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Report: Barcelona ready to loan Philippe Coutinho to Bayern Munich (Update: Falk gives his take)

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A free loan with an option to buy? This sounds too ridiculous to be true.

FC Barcelona v Arsenal - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Joan Valls/Urbanandsport /NurPhoto via Getty Images

As the transfer window draws to a close, the rumor mills seem to be working overtime. According to Goal (yes, we know) Barcelona are ready to send Philippe Coutinho on loan to Bayern Munich for free, so long as the Bavarians agree to pay the player’s wages. The loan deal would involve an option to buy — which sounds pretty unlikely, given the Catalans’ desperation to offload the Brazilian.

This has been picked up by several other sources, including Diario Sport, who report that two options are being considered. One — a two year loan with an option to buy, similar to the one negotiated by Bayern for James Rodriguez, or two — a one year free loan with an obligation to buy at the end of the season. These reports sound much more cohesive, because it’s unlikely that Barca would let go of a player for a LWOTB when they bought him for 140m euros.

The reports seem rather outlandish and have yet to be corroborated by the German press. Christian Falk already rubbished previous rumors:

While also confirming that Bayern would prefer a proper winger like Ousmane Dembele should Neymar transfer to Barcelona.

For now, it seems best to wait and see how things turn out. Given how Bayern let James Rodriguez leave due to an inability to fit him into the squad, it seems strange that the club would go after yet another attacking midfielder in Coutinho — one who is stylistically and statistically worse than the Colombian, while also being likely to be more expensive.

Also, do Bayern really need an attacking midfielder, given the presence of Thomas Muller on the team and the fact that Kovac has stated his preference for formations that don’t use a #10? And let’s not forget Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz — billed as Germany’s next big star, he plays at the same position as Coutinho and it wouldn’t make sense for Bayern to just buy the Brazilian only to replace him a year later.

We’ll have to wait and see how this turns out.


Update

As we wrote this article, Falk came out with this:

No confirmation, but not a denial either.


Update 2

Falk clarifies his statements:

Still doesn’t make much sense though.