Barcelona are reportedly ready to sell Philippe Coutinho, amid interest from Manchester United and Chelsea to sign the £100 million-rated Brazilian.
According to a report by Daily Mirror, Manchester United and Chelsea have received a major boost in pursuit of Philippe Coutinho. Barcelona are open to the idea of selling the Brazilian playmaker, with a £100 million possibly in the offing in the summer transfer window.
It has only been a year since Coutinho joined Barcelona in a £142 million deal, but is now facing an uncertain future at Camp Nou. The player was an instant success to begin with, ending the 2017-18 season on a high by playing a key role in the Blaugrana’s cup and league triumphs.
But, the current campaign has been marred by inconsistencies, which has consequently seen Ousmane Dembele usurp him for the third slot in the Barcelona attack. As a result, it has been mooted that a move away from Camp Nou could be in the offing for the Brazilian, with Chelsea and Manchester United among those interested.
Coutinho could fill various roles in the current system used by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, should the Norwegian be appointed as the permanent Manchester United boss in the summer. The Brazilian could either slot in the midfield and help Paul Pogba with the creative duties, or play in either of the wide slots, a role he has reprised for Liverpool and Barcelona.
If Manchester United end up appointing Mauricio Pochettino, who is their priority target for the managerial role, Coutinho could be the quintessential no. 10 that Dele Alli is currently at Tottenham. To that end, the Red Devils are already believed to have initiated talks to sign the 26-year-old, although Chelsea are providing them stiff competition in his pursuit.
The Blues have already bolstered their attack for the summer by signing Christian Pulisic. But, with Eden Hazard and Callum Hudson-Odoi constantly being linked with moves away from Stamford Bridge, Chelsea do have the need to add further reinforcements, which is where Coutinho comes in.
As per the report, Chelsea and Manchester United will now be fancying their chances of signing the player, with Barcelona ready to sell him in order to fund a move for Neymar, who has been heavily linked with a return to Camp Nou recently.
That Coutinho will command a £100 million is unlikely to faze either club, with both Manchester United and Chelsea known to be willing to splash the big bucks to land their top targets.
The two Premier League heavyweights could be primed to break their transfer records in the summer, with a move away from Barcelona in the offing for Coutinho, mere 18 months after he first made the switch to Camp Nou. It now remains to be seen if either Chelsea or Manchester United are able to land him, or if he fights on to stay put at his dream club.