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Barcelona won’t bring Coutinho back from Bayern & brand reports of cutting loan short ‘made up’

14:18 EAT 30/01/2020
Philippe Coutinho Bayern Munich 2019-20
The Liga giants have refuted speculation suggesting that the Brazil international playmaker could be returned to Camp Nou

Barcelona have no intention of bringing Philippe Coutinho back from a loan spell at Bayern Munich, with a club spokesman branding reports to the contrary “made up”.

It had been suggested that the Liga giants were preparing to cut short a season-long agreement with fellow European heavyweights.

A move to Germany was sanctioned for Coutinho ahead of the 2019-20 campaign and he was allowed to head out of Camp Nou after struggling to prove his worth across 18 months in Catalunya.

A big-money deal was done to prise him away from Liverpool in January 2018, but Barca saw little return on their sizeable investment.

The plan was that a return to form could be enjoyed in the Bundesliga, with the option there for a permanent switch to be made to the Allianz Arena.

Coutinho has, however failed to convince with Bayern either.

Across 24 outings in all competitions, he has registered seven goals and eight assists.

That is not a bad return, but more was expected of the talented Brazil international in new surroundings.

With Bayern seemingly reluctant to consider a full-time deal, reports claimed that Barca were prepared to take Coutinho back and find another suitor in the January window.

The reigning Spanish champions are in the market for another striker and could generate funds by moving on the likes of Coutinho and Ivan Rakitic.

A club spokesman has, however, refuted such claims, telling Goal and SPOX: “As agreed, the player stays in Munich for at least the rest of the season. Everything else is made up.”

With Coutinho set to see out the 2019-20 campaign in Bavaria, Bayern need to find a way of getting more out of him.

Hansi Flick admits that has been an issue to this point, with both he and predecessor Niko Kovac having been unable to get the best out of the midfielder thus far.

Bayern’s interim boss has said: "Philippe is a gifted soccer player but he still needs to interact more with his team-mates.

"I don't think we've integrated him enough yet [to see his best]. The training camp was very good for him. There are a lot of things planned for next week, like ball work.

"Hopefully, he'll progress further again and show what class he has."