It’s been clear for some time that Barcelona want to get rid of Philippe Coutinho, and in the last few weeks it’s seemed like they’re found a buyer.
Chelsea are being mentioned time and again in the Catalan press, as in this report in Sport for example, as the Brazilian’s most likely destination.
There is some logic to it – Barca want him out, he wants to go, Chelsea need a marquee player after a summer out of the market, and the Premier League is where the former Liverpool man had his greatest success.
But according to Jamie Redknapp on Sky Sports, Mason Mount is going to create a major blockage.
The pundit, cousin of Blues manager Frank Lampard, says that despite the rumours, he thinks it’s hard to see the England star getting displaced by a signing from abroad.
Of course you could play them both at the same time, but given how well Mount fits Lampard’s pressing philosophy, and given the multi-year relationship he has with the boss, it’s a strong argument against the signing.
As it stands it’s still just a loan that seems most likely, and it’s perfectly possible that Chelsea see it as an opportunity for a test drive. But Redknapp is probably right that they’re not going to go all out when they already have someone they really like in place.