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Report: Barcelona working to bring back Philippe Coutinho from Bayern Munich in the coming days (Updated)

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The Brazilian has not lived up to expectations in Germany, so the Catalans might just end the deal early.

FC Bayern Muenchen v FC Schalke 04 - Bundesliga Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images

According to a journalist from Catalunya Radio, a highly respected source for Barcelona news, the Catalan club is working on recalling Philippe Coutinho from his year-long loan at Bayern Munich. The Brazilian has so far failed to impress in Germany, and it’s very likely that the Bavarians will not activate their 120m euro purchase option.

Barça is working hard on the transfers of Rakitic and Coutinho.
“Barça sources acknowledge that these are two difficult operations”
“Bayern has already said that the purchase option of 120 million euros for Coutinho will not be exercised”

According to the report, the transfer will be “difficult, if not impossible” to pull off in such a short amount of time, but from Bayern’s perspective there is really no reason to hang on to the player. Barcelona, meanwhile, have a new coach in Quique Setien, and the change in management style could be exactly what Coutinho needs to get back to his best.

With Luis Suarez out for the rest of the season, the Catalan club is desperate for attacking reinforcements in January. Having already failed to secure Valencia’s Rodrigo and seen their bid for Richarlison rejected by Everton, the Barcelona management might be desperate to push the deal through.

For Bayern’s part, Coutinho wouldn’t be a significant loss. Niko Kovac relied on the Brazilian extensively, but he has been far less important since Hansi Flick took over. Coutinho has not yet started against significant opponents in the league, since the coach prefers Thomas Müller for the role of attacking midfielder. Given Müller’s current form and injury record, it wouldn’t be out of the question for Bayern to allow Coutinho to leave this January.


Update

A Barcelona spokesperson has denied the rumor about an early Coutinho return.

Clear denial from #Barça on the speculation of Ràdio Catalunya about an early #Coutinho Return. “As agreed, the player will in Munich for at least the rest of the season. Everything else is fiction,” explains a club spokesman. @spox @goaldeutschland #FCBayern #FCB