Chelsea leading race for Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho

Chelsea are favourites to land Barcelona playmaker Philippe Coutinho next season and have already made an approach, according to Diario Sport.

The Brazil international is currently on a season-long loan deal at Bayern Munich while a report earlier in the day from the same outlet claimed Blaugrana boss Quique Setien is open to welcoming him back into the first-team squad next season.

It is said that the most likely structure of the deal would be an upfront loan deal for one season, with a purchase option linked into the move.

Inter are also said to hold an interest, with the report suggesting that this could be linked into the Catalan giants attempting to land striker Lautaro Martinez from the Nerazzurri.

Bayern – where the player is currently on a season-long loan deal from the Blaugrana – have an option to buy the Brazil international for €120m at the end of the campaign but multiple reports suggest this will not be exercised.

A report in El Mundo Deportivo last month claimed the Catalan giants have lowered their asking price for the playmaker to €80m as they look to balance their books.

Coutinho has netted eight goals and provided multiple assists in 15 league starts for the Bavarian club, while the recent report stresses the good relations between the two clubs which could help smooth a permanent move this year.

Tags Chelsea Philippe Coutinho