According to Markus Babbel, his old teammate — and current Bayern Munich sporting director — Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidzic wanted to keep both Ivan Perisic and Philippe Coutinho at the club after the treble-winning 2019/2020 campaign.
Financial uncertainty, however, thwarted that plan.
“He would have loved to keep Coutinho and Perisic under contract,” Babbel said in an interview with Sport1 chief reporter Florian Plettenberg. “It just wasn’t possible financially. And then you have to accept that from time to time. Nonetheless, this is a team that, if everything goes well, can definitely win three titles. But for that the boys have to be in top form at exactly the right time.”
Perisic and Coutinho were both in Bavarian on loan, of course, ultimately went back to the former teams, Inter Milan and FC Barcelona, respectively. Ironically, both players were rumored to be readily available via the transfer market during the summer window, but each player ended up staying put.