Josep Bartomeu provides update on future of Arsenal transfer target Philippe Coutinho

Josep Bartomeu provides update on future of Arsenal transfer target Philippe Coutinho

Philippe Coutinho is currently on loan at Bayern Munich from Barcelona (Picture: Getty)

Philippe Coutinho’s future could yet lie at Barcelona, despite having spent a season on loan at Bayern Munich.

The Brazil international joined the Catalan giants from Liverpool in January 2018, but he has failed to justify his astronomical €160million transfer fee and was loaned out last summer having been deemed surplus to requirements.

Thomas Muller’s stellar form has forced Coutinho to play a bit-part role in Bayern’s success this term, although he rubbed salt into Barca’s wounds by scoring twice against his parent club in last Friday’s 8-2 Champions League annihilation.

Bayern have already stated they will not turn Coutinho’s move into a permanent one, which has alerted the attention of several Premier League clubs, principally Arsenal.

Coutinho’s agent Kia Joorabchian has already parked several of his most high-profile client at the north London club with Willian joining the likes of David Luiz and Cedric Soares following his free transfer from Chelsea last month.

Philippe Coutinho scored twice against Barcelona in Bayern Munich 8-2 Champions League win (Picture: Getty)

Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu has been left clinging to power following last week’s historic defeat but insists there could still be role for Coutinho in the plans of incoming new head coach Ronald Koeman.

He said: ‘The head coach will make the decision. If he wants him to continue, next year he will play with us.’

Bartomeu and Koeman are likely to oversee a fire-sale of the first team squad with only eight current players deemed untransferrable.

He added: ‘Messi is untouchable & non-transferable. He knows it, we all know it.

‘But there are various non-transferable players like (Marc Andre) Ter Stegen, (Clement) Lenglet, (Nelson) Semedo, (Frenkie) De Jong, (Antoine) Griezmann, (Ousmane) Dembele… players we are counting on in the future.’

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