Chelsea have reportedly opened talks with Barcelona over a summer move for Philippe Coutinho, who is currently on loan at Bayern Munich.
According to a report by Spanish publication Sport, Chelsea have submitted an enquiry to Barcelona over the possibility of signing Philippe Coutinho in the summer transfer window. The Blues want to sign the Brazilian, currently on loan at Bayern Munich, on a temporary deal.
Coutinho was in dreamland in January 2018, when he joined Barcelona from Liverpool. The dream, though, soon turned into nightmare, with the Brazilian struggling to stamp his authority at Camp Nou. After failing to make an impression in his first full season at the club, Barcelona shipped him off to Bayern Munich last summer.
At Bayern, Coutinho has showed glimpses of his brilliance, but still has not been consistent enough to convince Die Roten to sign him permanently. As a result, Coutinho is set to return to Barcelona in the summer, although the Catalan giants want to offload him straightaway. There is no shortage of interest in the Brazilian, though, with Chelsea being keen on a move.
The interest from Chelsea is interesting. The Blues have already bolstered their attack by agreeing a move to sign Hakim Ziyech in the summer. However, with former Barcelona superstar Pedro in the twilight of his career and Willian looking set to depart Stamford Bridge as a free agent at the end of the season, manager Frank Lampard could still perhaps do with another attacking addition.
Indeed, apart from Pedro, Willian and Ziyech, the Chelsea manager will have just two other wingers at his disposal in Callum Hudson-Odoi and Christian Pulisic. Coutinho could, therefore, be a viable target for the west Londoners, seeing as the Brazilian international can play out wide as adeptly as he plays centrally.
At the same time, Coutinho would also provide competition to Mason Mount for the no. 10 role, for when Lampard chooses to use the 4-2-3-1 formation. However, Chelsea, who have submitted an enquiry to Barcelona for the Brazilian, are not willing to sign the 27-year-old on a permanent deal from Barcelona.
Instead, Chelsea are ready to pay the player’s wages as well as the amortisation of the transfer fee that Barcelona shelled out to sign him from Liverpool, the total of which is €30 million. Barcelona, too, are aware that a loan move could be the best solution, considering no club will meet his €90 million valuation.
Meanwhile, Bayern Munich could also ask for an extension on their current loan deal, although Barcelona do not favour that option. Inter Milan are also showing an interest to sign Coutinho on a temporary basis.
The Nerazzurri’s interest, though, means Barcelona could perhaps use the former Liverpool man in order to swoop Lautaro Martinez away from San Siro. For now, though, Chelsea seem to be leading the race to sign Coutinho, with the move only likely to be a loan transfer.
A Barcelona renaissance cannot be entirely ruled out, with Quique Setien willing to give Coutinho a second chance. However, the Barcelona board are against such a move, meaning Chelsea might be fancying their chances of snapping the player up, should things move along well in the weeks leading up to the summer transfer window.