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Chelsea in ‘talks’ with Barcelona over Coutinho transfer

Philippe Coutinho could be set for a return to the Premier League with Chelsea said to have ‘begun talks’ about securing a deal to sign the Barcelona star.

The Brazil international has seen his career stall since leaving Liverpool in a big-money move in 2018, falling out-of-favour at the Camp Nou before being deemed surplus to requirements and joining Bayern Munich on a season-long loan deal.

Coutinho’s fortunes have failed to significantly improve during a season spent in the Bundesliga though, and  the German champions are not interested in taking up their €120 million option to buy, a return to English football now looking the likeliest possibility ahead of the summer transfer window.

According to Catalan outlet SPORT, Chelsea have opened talks with Barcelona about the possibility of a deal to take Coutinho to Stamford Bridge at the end of the season, Frank Lampard keen to increase his side’s creative options and goal threat as he bids to turn the west London side into title challengers.

Coutinho enjoyed the best period of his career in the Premier League and a return to England’s top tier could help the 27-year-old rediscover his best form, though the finances of any deal remain complicated at present.

The former Liverpool player signed for Barcelona in a deal worth an initial £105m two years ago, and the Catalan side are keen to recoup as much of that fee as possible to fund their summer transfer activity.

The report concedes that Chelsea have ‘no intention’ of spending anywhere near the €90m (£79m) that Barcelona are said to be asking for, though the Blues remain confident of concluding a deal given Coutinho’s desire to return to the Premier League and the Spanish side’s need to raise funds to pursue their own targets, such as Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez.

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See also – 10 of the greatest solo goals in Premier League history

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