The Brazil international is on loan in the Bundesliga after failing to make the grade at Barcelona, but now looks likely to move on again
Philippe Coutinho was close to joining Tottenham from Barcelona last summer but the move fell through due to non-financial reasons, according to agent Kia Joorabchian.
The former Liverpool man became Barca’s record signing in January 2018, swapping Anfield for Camp Nou for an initial €120 million (£105m/$136m).
However, by the following summer, the Spanish giants were happy to see him leave, and he eventually joined Bayern Munich on loan.
Reports in Spain have claimed Coutinho could have instead moved to Spurs, but that chairman Daniel Levy vetoed the deal.
However, Joorabchian refutes this version of events.
“Philippe Coutinho has no personal issue with Daniel Levy and claims otherwise are totally false,” Joorabchian told the Mirror.
“The deal did not collapse due to financial reasons.”
It is also reported the deal fell apart because former manager Mauricio Pochettino didn’t want Coutinho at the price Barcelona were asking.
In the end, Bayern paid a loan fee of €8.5 million (£8m/$9m), with a purchase option of €120m (£110m/$133m).
Sources close to the deal confirmed to Goal and SPOX that the Bundesliga champions had been keen on a two-year loan deal for Coutinho, but Joorabchian’s high commission fee prevented such terms from being finalised.
Bayern had previously had James Rodriguez on loan from Real Madrid for two years, allowing him to fully settle and for the club to properly evaluate whether to go ahead with a permanent signing.
Now, Coutinho is at a crossroads in his career once again.
His contribution of eight goals and six assists in 22 league appearances at Bayern hasn’t been disastrous, but it isn’t likely to convince Hansi Flick to pay €120m for a permanent deal.
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Coutinho turns 28 in the summer and has failed to make a real impression at either Barca or Bayern, while Liverpool have risen to new heights since his departure.
Liverpool and Spurs have been linked with him again and, if Pochettino was indeed the reason for him not moving to north London last year, that option could now be open again.
With Spurs suffering from a lack of creativity since the departure of Christian Eriksen to Inter, such a move could be beneficial to both parties.