Everton appeared to have joined the race to sign Barcelona midfielder Philippe Coutinho this summer, with Leicester and several other Premier League clubs still open to a deal.
Coutinho is set to be involved in a transfer tug-of-war this summer, despite failing to make an impact on loan at Bayern Munich this season, and the most likely outcome is seemingly a return to the Premier League.
90min recently learned that Coutinho’s former club Liverpool still have first refusal on the Brazilian, but are set to reject the prospect of a reunion in the next transfer window – meaning local Merseyside rivals Everton could swoop in.
Sport now report that the Toffees are willing to accept Barcelona’s demands of a loan deal with a mandatory option-to-buy at the end of it, with the Spanish outfit valuing Coutinho at around €90m.
Carlo Ancelotti appears keen to strengthen his side this summer in a bid to challenge for the European places next season, while Everton and Barcelona have a strong relationship following several transfers between the clubs in recent years such as Andre Gomes and Lucas Digne.
However, considering Coutinho has previously made it clear he would not join Manchester United out of respect for Liverpool, he may have similar feelings about joining the Reds’ rivals Everton.
Another viable option for Coutinho would see him extend his loan at Bayern Munich, however Die Roten are unlikely to pursue such a deal, while Arsenal and Chelsea are still consistently being linked with the 27-year-old.
But rumours linking Coutinho with Leicester are gathering pace as the attacking-midfielder could jump at the opportunity to work alongside former boss Brendan Rodgers once again at the King Power Stadium.
The Leicester manager signed Coutinho from Inter during his time at Liverpool and was instrumental in the development of the 61-cap Brazil international, potentially making a move to the east Midlands the most likely one.
The Foxes could provide him with consistent game time as well as Champions League football next season, but the club could be put off by such a large transfer fee.