Chelsea to pounce on £142m Barcelona attacker

Barcelona midfielder Philippe Coutinho has ruled out a move to Manchester United, leaving the door open for Chelsea to pounce.

The Brazilian playmaker is understood to have been targeted by the Premier League pair ahead of the summer transfer window.

Philippe Coutinho has only spent the last 15 months at Camp Nou, but he has failed to justify his £142 million price tag, and Barcelona may look elsewhere for new creative talent.

Spanish news outlet Sport claims that the Brazil international would be open to a return to English football, where he thrived for Liverpool before the departure to Catalonia, but he does not want to join his former club’s arch-rivals the Red Devils.

Manchester United fans jeered Coutinho throughout last week’s Champions League quarter-final first leg, making it clear that they will not forget his past at Anfield, and the playmaker does not want to betray his former club.

Chelsea are the only other realistic option for the attacking midfielder, it is reported, though they can only push ahead with a bid if their two-window transfer ban is delayed.

Meanwhile, Paris Saint-Germain are understood to be in the race as Neymar has pushed his club to make a move for his compatriot and close friend, while the French champions do not have the intention of signing the Brazilian.

Meanwhile, Coutinho is exactly the player Chelsea need in the final third as they lack creative midfielder as Jorginho is playing as the defensive midfielder and is unable to provide assists near the opposite team’s box.