Rivaldo believes Chelsea are the favourites to sign his Brazilian compatriot Philippe Coutinho and he does not believe his recent injury setback will alter the situation.
Coutinho underwent a minor surgery to remove loose fragments from his right ankle, meaning he will not be involved at the start of the Bundesliga’s return this weekend.
Bayern– where Coutinho is on loan from Barcelona – 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, despite scoring nine goals and providing eight assists in 32 appearances for the Bavarian club.
The Brazilian scored 21 goals in 76 outings for Barcelona after moving in a club record €160m fee from Liverpool in January 2018 but consistently flattered to deceive.
“Chelsea are the favourites to sign Coutinho and I don’t believe they will be put off by his recent injury,” Rivaldo wrote in his Betfair column. “After all, next season is still very distant and he will have enough time to a completely recover.
“On the other hand, if the transfer doesn’t go forward and he stays at Barcelona perhaps a salary reduction, based on the player’s decision, could earn plaudits from the clubs board and maybe let him show that he is eager to remain at the club and finally prove his worth.
“Yes, there are many clubs already reducing their players’ salaries because of coronavirus crisis, but if the player takes a step forward in that themselves it would be seen as the attitude of someone interested in remaining at the club.
“Much could happen before next season and we can only wait for the next chapters of this story.”
Barcelona are said to be keen on selling the former Liverpool star this year to raise vital funds, while the player is said to have little interest in returning to Inter or joining Paris Saint-Germain and instead is keen on a move to England.