Philippe Coutinho is one unlucky guy. When he left Liverpool for Barcelona in 2018, he was rated as one of the best players in the world. Now, the Brazilian finds himself at a crossroads in his career. He has failed to impress in his last-ditch loan at Bayern Munich, and the Catalans don’t seem too keen to have him back. Soon to be 28 (his birthday is this month), Coutinho desperately needs to revive his career, or else he may go the way of James Rodriguez.
So where-to next for the Brazilian? Rumors aren’t concrete, but there have been whispers of a transfer to the Saudi-backed Newcastle United, provided that takeover goes through. Others have suggested that Quique Setien might manage to carve out a place for him at Barcelona. Coutinho’s agent, meanwhile, told Sky Sports (via Sport Bild) that his client wants to stay in Germany.
“It is up to Bayern Munich whether they want to extend the loan or not. It is only their decision. We have the will to stay,” said Kia Joorabchien. “We have already had some talks with Bayern about the next season.”
Of course, that’s pretty unlikely to happen. Sport Bild says that Hansi Flick simply wants to extend Coutinho’s loan deal until August, so he can play a part in the club’s Champions League campaign. An extension of the loan beyond this season is very unlikely to happen, as Bayern pursues Leroy Sane in the transfer market.
So what other options remain? Joorabchien added that his client “always said that he likes to play in the Premier League. He really enjoyed his time in Liverpool. If there is an opportunity to return to the Premier League, be it this year or in the future, he will definitely look at it. ”
So a return to Liverpool then? It’s hard to see where he fits in Jurgen Klopp’s side, and such homecomings aren’t always sweet (see: Mario Gotze). In any case, it seems increasingly certain that Coutinho’s time at Bayern is coming to an end. An unsurprising end to a transfer that made very little sense from the beginning.