Newcastle United have made Barcelona star Philippe Coutinho a transfer target, despite interest in the attacking midfielder from Chelsea, Tottenham and Everton, according to reports in Spain.
The £300million proposed takeover of Newcastle by a Saudi-backed consortium is still awaiting Premier League approval, but the Magpies are already exploring the transfer market to strengthen their squad.
According to Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo, Newcastle want Coutinho to be one of several new signings this summer.
The 27-year-old had struggled to win over fans in Barcelona since joining from Liverpool for £142million in January 2018.
Coutinho was sent out on loan to Bayern Munich this season but the Bundesliga club are not planning on activating the option to make the move permanent.
JUST IN: Premier League clubs ask players to prepare for training on June 1 ahead of season restart
He has scored nine goals and provided eight assists in 32 appearances in all competitions for Bayern this campaign.
But he might have already played his last game for the German club after they announced Coutinho had minor surgery on his right ankle on Friday.
However, he is expected to start his rehabilitation programme in about two weeks which means there is still a chance he could be fit for the remainder of the Bundesliga campaign.
Chelsea hold transfer talks with Lille over two players [TRANSFER NEWS]
Manchester United’s ‘dream’ attacking front three emerges including Jadon Sancho [TRANSFER NEWS]
Arsenal handed Odsonne Edouard transfer boost as Celtic deal backed to fund two signings [TRANSFER NEWS]
- Why Atsu rejected Celtic transfer despite Newcastle accepting loan bid
As for Coutinho’s long-term future, the Brazilian is keen on a return to the Premier League.
Barcelona understand they are not going to be getting the same amount they paid the Reds for him in the current market, but they appear willing to send him out on loan, with the inclusion of a buy clause in the deal.
Coutinho’s Barca contract expires in 2023, so the Catalan giants aren’t at risk of the player leaving on a free if he spends another season away from the Nou Camp.
Chelsea have held talks with Barcelona about bringing Coutinho to Stamford Bridge on a loan deal, but while Barca are keen to include an obligation to buy the player, the Blues would prefer this to be optional.
This still leaves the door open for the other interested clubs, including Newcastle.
- Newcastle tipped to appoint Pochettino as boss if takeover completed
However, any approach for the Brazilian is dependant on the takeover being finalised.
The Premier League is already carrying out the process of conducting checks to make sure the funding is in place and the principals pass the league’s fit and proper person test.
The prospective new owners are headed by Amanda Staveley, head of PCP Capital Partners, but the majority of the backing will come from the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia.
Stavely’s PCP Capital Partners will take a 10 per cent shareholding, with PIF acquiring an 80 per cent stake. The remaining 10 per cent would then be taken by the Reuben Brothers, who have assets worth more than £18billion and also own Newcastle racecourse.
And while the Premier League’s checks can take up to a month to be completed, although it is expected to be less, it has been ongoing for at least two weeks.
Source: Read Full Article