Chelsea and Barcelona in talks over Coutinho loan deal – Sport

Coutinho’s time at Barcelona

Philippe Coutinho joined Barcelona from Liverpool in January of 2018.

Barca are understood to have paid an initial £105m for the midfielder, a fee with the potential to rise to £142m with add-ons.

Despite that mammoth transfer sum, though, Coutinho’s stint in Spain was fairly lackluster.

The attack-minded midfielder would score eight and assist five in 18 La Liga appearances during his first half-season at the Camp Nou.

However, despite a promising start, Coutinho’s form dipped off a fair bit in his first full season with the La Liga powerhouse.

In 34 league outings during 2018/19, the 27-year-old would score just five and assist two.

Coutinho’s underwhelming stint for the Blaugrana then saw him shipped out on loan last summer.

Before the season was curtailed, the ex-Liverpool standout was plying his trade in the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich.

Coutinho’s displays have improved slightly since making the switch to Germany, but he has failed to recapture the kind of form that made him such an attractive option for Barcelona in the first place.

Philippe Coutinho

SEVILLE, SPAIN – FEBRUARY 23: Philippe Coutinho of FC Barcelona looks on during the La Liga match between Sevilla FC and FC Barcelona at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on February 23, 2019 in Seville, Spain. (Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

Coutinho set for England return?

Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge would discuss the possibility of signing Coutinho permanently at the back end of February. But he didn’t sound overly confident of making said deal.

Coutinho has since been linked with a number of top Premier League sides.

All of Chelsea, Manchester United, Tottenham and Arsenal are said to have enquired about the South American’s availability ahead of next season.

And of these sides, it looks to be Chelsea who are most interested in landing Coutinho.

As per a recent report from Spanish outlet Sport, Chelsea and Barcelona are in talks over a potential loan deal for the Brazilian international, with it the Blaugrana’s ‘absolute priority’ to move players on this summer.

Obviously, with the current uncertainty surrounding the finances of clubs due to COVID-19, transfer stories should be taken with a pinch of salt.

But you would imagine that a loan deal for Coutinho, who Barca clearly seem to want off their books, would be a lot cheaper than the €80m price-tag to have been floated recently.

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This article was edited by Conor Laird.