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Valverde: Coutinho wanted to leave since May

190402 Fotboll, La Liga Soccer Football - La Liga Santander - Villarreal v FC Barcelona - Estadio de la Ceramica, Villarreal, Spain - April 2, 2019 Barcelona's Philippe Coutinho celebrates scoring their first goal REUTERS/Heino Kalis © Bildbyrån - COP 7 - SWEDEN ONLY

Philippe Coutinho is to join Bayern Munich, the two clubs have confirmed.

Coutinho was left out of the squad for Barca’s La Liga opener against Athletic Bilbao on Friday, with Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic confirming the loan deal later on Friday.

“I can confirm that we were in Barcelona and have agreed terms with the player and his agent,” Salihamidzic told broadcaster ZDF following Bayern’s own league opener, a 2-2 draw with Hertha Berlin.

The former Liverpool man, who has struggled to settle at Barcelona, was linked with both Arsenal and Spurs as deadline day approached in England but will now head to the Bundesliga for a new challenge.

Barcelona were toppled by a late goal from Artiz Aduriz, who fired a spectacular scissor-kick finish in the game’s waning moments to spoil the debut of summer signings Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong. The La Liga champions also suffered another setback in the form of Luis Suarez, who left the match early with an injury.

After the 1-0 loss to Athletic Bilbao, Ernesto Valverde was asked about Philippe Coutinho’s proposed loan move to German champions Bayern Munich at the press-conference.

“It is a situation that last season when the league ended the player had it in his head. This has come up, he has accepted and hopefully he is lucky”, the boss told Movistar.

Coutinho is set to follow another loan signing, Ivan Perisic, through the door, though sections of Bayern’s fans were not impressed by the deal to sign the Inter Milan forward, who came in as an alternative to Leroy Sane after the Manchester City winger suffered a serious knee injury.



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