Bayern Munich's title hopes have been boosted by the capture of Philippe Coutinho on a loan deal from Barcelona. The playmaker takes over the No.10 jersey previously worn by Bayern legend Arjen Robben.
Bayern Munich have struck a deal with FC Barcelona for the services of Philippe Coutinho on a season-long loan.
The Brazil international signed his contract at the club's headquarters on Sunday, with the Bavarians holding an option to buy the 27-year-old at the end of the season.
"This move means a new challenge in a new country with one of the best clubs in Europe," Coutinho said in a statement.
"I'm very much looking forward to that. I have big ambitions and I'm convinced that I can achieve them together with my new teammates."
Bayern's top brass will be delighted to confirm the signing after a summer of frustration in the transfer window, which saw their hopes of signing Leroy Sane dashed by a serious knee injury. The loan fee is believed to be about €8.5 million with Bayern also covering Coutinho's reported €12 million wages.
The playmaker has struggled for game time in Barcelona since his big-money move from Liverpool 18 months ago and is looking to reignite his career in Munich.
"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," Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said.
"Our thanks go to FC Barcelona for agreeing to the transfer. With his creativity and outstanding skills, Philippe is a player who will immediately strengthen our attack.”
Coutinho's ability to play in a number of positions in the forward line will be a welcome boost for coach Niko Kovac, who saw his side open the season with a 2-0 loss to title rivals Borussia Dortmund in the Super Cup. A disappointing 2-2 draw at home to Hertha Berlin followed on Friday night in their first Bundesliga match of the campaign.
Coutinho's arrival, together with the signing of Ivan Perisic, will go some way to filling the void left by the departures of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery at the end of last season. Bayern have also confirmed the acquisition of French midfielder Michael Cuisance from Borussia Mönchengladbach and are believed to be chasing Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic.
jcs/pfd (dpa, AP, AFP, SID)