The former Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho is on the verge of joining Bayern Munich on a season-long loan.
The Brazil international, 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.
“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.”
The 27-year-old joined Barcelona from Liverpool in a £142m deal in January 2018 but has struggled to find his form in Spain and was linked with loan moves to Tottenham, Arsenal and even Manchester United during the summer window. He is pencilled in to have his Bayern medical next week.
Coutinho has made 75 appearances in all for Barcelona, scoring 21 goals and was part of the side beaten in the semi-finals of the Champions League by the eventual winners Liverpool.
Barcelona were beaten by a spectacular, last-minute winner from the Bilbao substitute Aritz Aduriz. The 38-year-old pounced with a sublime scissor-kick as the champions began their La Liga campaign with defeat in Bilbao.
Bayern were held to a 2-2 draw in their Bundesliga opener with Hertha Berlin. Robert Lewandowski scored twice to rescue a point for the champions after Berlin had equalised and then taken a first-half lead through the on-loan Liverpool midfielder Marko Grujic.