Bayern Munich agree deal to take Philippe Coutinho on loan

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Bayern Munich have agreed a deal “in principle” with Barcelona to sign Philippe Coutinho on a season-long loan deal.

The Bundesliga champions announced following their 2-2 draw with Hertha Berlin on Friday night that they had reached an agreement with the former Liverpool star, with an option to make the deal permanent at the end of the season.

The Brazilian is due in Munich in the coming days to finalise the deal and undergo a medical.

Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic travelled to Barcelona this week to seal the deal.

“I can confirm that I was in Barcelona with Hasan on Wednesday and that we reached an agreement with both the club and the player,” Rummenigge said on the club website. “We have been watching Coutinho for a while.”

Salihamidzic added: “I would also like to thank Barcelona. Of course, a few details are still to be sorted out, but we are very happy that we will bring this player to Bayern.”

Coutinho’s future has been the subject of intense speculation for the whole summer, given the arrival at the Nou Camp of Antoine Griezmann and their interest in bringing Neymar back to the club.

The Brazilian, who has struggled to reproduce the sort of form he showed for Liverpool since leaving the Reds in a £142million deal in January 2018, was not in the Barcelona squad for their defeat to Athletic Bilbao on Friday.

Bayern coach Niko Kovac, who saw his side drop two points at home in their opening game of the Bundesliga season, also welcomed the impending arrival of Coutinho.

“I am of the opinion that not only FC Bayern, but the entire Bundesliga and all of Germany can look forward to welcoming such a top player here in this league,” he said.

Bayern also announced the “imminent signing” of 20-year-old French midfielder Mickael Cuisance from Borussia Monchengladbach.

On the pitch, Kovac admitted his side were punished for not making the most of their dominance against Hertha.

In the end, the hosts needed a Robert Lewandowski penalty to earn a point after Hertha scored two quickfire goals at the end of the first half.

“Hertha were a bit lucky to share the spoils, but they defended well,” Kovac said. “We had a lot of chances, we failed to take many clear-cut chances.

“But I can’t blame my team. They tried everything, they gave it everything. It was one-way traffic, we were dominant. But we lacked the bit of luck you need. A compliment to Hertha for bearing up against it. We must make sure we soon collect the two points we failed to take today.”

Hertha boss Ante Covic, in his first Bundesliga match as a head coach, said: “When you play away to Munich you know from the start you can’t dominate the match as you’d like to. You must still believe you can have some good moments to take something away from here.”

Provided by Press Association Sport

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Monaco announce signing of former Man United target Wissam Ben Yedder from Sevilla

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Monaco have announced the signing of France international striker Wissam Ben Yedder from Sevilla.

The 29-year-old returns to Ligue 1 after three seasons in Spain and has signed a five-year contract at Stade Louis II in a deal worth €40 million.

Ben Yedder scored 30 goals in all competitions for Sevilla last season and added 11 assists. He also grabbed his first goal for France against Andorra in June.

Ben Yedder told the club’s official website: “I am very happy to be involved with AS Monaco. I felt a strong desire on the part of the club to have me come.

“I chose Monaco because I believe in this project and I am determined to do everything possible to go after our common ambitions.”

Former Manchester City youngster Rony Lopes has gone in the opposite direction for €20m to become Sevilla’s 11th signing of the summer, also on a five-year deal.

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Transfer Predictor: Rodrigo to Atletico Madrid is a 9 and Neymar return to Barcelona is a 7

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Struggling to pick out the facts from the figures? Reality from the rubbish? Sense from the silly season?

We’ve got you sorted in our daily dose of the Transfer Predictor, where we round up the latest rumours with an analytical spin.

We sort through the most eye-catching transfer reports of the past 24 hours and give a balanced judgment on whether the move really will happen – and why, or why not.

Today’s edition features a Barcelona target, a Manchester United outcast and a transfer within La Liga,

NEYMAR

Neymar looks to be on his way out from PSG.

Neymar looks to be on his way out from PSG.

Paris Saint-Germain -> €100 million plus Philippe Coutinho -> Barcelona

Several publications in Spain, such as Marca and RAC1, have reported that Barcelona and PSG are negotiating to facilitate the transfer of Neymar back to the Catalan side.

The two parties met on Tuesday to officially open negotiations, but there was no definitive outcome.

WHY IT CAN HAPPEN

Neymar’s departure from the French club is all but confirmed – the destination, however, remains undecided. El Clasico rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid are vying for the player’s signature and it appears that the Catalans are now in the driving seat.

Barcelona sporting director Eric Abidal is respected at PSG and although the negotiations did not produce any immediate result, there is a promise of a potential deal by the end of the week.

Besides, the Brazilian prefers to move to his former club and reunite with Lionel Messi over moving to the capital.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN

As things stand, PSG want to sell the player to Madrid. While Barcelona are trying to add players to the deal to reduce the transfer fee, the French giants are insisting on cash-heavy payment.

However, PSG are willing to listen to an offer that includes Barcelona right-back Nelson Semedo and Philippe Coutinho. The Catalans don’t want to consider this option as the Portuguese has established himself as a starter.

Despite the commencement of formal negotiations, the two clubs are still wide apart in their demands,

TRANSFER RATING: 7/10

RODRIGO MORENO

Rodrigo-Valencia

Valencia -> €60m -> Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid are set to bolster their front-line by signing Valencia striker Rodrigo. AS, Marca and Radio Valencia have confirmed that the transfer worth €60m is imminent.

Valencia are reportedly looking for a replacement in the meantime, with Madrid forward Mariano Diaz emerging as an option.

WHY IT CAN HAPPEN

It seems that Diego Costa’s injury has reminded Los Rojiblancos that the Spain international is past his prime physically and will not be able to maintain a high level of fitness consistently.

Rodrigo should prove to be an able striking partner for Alvaro Morata, who is fitting in well at his new club. The Spaniard boasts La Liga experience and could blend into the team instantly.

Valencia will be happy to get a good sum out of the deal, as they search the market for a replacement.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN

Atletico could announce the signing anytime today. It seems unlikely that the deal will fall through, with most publications confirming that the agreement is done.

However, the remote possibility of Valencia doing a U-turn after failing to come up with a replacement can’t be ignored.

TRANSFER RATING: 9/10

MATTEO DARMIAN

MatteoDarmian

Manchester United -> Free transfer -> Inter Milan

United’s out-of-favor full-back Matteo Darmian is set to join Inter Milan as a free agent at the end of the 2019/20 season after an agreement was reached between the player and the Nerazzuri.

Darmian failed to establish himself at the Premier League club, but Inter boss Antonio Conte sees him as a valuable addition to the team. Rai Sport claim that the 29-year-old will reunite with his former national team coach in 2020.

WHY IT WILL HAPPEN

United will have no say in the matter as Darmian will be shifting base at the end of his contract. This should go a long way in simplifying the transfer.

If reports suggesting that the concerned parties have agreed on terms are to be believed, very little can prevent it from coming through.

Conte is convinced of the Italian’s quality and his versatility could be crucial as Inter look to set up a 3-5-2 with Darmian playing out wide.

WHY IT CAN’T HAPPEN

The deal can’t materialise before Darmian’s contract with United expires. Although the agreements for the transfer are in place, a lot can happen over one year that could hinder this move.

TRANSFER RATING 8/10

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