Barcelona midfielder Philippe Coutinho has agreed to join Bayern Munich on a season-long loan deal with an option to buy.
The 27-year-old former Liverpool midfielder was left out of Barcelona’s squad ahead of Friday night’s 1-0 La Liga defeat at Athletic Bilbao.
Sky in Germany had earlier reported Coutinho was closing on a move and Bayern Munich sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic later confirmed the deal had been agreed.
Bayern expect Coutinho in Germany “on Sunday or Monday” for a medical and to sign his contract, and have also announced the “imminent signing” of France midfielder Mickael Cuisance from Borussia Monchengladbach.
Speaking after Bayern’s 2-2 draw with Hertha Berlin, Salihamidzic said: “I can confirm that Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and I have been in Barcelona this week, agreeing with the player and the adviser.
“We had very good talks and I want to say thank you to FC Barcelona.
“Medical check and signature and we are very happy to have won this player, it will be a one-year loan deal with a call option.”
Ahead of their match at Athletic, Barcelona director Guillermo Amor told Spanish television station Movistar+ that an “agreement in principle” had been reached for the loan.
Paris Saint-Germain were in the frame for Coutinho, but opted against the move due to the player’s wage demands, according to Sky in Germany.
Coutinho had been mentioned as a potential makeweight in a deal to bring Neymar back to Barcelona.
Speaking on the Transfer Talk podcast, French football journalist Jonathan Johnson gave an update on Barcelona’s move for Neymar and explained the key role Coutinho could play in the transfer.
“Barcelona basically don’t have enough money to meet PSG’s demands,” he said.
“PSG want Nelson Semedo and Philippe Coutinho plus at least 100m euros in cash. Barcelona are unwilling to meet this, and would rather not let go of Semedo.
“They would rather [let go] Coutinho and Ivan Rakitic. Rakitic himself is not keen on the move, and Ousmane Dembele, another player touted, always wants to stay and fight for his place.
“These were the first official face-to-face talks between the two parties.”
Tottenham were also interested in taking Coutinho on loan this summer, but the former Liverpool player rejected the move.