Chelsea are optimistically preparing for the overturning of their transfer ban from FIFA by making contact with Barcelona over the £132m transfer of Phillipe Coutinho, according to reports from Gianluca Di Marzio.
Coutinho, 26, has struggled for form since arriving in Spain in a £142m deal from Liverpool, leading to mounting speculation over the Brazillian’s future in La Liga.The playmaker scored just five goals and registered two assists in 34 league matches for Barcelona in 2018/19, as the Catalan giants were crowned league champions but devastatingly crashed out to Liverpool in the Champions League semi-finals at Anfield.Chelsea’s interest in Coutinho is surprising given the club’s two-year ban from FIFA for their activities in signing foreign players under the age of 18. Yet the Stamford Bridge hierarchy are reportedly increasingly confident of their ban being overturned, as reported by Gianluca Di Marzio, despite an appeal being rejected by FIFA.This has led to representatives from the West London site contacting Barcelona officials over the potential transfer of Coutinho, who would cost in the region of £130m.The Brazillian enjoyed considerable success in the Premier League from his time with Liverpool, scoring 63 league goals in eight seasons on Merseyside to become a cult figure amongst the Reds’ fanbase.Barcelona’s £142m move for Coutinho was met with a mixed reaction from the Liverpool faithful, with the club proceeding to reach the Champions League final later that season and then achieving 97 points in the Premier League to finish 2nd alongside reaching yet another Champions League final and winning the club’s 6th trophy in Europe’s premier league competition.
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If Chelsea are to be successful in overturning their transfer ban, a move for Coutinho would represent investing in a player with proven Premier League experience, but if Roman Abramovich is willing to sanction a blockbuster, nine-figure transfer fee whilst questions marks continue to linger over his long-term commitment to the club remains to be seen.