sport news Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Liverpool? What is Philippe Coutinho's future?

Who would have expected this for Philippe Coutinho when he took that private jet to Barcelona to start a new life at the Nou Camp?

He netted Liverpool £145million when he left Anfield for Spain and it felt as though Barcelona were bringing in another superstar who would slot seamlessly into their squad. 

Instead, he left for Bayern Munich in the summer on loan and has failed to set the world alight there. They are now thought to be unlikely to activate the buyout clause in his loan. 

Bayern Munich have Philippe Coutinho on loan but do not want to pay his buyout fee

Bayern Munich have Philippe Coutinho on loan but do not want to pay his buyout fee

Barcelona want to move the Brazilian on as they look to rebuild their squad in the summer

Barcelona want to move the Brazilian on as they look to rebuild their squad in the summer

There does not seem to be much of a future for him at Barcelona either, and they are said to be willing to accept a massive loss on him.

So where, exactly, could the 27-year-old end up after the end of the season? Sportsmail has taken a look at his options.

Bayern Munich

Barcelona hoped that Philippe Coutinho would settle in at Bayern Munich and that the Germans would activate the €120million (£100m) buyout option in the summer. While he is happy in the city, there is now little belief they will pay that price.

It is not that Coutinho has had an awful season — seven goals in 27 games is no bad return for a midfielder. Instead, the issue is that the Brazilian has not justified that price-tag.

They could offer an escape from the Nou Camp by paying less, if Barcelona will accept it, but it is still unlikely. 

Coutinho has not had a bad season at Bayern but he has not done enough to justify a big fee

Coutinho has not had a bad season at Bayern but he has not done enough to justify a big fee

Instead, Coutinho could find himself in the same position as James Rodriguez, who spent two seasons on loan at Bayern only to return to at the conclusion without a move.

It is now up to Coutinho to show the sort of form that would tempt Bayern into a big bid — if he does want to stay at the Allianz Arena beyond this summer. 

More goals, more assists and a big contribution to Bayern staying top of the Bundesliga until the conclusion of the campaign would go a long way. 

Even so, there is a sense that they are unlikely to move for him. 

They might want to sign him for a lower price than the £100million written into the loan deal

They might want to sign him for a lower price than the £100million written into the loan deal

Barcelona 

When Barcelona snapped Coutinho in January 2018, it felt like the right move for a player who had shone in the Premier League for years for Liverpool.

There was an expectation that he would replace compatriot Neymar and re-establish that connection with Luis Suarez that had served both so well at Anfield. There were probably even hopes that he would take some of the burden away from Lionel Messi.

Instead, after brief flashes at the start that helped them win La Liga and Copa del Rey, he struggled. He scored just 11 goals in 54 matches for them in 2018-19 and there was little to justify keeping him around.

Barcelona spent a huge £145m bringing Coutinho to the Nou Camp but he is not key to them

Barcelona spent a huge £145m bringing Coutinho to the Nou Camp but he is not key to them

He didn't fit in under Ernesto Valverde and there might be a slight hope for him that Quique Setien sees a place for him in his system. It is also worth saying that if Barcelona foresee too much of a drop on the price they paid for him, they might keep him around.

But the preference is to move him on and for a significant sum of money. There have been reports that they would be willing to make a £60m loss on him, given his diminishing reputation.

Doing so would help them pay for the rebuild the squad clearly needs to convince Messi to stick around beyond the end of his contract. 

The midfielder did not fit in under Ernesto Valverde and did not impress for the Spanish side

The midfielder did not fit in under Ernesto Valverde and did not impress for the Spanish side

Liverpool

While Liverpool were one of the clubs he was offered to when he moved to Bayern on loan, a return to Anfield is almost a complete non-starter. 

Speaking in the last few days about how Liverpool have done since he left,

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