Chelsea set to be handed Philippe Coutinho transfer boost by Liverpool over first refusal
Liverpool have first refusal on Philippe Coutinho but are unlikely to re-sign their former playmaker. Barcelona are set to sell Coutinho when he returns from a loan spell at Bayern Munich at the end of the season. He is eager to return to the Premier League but an emotional switch back to Anfield is not on the cards.
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Liverpool are not interested in re-signing Coutinho, who they sold to Barcelona for a fee worth up to £142million in the January transfer window of 2018.
While Jurgen Klopp’s team have progressed since his departure, Coutinho has seen his career stall.
He was loaned to Bayern Munich last summer but the Bundesliga giants do not plan to take up their permanent option after a mixed spell.
According to 90min, Liverpool have first refusal on Coutinho but are highly unlikely to re-sign the Brazil international because they are not going to pursue big-money transfers in the next window.
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That is a boost for Chelsea, who Express Sport understands are interested in bringing to Stamford Bridge.
Reports in Catalonia claim Chelsea are close to signing Coutinho.
Sport say the Blues are locked in talks with Barcelona but the two clubs remain split over a price.
Barcelona head coach Quique Setien would like to give Coutinho a chance to prove himself but admits the club will sell if they receive an acceptable offer.
“Coutinho is a great player and I like him a lot,” Setien said.
“He is a player who is from Barcelona, for him to come out they would have to pay the clause or pay an amount that might be of interest.
“I am counting on him being a player who can be here at the beginning of next season.
“I don’t know what he wants to do, maybe I have to talk to him to ask him.
“He is a great player without a doubt.”
Coutinho has also been linked with Arsenal, Everton, Leicester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.
The 27-year-old’s agent Kia Joorabchian is a self-confessed Gunners fan but he insists he will not force his client to the Emirates Stadium.
“The fact I’m an Arsenal supporter is not a secret,” Joorabchian said. “I don’t have any preference where the players go. I don’t try to push someone to one club or another. Everything is a possibility. After the Champions League game he played in England we had a long chat about it.
“The Premier League is something that he has always enjoyed playing in, and loved playing in, and would probably love to come back and play in.
“The question is what are going to be the financial conditions of all the clubs, including Barcelona and all the Premier League clubs at the end of this pandemic.”
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