A South American playmaker is on his way out of Barcelona and a move to the Premier League looks the likeliest destination – with three clubs apparently in the race.
Er, no, sorry, it's Philippe Coutinho.
The Brazilian, who cost Barcelona €120 million in 2018, spent the whole of the last season at Bayern Munich – where he won the treble, and came on to play a leading role during the 8-2 quarter-final demolition of his parent club.
Barça have seemed keen to get Coutinho off their books for a while, with Arsenal the most commonly linked English side. This is partly due to his agent, Kia Joorabchian, who also represents Gunners David Luiz, Cedric Soares and new signing Willian.
Any serious prospect of a move to Old Trafford would surely mean that the Jadon Sancho transfer saga is over for this summer, at least. Even if they were to pull this move off, it wouldn't be heralded as a particularly successful transfer window, given high-profile interest in both Sancho and Aston Villa's Jack Grealish have apparently come to nothing. Should the unthinkable happen and rivals Manchester City land Lionel Messi, the Red Devils would surely need a marquee signing just to save face.
The Chelsea link is curious: the Blues began the summer already brimming with young attacking talent, and that didn't stop them adding Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner and possibly even Kai Havertz to the squad. They might not need Coutinho, but then, how much do they really need Havertz? Need hasn't seemed to be what has guided their transfer targets so far.
What may be a bigger sticking point for Chelsea is age. Thiago Silva aside, Frank Lampard has been acquiring younger talents: Ziyech is 27, Werner 24 and Havertz just 21. Coutinho, by comparison, is a rickety 28-years-old.
Wages could be a problem for all three potential suitors. Due to Barcelona's long courtship of Coutinho, by the time he made the jump they were willing to pay him a salary the size of a small planet, reportedly around €15m. Will any Premier League clubs really fancy that?
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