Barcelona are eyeing up a Premier League alternative for Philippe Coutinho as they prepare to give up on their pursuit of the Brazilian.
The Catalan giants have endured a frustrating time trying to prise the playmaker away from Liverpool, who have stood firm in their stance and maintained an insistence that he will not be sold for any price this summer.
Despite suggestions of an imminent last-ditch £138million bid and Coutinho’s desire to move to the Nou Camp, the La Liga side are now turning a focus elsewhere as they look to make a number of high-profile signings.
There is an increasing pressure to strengthen following the £198million sale of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain and the recent news that Luis Suarez will be out for five weeks through injury.
Chelsea are now readying themselves for an approach from Barcelona for Willian, according to the Times’ Gary Jacob.
This comes amid speculation hinting at a fourth bid of £138million that the Spanish club feels it is ‘morally obliged’ to make for Coutinho, following his formal transfer request.
One less star at Antonio Conte’s disposal would certainly be a boost for Chelsea’s closest rivals, although it seems another unlikely deal for Barcelona given the four-year deal Willian signed last summer.
Added interest in Paris Saint-Germain’s Angel Di Maria also serves as further proof that a deal for Coutinho is close to completely being given up on.
Less than two weeks until it’s over, Reds. Hang on in there and, instead, relish the return of Champions League football. That’s exactly what Jurgen Klopp and his players will be doing.