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Tottenham report: Antonio Conte wants Brazil international – and his current club are willing to sell

Philippe Coutinho
(Image credit: PA)

Tottenham want to sign Barcelona attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho on a free transfer, according to reports.

Antonio Conte has made a fine start to life in north London, steering Spurs to five wins in his eight Premier League games at the helm.

The north London outfit have revived their hopes of a top-four finish and now sit sixth in the standings, just two points behind the final Champions League qualification spot.

Tottenham also have two games in hand on Arsenal and West Ham, the two teams directly above them in the table.

Conte believes fourth place is there for the taking and he wants to bolster his squad in January to help Tottenham compete on several fronts in 2022.

According to El Nacional, Spurs have made Barcelona aware that they are willing to take Coutinho off the Catalans’ hands.

But Spurs are trying to land the Brazil international on a free, hoping to take advantage of Barcelona’s financial issues.

The Blaugrana are desperate to reduce their wage bill, and Coutinho’s £19.25m salary is one of those they are most keen to get off the books.  

Tottenham are therefore hoping that Barcelona would be willing to let the former Liverpool star go without a transfer fee.

The La Liga giants would prefer to recoup some of the £142m they paid for Coutinho in January 2018, although they know they will not receive anything close to that amount.

The player’s preference is to return to the Premier League, and Everton, Arsenal and Newcastle have also been mentioned as potential destinations.

Barcelona may be receptive to a loan offer in January before they attempt to offload Coutinho on a permanent basis in the summer.

The 29-year-old has made only five starts in La Liga this season, while each of his four appearances in the Champions League came as a substitute.

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Greg Lea

Greg Lea is a freelance football journalist who's filled in wherever FourFourTwo needs him since 2014. He became a Crystal Palace fan after watching a 1-0 loss to Port Vale in 1998, and once got on the scoresheet in a primary school game against Wilfried Zaha's Whitehorse Manor (an own goal in an 8-0 defeat).