Madrid (AFP)

FC Barcelona announced on Friday "an agreement in principle" to lend to Bayern Munich the Brazilian Philippe Coutinho, a thunderclap in the summer transfer window while the offensive midfielder was more likely to be used as a bargaining chip to bring back Neymar (Paris SG ).

"We can confirm that there is an agreement in principle, in this case, for the loan Coutinho, and from there must be sealed the operation," said Guillermo Amor, director of institutional relations of the Catalan club , at the microphone of the Spanish channel Movistar LaLiga.

Arriving from Liverpool in 2018 for 120 million euros (and EUR 40 million bonus), Coutinho (27) has never managed to adapt to the demanding passing game blaugrana, even if he won two Championships and a King's Cup in 18 months under the banner of Barça.

Retained in the Barcelona group for the opening match of La Liga 2019-2020 Friday night in Bilbao (21:00 / 19:00 GMT), the Brazilian was left in the stands, a sign that his leaders did not want to expose him to a injury for transfer.

His likely departure for Bayern rebates the cards of the summer mercato since the international environment can not possibly be included in the thorny Neymar, for which the PSG and Barça are engaged in a complicated negotiation.

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The French and Catalan media seemed to agree these last days to say that Coutinho was one of the most pleasant players to the Parisian sports management, which made it a plausible bargaining chip in the context of an operation including one or more players and a sum of money in exchange for Neymar.

PSG has acknowledged "discussions" with Barcelona about the Parisian striker, who left the Catalan club with a crash in 2017 in exchange for a record EUR 222 million before announcing in recent weeks his desire to return in Barça.

Regarding Coutinho, the Spanish press reports a paid loan to Bayern. This operation will at least have the advantage of lightening a bit the heavy payroll of the Catalan club at the time of undertaking the recruitment of Neymar.

"About Neymar, it is better not to talk a lot about that for the moment, especially because there is nothing (in fact, Ed), it is a player of the PSG," said Guillermo Amor. "What will happen will happen, if it should happen as long as the market is open", that is until September 2 in France and Spain, he added.

© 2019 AFP