Bayern Munich Choose Not to Exercise Option to Buy Philippe Coutinho From Barcelona

Ali Rampling
FC Schalke 04 v FC Bayern Muenchen - DFB Cup
FC Schalke 04 v FC Bayern Muenchen - DFB Cup / DeFodi Images/Getty Images

Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has confirmed the club have opted not to exercise their option to buy Philippe Coutinho.

The playmaker joined Bayern on a season long loan in 2019, but has failed to set the world alight at the Allianz Arena.

Coutinho's loan deal came with the option to make the move permanent for €120m at the end of the campaign, but this clause has now expired.

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Rummenigge told German news outlet Der Spiegel: "The option expired and we haven't activated it."

However, the Bayern CEO did not rule out a move for Coutinho in the future, adding: "We're going to plan our squad for next season and we'll see if he still has a role to play with us or not."

Since pushing through a move from Liverpool to Barcelona in 2018, the Brazilian's career has stuttered.

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The Catalan club paid £105m to bring him to La Liga, but after just one full season at Camp Nou where he managed just five league goals, Coutinho was shipped out on loan to Bayern.

The 27-year-old has fared slightly better in the Bundesliga, hitting eight goals and chipping in with six assists in 22 appearances, but Bayern's priorities in the transfer market appear to lie elsewhere.

The Bundesliga leaders are pursuing Bayer Leverkusen's midfielder Kai Havertz - with the 20-year-old's current employees holding out for £100m, while Manchester City winger Leroy Sane is also high up on their shopping list.

Bayern are reportedly not prepared to pay more than £60m to secure Sane's signature.

With the coronavirus pandemic having an impact on the finances of even the very richest clubs in Europe, whether Bayern would be able to fork out the nine figure fee required to seal a move for Coutinho when he does not top their shopping list remains to be seen.

Should the midfielder be forced to look elsewhere, he could have a number of suitors in the Premier League.

Everton, Leicester, Chelsea and Newcastle have all been linked with Coutinho, although 90min revealed in April that former club Liverpool still have first refusal on the player.