Chelsea are not believed to be seriously interested in landing Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho this summer, despite numerous reports from Spain claiming a deal is close to being done.
The Blues are likely on the lookout for creative reinforcements this summer, with both Willian and Pedro expected to leave when their contracts expire at the end of the season, and Bayern Munich loanee Coutinho has been suggested as a possible option.
In fact, plenty of reports in Spain (usually just from SPORT) have claimed that an agreement is close to being reached. However, such a level of interest has not reached any other outlets yet, and The Athletic state that Chelsea are unlikely to make a move.
Chelsea have tracked Coutinho ever since he was a 14-year-old playing in his native Brazil, when they did try to land him on a bargain deal. However, a lot has changed since then, and Coutinho is no longer as attractive of an option as he once was.
The Blues’ main concern is the potential cost of any deal. A transfer fee of between £50m and £70m is suggested, which would make him one of Chelsea’s record signings, while a salary of around £225,000-a-week would also be problematic.
N’Golo Kanté is the club’s top earner, but even he makes less than Coutinho does at Camp Nou, so it seems incredibly unlikely that Chelsea would agree to pay that kind of money – especially considering the financial uncertainty of the current time.
It’s also noted that the imminent arrival of Hakim Ziyech, who agreed a £33.4m move from Ajax back in February, has reduced the need for someone like Coutinho, so a deal does not appear likely whatsoever (although many of us knew that already).
However, just because Chelsea aren’t enamoured by Coutinho doesn’t mean that they don’t plan on doing business, and one player who is thought to be on the club’s radar is Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz.
While the 20-year-old wouldn’t exactly help Chelsea’s current logjam of central midfielders, it is noted that the Blues view him as one of Europe’s brightest prospects, and they have sent scouts to keep an eye on Havertz on a number of occasions this season.
Havertz would likely command a similar transfer fee to Coutinho, but given he is seven years younger than the Brazilian and has already been touted as one of the Bundesliga‘s top stars, shelling out on him doesn’t seem as painful.