Bayern Munich has completed the signing of Barcelona playmaker Philippe Coutinho on a season-long loan with an option to buy at the end of the season.
Both parties confirmed the signing on Monday morning, and while the German club stated that “all parties have agreed not to disclose any financial details of the agreement,” Barcelona went to great lengths to contradict that, detailing that Bayern is paying a $9.3 million loan fee and has a fixed $133 million option to buy at the end of the season.
“For me, this change represents a new challenge in a new country at one of the best clubs in Europe,” Coutinho said in the official Bayern release announcing the transfer. “I am really looking forward to this. I have big goals, like Bayern, and I’m sure I can do it with my new team-mates.”
The confirmed financials mean that Barcelona will suffer a huge loss on the Coutinho deal should Bayern activate the option to buy at the end of the season. The Brazilian struggled mightily at Barcelona, failing to find consistent form after moving from Liverpool for a sensational $160 million fee two summers ago. He made 76 appearances for the Catalan club, scoring 21 goals and assisting 11, but his final seven months of La Liga play last season saw him rack up just two goals and one assist in 23 appearances, losing his consistent place in the starting lineup and finding the ire of Barcelona fans.
However, Coutinho was one of the best players at this summer’s Copa America as Brazil won the tournament, leading to hope that he can rediscover his club form. At Bayern, Coutinho has a big opportunity to secure a place in the starting lineup given Thomas Muller’s gradual decline the last two seasons.
“We have been working with Philippe Coutinho for some time and are very happy that we were able to realize this transfer now,” said Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. “Our thanks to FC Barcelona for agreeing to this transfer. In Philippe, a player comes to FC Bayern who will strengthen our offensive with his creativity and excellent technique.”
Bayern drew 2-2 with Hertha Berlin in their season opener, a disappointing result that saw Bayern down 2-1 at halftime and unable to find anything more than a 60th minute Robert Lewandowski equalizer from the penalty spot.