Barcelona transfer listed the Brazilian as early as May following a woeful 18 months at the club and soon after the 4-0 defeat to Liverpool – who they signed him from – in the Champions League.
Coutinho completely failed to live up to his £142m transfer fee and the truth is that Barca were desperate to get rid of him.
Bayern Munich came calling and now Coutinho has the chance to reignite his career at another one of Europe’s giants.
For now it’s only a season-long loan, but Bayern have an option-to-buy clause in their agreement with Barcelona worth €120m.
Coutinho will be a relieved man to have been given a second chance away from Spain, but it’s claimed by the Athletic’s James Pearce that Bayern wasn’t his first destination of choice.
He genuinely had his heart set on a return to Liverpool.
Coutinho spent five years with the Reds and in that time he became a world-class playmaker and a fan favourite amongst Kopites.
His forced departure to Barcelona in January 2018 left a sour taste and the idea of re-signing him completely polarised opinion on Merseyside.
Liverpool were approached by Coutinho’s representatives over a return and eventually they said no. There were five reasons behind this.
1. TOO MUCH MONEY
A season-long loan deal for Coutinho would have cost Liverpool £21m in wages (£250,000-per-week) and and a loan fee (£8m).
Jurgen Klopp and sporting director Michael Edwards agreed that, even though they could afford Barcelona’s demands, it was way too much money for an out-of-form player.
2. WOULDN’T IMPROVE LIVERPOOL’S XI
Liverpool’s front three consists of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane, so it’s hard to see where Coutinho would fit in there.
Klopp is also happy with his current options in attacking midfield, with Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain both highly-rated by the German.
3. WANTED TO BE THE MAIN MAN
There was once a time when Liverpool solely relied on Coutinho to provide moments of magic to win games every week.
But that’s no longer the case. Klopp’s side is now bursting with match winners and leading figures, so Coutinho would have been just another player.
4. SOME LIVERPOOL FANS AGAINST HIS RETURN
Simply put, Coutinho gave Liverpool no choice but to sell him. Klopp even admitted at one point there was “no chance” of keeping him for the second half of the season.
The acrimonious circumstances of Coutinho’s exit incensed Liverpool fans and a lot of them were against a return as a result, which played a part in Klopp’s decision to reject.
5. CONCERNED HE HAD “LOST HIS WAY”
Coutinho has lacked form and confidence for the majority of 2019 and with Liverpool on cloud nine at the moment, it made no sense to marry the two.
There’s a good chance the Brazil international will rediscover himself at Bayern, but it’s a risk nonetheless and one Klopp didn’t want to take.