Barcelona ‘won’t welcome Coutinho back from Bayern loan’ if they don’t keep him and will use him as bait to sign Neymar – The Sun

PHILIPPE COUTINHO will not return to Barcelona next season, even if a deal to make his loan spell at Bayern Munich permanent cannot be agreed, according to reports.

The Catalan giants forked out £145million to sign the Brazilian from Liverpool back in January 2018.

But while the Reds have gone from strength-to-strength since the 27-year-old's departure, Coutinho has struggled to find a home since leaving Anfield.

Having been desperate to secure his move to the Camp Nou, the playmaker failed to sufficiently impress Barcelona chiefs – despite netting 21 goals and assisting a further 11 in his 18 month spell at the club.

And despite Coutinho's reasonable form at the Allianz Arena this season, having contributed towards 17 goals in 31 outings for the Bundesliga table-toppers – there is still no way back for him with the Blaugrana.

Bayern are interested in making the deal permanent, despite some having been underwhelmed by his efforts in Bavaria.

And they can do so for £70million – rather than the £104million initially agreed in the terms of the loan.

To borrow him this season, the German champions paid an initial £8million loan fee, as well as agreeing to stump up all of Coutinho's £11million annual salary.

If a deal can't be sorted out with Bayern, however, Diario Sport claim that Barcelona may try and use him as a bargaining chip with Paris Saint-Germain as they try again to re-sign Neymar.

Barca were desperate to bring PSG's No10 back to Catalonia last summer, but even with the feeling from the player being mutual – the Ligue 1 champions wouldn't budge on their eyewatering evaluation.

But despite the failure to thrash out a deal last year, Barcelona are set to try again at the end of the season.

After signing Antoine Griezmann last summer, and amid their attempts to pave the way for a move to bring back Neymar, Barcelona were desperate to shift Coutinho.

And according to The Athletic, Liverpool sporting director Michael Edwards spoke with boss Jurgen Klopp over the possibility of bringing back the former darling of the Kop.

But the move failed to materialise, and for the third year running, Coutinho finds his career in limbo.

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