Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho has admitted that he would love to make his loan from Barcelona to Bayern Munich permanent next summer.
Having been desperate to play for Barcelona, Coutinho endured a nightmare 18 months at Camp Nou, prompting La Blaugrana to ship him out on loan last summer. Bayern won the race for his signature, agreeing an option to sign him for €120m at the end of the season.
Speaking during a visit to a local fan club (via Marca), Coutinho confessed he is not thinking about a return to Barcelona and instead wants to extend his stay in Germany.
"I'm very comfortable," he said. "I plan to stay here for the year and I'm focused on my time here. If everything fits, then I'd love to stay."
After an exciting start to the season, Coutinho's performances dropped off and he struggled to hold down a place in Niko Kovač's side. Even when the boss was sacked and replaced by Hans-Dieter Flick, Coutinho is yet to earn a permanent spot in the team.
He did score in the 4-0 win over Fortuna Düsseldorf, but that was just his third goal in 18 appearances this season. He has contributed five assists as well, but Bayern might be reluctant to part with a whopping €120m for a player who is yet to fully impress - especially as they are still pursuing other blockbuster wingers like Leroy Sané.
Should he return to Barcelona, it would give Ernesto Valverde another headache. La Blaugrana have so many superstar forwards, so there is by no means a guaranteed place in the matchday squad for Coutinho at Camp Nou anymore.
Under contract until 2023, Coutinho would likely have to find a new home next summer even if Bayern do not choose to make his loan permanent, but Barcelona may have to lower their asking price to offload him.
Having spent £142m to sign him, Barcelona do not want to make a significant loss on the Brazilian, but he is simply not playing like a player who is worth that kind of money these days.
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