Bayern Munich bosses have confirmed they didn’t activate their purchase option for Philippe Coutinho, leaving him open to a summer transfer from Barcelona.

Bayern Munich's striker Thomas Mueller (R) and on-loan Bayern Munich midfielder Philippe Coutinho (L). Photo during the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Munich and FC Augsburg, on March 8, 2020. (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP via Getty Images)
Bayern Munich’s Thomas Mueller (R) and on-loan Philippe Coutinho (L) on March 8, 2020. (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP via Getty Images)

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, chairman for Bayern Munich, confirmed their purchase option for Coutinho expired. The club had an €120m option at the end of his current loan but chose not to activate it. Rummenigge didn’t rule out bringing the player back, though.

“The option expired and we haven’t activated it,” Rummenigge said. “We’re going to plan our squad for next season and we’ll see if he still has a role to play with us or not.”

Coutinho is up to 32 appearances, nine goals and eight assists for Bayern this season. He isn’t currently available for selection, despite the Bundesliga return, having minor surgery to remove loose joint fragments in his ankle last month.

The player’s agent, Kia Joorabchian, admitted last month that Coutinho would love to come back and play in the Premier League.

This fueled the rumours of a potential transfer to Arsenal, with Barcelona reportedly keen to move the 27-year-old on and the Gunners regularly linked with him.

Of course, it’s only really possible if Barcelona are willing to send Coutinho on another loan. There’s no way Arsenal are paying €120m, or half that, or even a third of it. So a permanent transfer is off the table unless the two clubs get extremely creative.