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Former Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho ‘close to completing’ transfer to Chelsea from Barcelona

Philippe Coutinho, the former Liverpool star, is close to joining Chelsea, reports claim.

The Brazil playmaker has struggled for form since leaving the Reds for Barcelona in a £142million deal in January 2018.

Philippe Coutinho is currently on loan at Bayern Munich
Getty – Contributor

After failing to impress during 18 months at the Nou Camp, Coutinho was sent on a season-long loan to Bayern Munich last summer.

Despite scoring eight goals and registering six assists in the Bundesliga, the German giants are not prepared to pay his buyout clause of £109m to make Coutinho’s move permanent.

And Spanish outlet Sport say Chelsea are leading the race to sign the 27-year-old.

The Blues are believed to be unwilling to match Barcelona’s £80m valuation, but remain hopeful the Spanish giants’ desire to bring in other players could work in their favour.

Barcelona are keen to sign Inter Milan forward Lautaro Martinez, whose release clause is £97m, and the Catalans could sell Coutinho to fund a move.

Coutinho, who is allegedly pushing for a Premier League return, has also been linked with Liverpool’s north west rivals Manchester United.

However, it is understood Chelsea were the first club to open talks with Barcelona about a potential transfer when it became clear Bayern did not want to take up their option-to-buy clause.

Coutinho’s Barcelona days appear to be numbered
Getty – Contributor

In his first full season with Barcelona, Coutinho managed just five goals and two assists, but still ended the campaign with a LaLiga winners’ medal.

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has already bolstered his attacking options with the signing of Ajax winger Hakim Ziyech for £33m, which will be made official on July 1.

And the potential arrival of Coutinho, who has five years worth of Premier League experience, would only further strengthen Lampard’s side ahead of the 2020/21 season.

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