0654 GMT January 26, 2020
The Brazil international looks set to join the German champion following a summer of speculation. His loan deal is expected to include an option for a permanent move, the Guardian reported.
“We can confirm that there is an agreement in principle for the loan of Coutinho to Bayern,” said Barcelona’s club director, Guillermo Amor. “We just have to finalize 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 £142-million deal in January 2018 but 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 penciled 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 semifinals of the Champions League by the eventual winner, Liverpool.
Bayern’s coach, Niko Kovac, who saw his side drop two points at home in a 2-2 draw with Herha Berlin in its 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.
Bayern also announced the “imminent signing” of 20-year-old French midfielder Mickaël Cuisance from Borussia Monchengladbach. On the pitch, Kovac admitted his side were punished for not making the most of its dominance against Hertha. In the end, the host needed a Robert Lewandowski penalty to earn a point after Hertha scored two quickfire goals at the end of the first half.
“Hertha was a bit lucky to share the spoils, but it defended well,” Kovac said.
“We had a lot of chances, we failed to take many clear-cut chances. But I can’t blame my team. They tried everything, they gave it everything. It was one-way traffic, we were dominant. But we lacked the bit of luck you need. A compliment to Hertha for bearing up against it. We must make sure we soon collect the two points we failed to take today.”