutinho is “way out” of the Foxes’ price range.
Manchester United are another club regularly linked but splashed out heavily to bring in Bruno Fernandes in January and may not be all that keen on signing a player who starred in the red of their fierce rivals Liverpool.
Newcastle United have also been rumored to be interested, although much will depend on the whether the club’s proposed takeover goes ahead. The Premier League is still yet to decide whether the proposed £300m Saudi deal is a good idea.
And then there’s Chelsea who are reportedly searching for attackers and ready to splash out after seeing their transfer embargo lifted. Coutinho would probably be more than happy to head to Stamford Bridge, but it’s worth remembering the Blues have already landed Hakim Ziyech from Ajax.
A return to Barcelona can’t be completely ruled out either. Reports in Spain have suggested Barca can’t afford to sell him for less than €100m and he could be given a second chance by Quique Setien.
The Barca boss told RAC1 last month he liked the Brazilian a lot and thinks he could be at the club at the start of next season. There have also been reports Setien could keep him and play him in midfield as a No. 8.
Meanwhile, Coutinho is currently on his way back from ankle surgery. He has started training on his own this week but it may well be he’s already played his last game for Bayern.