Chelsea transfer news: Philippe Coutinho being monitored as potential Eden Hazard replacement

The Brazilian's big-money move to La Liga hasn't worked out

Ed Malyon
Wednesday 06 February 2019 13:45 GMT
Philippe Coutinho in numbers

Chelsea are among the clubs monitoring Philippe Coutinho's situation at FC Barcelona as they prepare for life without star man Eden Hazard.

The Belgian has not publicly made a decision on his future but is increasingly expected to swap west London for Madrid this summer as the £300,000 per week contract that the Blues offered him last year continues to sit on the table unsigned.

Real Madrid didn't have the £250m fee that Chelsea demanded last summer when the winger decided before heading to the World Cup that he wanted to leave Stamford Bridge, but the £100m that Chelsea are understood to be seeking this summer - with just one year remaining on Hazard's contract - is far more manageable. The Belgian has always had a soft spot for the Bernabeu club.

While Chelsea have already secured the signing of USA winger Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund ahead of next season, they are also keeping tabs on the situation with Coutinho as the Brazilian considers ending his Nou Camp nightmare.

After signing for Barca in a drawn-out £105m transfer that could rise to £142m, the Catalan club are expecting Premier League clubs to test their resolve on keeping the playmaker.

Liverpool are not expected to be interested in bringing the Brazil international back to Anfield but the likes of Chelsea can not only afford Coutinho but would be interested in bringing back a proven Premier League star.

Official word from Barcelona remains that Coutinho will not be sold, with club president telling Spanish radio this week that they were not planning to cash in on the underperforming midfielder.

“Are we going to consider the sale of Coutinho? No. It’s a club bet,” Bartomeu told El Partidazo de COPE .

“He plays differently, he knows how we play, we do not want to sell Coutinho.”

But the player himself was more mysterious when asked about whether he might be leaving the club after a difficult time in Catalunya.

"Nobody knows what will happen in the future," he told beIN Sports.

"All I have in my head right now is to work hard."

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