Barcelona have confirmed that Philippe Coutinho has moved to Bayern Munich for the season on a loan deal worth £19million.
The Brazilian only moved to the Nou Camp club in January 2018 but found himself surplus to requirements this summer after dropping out of Ernesto Valverde’s first-team plans.
Bayern have now snapped him up on the temporary deal for the rest of the campaign and will pay his £11m-a-year wage on top of an initial £8m fee.
Bayern also have an option to sign Coutinho on a permanent deal at any stage of the loan for €120m (£110m).
A statement from Barcelona said that Bayern would pay just €8.5m (£7.75m) to bring him in for the season although a separate statement from the German club contradicted this, saying: ‘The parties have agreed not to divulge the financial details of the agreement.’
Having been unveiled by the German champions after completing his medical, Coutinho spoke for the first time since joining the club.
He told the club’s website: ‘For me, this move means a new challenge in a new country with one of the best clubs in Europe.
‘I’m very much looking forward to that. Like Bayern, I have big ambitions and I’m convinced that I can achieve them together with my new teammates.’
And Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge added: ‘We’ve been working on bringing in Philippe Coutinho for quite some time and we’re very happy that we’ve been able to complete this transfer.
‘Our thanks go to Barcelona for agreeing to the transfer. With his creativity and outstanding skills, Philippe is a player who will immediately strengthen our attack.’
There were plenty of top European clubs touted as potential destinations for Coutinho, including his former side Liverpool, but Bayern’s sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic insisted that the Bavarian side were always the first choice.
‘Philippe made it very clear to us during the negotiations in Barcelona that he absolutely wanted to move to FC Bayern,’ he said.
‘He’s a world-class player with great ability, who we can deploy in a number of positions in our forward line, so the FC Bayern squad has gained even more quality.
‘He will help us achieve the ambitious targets we’ve set for this season.’
Coutinho had been expected to make a massive impact at Barcelona having finally completed a £142m move last summer.
He started 38 games in total, scored 11 times and provided five assists but never truly managed to win over the Catalan fans and will be looking to reach his best form again with Bayern.