| 9.6°C Dublin

Barca sales Chelsea were 'closest' to signing Philippe Coutinho as fresh transfer link emerges

Sunday World revealed exclusively last summer that Coutinho was pushing for a return to Liverpool


Barcelona's Philippe Coutinho

Barcelona's Philippe Coutinho

Barcelona's Philippe Coutinho

Chelsea came close to signing former Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho last summer, with a report in Spain suggesting Barcelona again looking to off-load the Brazilian as they look to trim their wage bill.

Sport are reporting that Barca are keen to sell 28-year-old Coutinho, even though they still have a massive €50million left to pay to Liverpool from the mega-money deal that saw him move to the Catalan club in January 2018.

The report suggests agent Kia Joorabchian held talks with Chelsea last summer over his possible return to the Premier League, with Tottenham also believed to have expressed an interest.

Yet no deal could be agreed and he remained at Barcelona for this season, with his hopes of success under boss Ronald Koeman ruined by a knee injury that has left him on the sidelines.

Now there are suggestions cash-strapped Barca are looking to off-load Coutinho once more, with the player who spent last season on loan at Bayern Munich one of the highest earners at the Catalan club.

The Sunday World revealed exclusively that Coutinho was pushing to seal a return to Liverpool last summer, but Jurgen Klopp and Anfield chiefs were not interested in a cut-price deal to bring the playmaker back to Anfield.

The Premier League appears to be the most likely destination for Coutinho, with new Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel set to handed a huge transfer war chest as he looks to turn his side into title contenders.

It remains to be seen whether his club will now make a new move to sign Coutinho ahead of next season.

Meanwhile, Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero is believed to be closing in on a free transfer to Barcelona, with newly elected President Joan Laporta still hoping he can persuade Lionel Messi to stay at the club despite his contract expiring this summer.

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

Online Editors