Chelsea leading race for FC Barcelona outcast Philippe Coutinho
Premier League giants Chelsea are said to be in advanced negotiations with Philippe Coutinho over a summer move, if reports in England are to be believed.
The flamboyant Brazilian playmaker is currently on loan at Bayern Munich from Barcelona for the season. The Bavarian giants have an option to sign the 27-year-old permanently for £105 million but it is understood that they do not want to exercise that option.
The former Liverpool superstar so far had a pretty underwhelming spell at the Allianz Arena and looks set to be back at Barcelona in the summer. However, it is pretty clear that Coutinho does not have a future at Camp Nou and Barcelona are looking to cut their losses on the Brazilian in the summer.
It is understood that Chelsea made a march on their rivals to land Coutinho by contacting the player's agent Kia Joorabchian. The Blues are believed to have a very strong relationship with the famed football agent who also represents Willian and former Blues midfielder, Ramires.
The West London club is up against a number of big clubs across Europe in the hunt for the creative midfielder with Manchester United, Tottenham and Arsenal among the interested parties.
FC Barcelona signed Coutinho from Liverpool in January 2018 on a deal worth £145million.
Just after 18 months at the Catalan club, he was shipped out to Bayern on loan but things have not been good for him in Germany either. Now with the German giants unlikely to make the move permanent, there is a scramble for his signature.
Coutinho could be available for between £52m and £70m and is thought to have his heart set on a return to England.
Manchester United have been long-term admirers of the playmaker. Even though he was formerly a Liverpool player, it is understood that he does not have any hesitations to join rivals Manchester United.
Tottenham lost Christian Eriksen in January when he joined Inter so the chance to sign another creative player this summer certainly makes sense.
Spurs' North London rivals Arsenal have also been linked with Coutinho. Brendan Rodgers' Leicester City have also as shock contenders to land the Brazilian.The Northern Irishman signed Coutinho at Liverpool in 2013 and worked with him until his sacking in October 2015.
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