Munich (Germany) (AFP)
Philippe Coutinho, who has spent this week in Barcelona at Bayern Munich, is not yet fully physically ready and will not be in Schalke on Saturday, Bavarian coach Niko Kovac announced on Thursday.
"He is not yet at the necessary level to play 90 minutes, he told us himself and that's our impression," said the coach at his pre-match press conference, on the eve of the second day of the Bundesliga.
"We will not take any chances (...) He has been in training for only two weeks, and he is late to catch up," added the Croatian.
Coutinho was welcomed in Munich - and Germany - as a star, and his entry into the Bundesliga is eagerly awaited, especially as Bayern are already two points behind their main rivals Dortmund and Leipzig, after their draw 2 -2 against Hertha Berlin at the opening of the championship.
The other rookie of August Ivan Perisic (Inter Milan) is however in full possession of his means and could be aligned Saturday.
"Ivan has the same level of preparation as us, he has played several preparation matches with Inter," said Kovac. "It's an option (for Saturday), maybe right from the start."
© 2019 AFP