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Bayern Munich have given Chelsea a huge boost in the race for Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho after club chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge confirmed that the option to buy Coutinho has now expired.
“The option expired, and we haven’t activated it,” Rummenigge told German magazine, Der Spiegel, on Friday.
“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 has spent the season on loan at Bayern Munich from Barcelona, scoring 9 goals in 34 matches but he has not done enough in the Bundesliga to convince the league leaders to make his move permanent.
Coutinho has been linked with a return to the Premier League with Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal, and Tottenham among those who are interested.
Chelsea are believed to be leading the race to sign Coutinho.