Five Premier League clubs including Man United, Newcastle & Arsenal are in the race to sign Philippe Coutinho

Philippe Coutinho

Barcelona to sell Philippe Coutinho

The front page of Spanish paper Mundo Deportivo peddles a story which has been doing the rounds for several weeks: Philippe Coutinho’s days at Barcelona seem numbered.

Coutinho is currently in limbo as his loan spell at Bayern Munich had basically ended.

The Brazilian midfielder is injured, while Bayern have confirmed they won’t be exercising an option to buy the former Liverpool star.

Currently, Coutinho is poised to return to the Camp Nou at the end of the season. However, for several days Mundo Deportivo have claimed that Coutinho is up for sale.

Today, Mundo Deportivo claim that five Premier League clubs are trying to sign the 27-year-old Brazilian.

 

Man United, Newcastle, Arsenal, Chelsea & Leicester

The Spanish daily claims that Chelsea, Manchester United, Leicester City Arsenal and Newcastle United are all in the market for Coutinho.

Also, Mundo Deportivo believe that Coutinho’s preference is to join a side who will play in the Champions League.

So which club is best positioned to land Coutinho?

Doubts have to be raised over Man United’s chances of signing Coutinho as the Red Devils signed Bruno Fernandes from Sporting CP in the last transfer window.

Moreover, as a former Liverpool player, it would be somewhat shocking if Coutinho signed for their chief rivals, United.

Finally, it’s also doubtful that Man United will be playing Champions League football next season. The Red Devils are presently 5th in the league.

LEIPZIG, GERMANY – SEPREMBER 14: Philippe Coutinho of Bayern Muenchen looks on during the Bundesliga match between RB Leipzig and Bayern Muenchen at Red Bull Arena on September 14, 2019 in Leipzig, Germany. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)

Could Leicester win the race to land Coutinho?

Several factors seem to be in the Foxes’ favour. For example, Leicester are on course to play in the UCL next term, while manager Brendan Rodgers signed Coutinho for Liverpool.

However, the Leicester Mercury have poured cold water on the Coutinho rumours, reporting:

Rodgers himself threw doubt over a transfer earlier in May, saying: “I’ve seen lots of speculation around young Phil, I don’t think… Philippe’s a wonderful player, a brilliant talent, but he would be someone who is way out of our price bracket.”

So what about Arsenal?

Like Man United, an obvious problem facing the Gunners in this transfer saga is that they are unlikely to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

On top of that, it’s been widely reported that Arsenal have significant financial problems. Indeed, the Telegraph have suggested that Mikel Arteta may only be able to sign players who are free agents or those avialable in swap deals in the next window.

Yet,  a report in Spanish outlet ABC on Wednesday said Arteta views Coutinho as a “fundamental pillar to his project”, while Le 10 Sport have claimed that Arsenal have been tracking Coutinho for months.

Newcastle United are also in the frame, apparently.

Previously, Mundo Deportivo have claimed that Newcastle have also made contact with Coutinho’s representatives about the possibility of a deal.

However, Newcastle also face the obvious problem that they won’t be in the Champions League next season.

And, in addition, one presumes Coutinho would only join Newcastle if the Saudi takeover is completed. Today, that deal still hasn’t received the OK from the Premier League.

That leaves Chelsea.

Sitting 4th in the Premier League, Chelsea are on course for UCL football next term. While the presumption is that Chelsea also have the funds to pay for Coutinho.

However, there are reasons to doubt whether Chelsea would pursue this deal.

Firstly, Coutinho is approaching 28, and Chelsea, under Frank Lampard, have shown a preference to invest in youth.

Secondly, with the likes of Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Mason Mount in their squad, have Chelsea got enough creative talent in their squad already?

 

Also see: Arsenal’s interest in Philippe Coutinho analysed by David Ornstein & when William Saliba could arrive in north London.

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This article was edited by Ben Green.

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