Tottenham ‘enter the race to sign Philippe Coutinho’, with cash-strapped Barcelona ready to offload their £145m flop for just £16m this month… but Spurs face a fight with rivals Arsenal and Everton to land the Brazil playmaker
Tottenham are set to battle it out with fellow Premier League sides Arsenal and Everton in a race for Barcelona flop Philippe Coutinho, according to El Nacional.
Antonio Conte and Sporting Director Fabio Paratici are keen to add creativity to their squad, with an attacking midfielder high on their transfer agenda.
The report also claims that Everton are the latest side to join the race for the 29-year-old alongside the two north London clubs.
Barcelona flop Philippe Coutinho looks set to leave during the January transfer window
The 29-year-old former Liverpool playmaker is a target for Tottenham, Arsenal and Everton
Coutinho joined Barcelona from Liverpool in January 2018 for £146million, but having endured a nightmare time in Catalonia, he was loaned out to Bayern Munich for the 2019-20 campaign, before returning to the Nou Camp.
Barca are keen to reduce their wage bill with Coutinho earning in the region of £370,000 a week, and they are prepared to let the Brazilian leave for as low as £16million.
His representatives have spoken to Everton about the possibility of him moving to Goodison Park, with Rafael Benitez recently securing his sixth signing, capturing Vitaliy Mykolenko for £18million from Dynamo Kiev.
‘My idea, the board has agreed with the principle, is that we bring players that want to be here, especially in January when it is a difficult window. The second one is that they’re players that will help the team, give us something different’, Benitez previously said.
‘We are looking for players that will come and they will give us something straight away. Sometimes you cannot, then you can talk about foreign players because you have to fix a gap in the team but you can bring players that have some experience in the Premier League.
Rafael Benitez has claimed he only wants players who want to play for the Everton shirt
Coutinho would be a shrewd piece of business by Benitez, should he pull the signing off
He would become Everton’s second January capture having already signed Vitaliy Mykolenko
‘They can perform straight away from day one and that is much better. You try to sign what you want but sometimes you can only sign what you can. With the transfer window in January that is not clear and easy because there are too many players playing Champions League or in Europe.
‘They don’t want to move, you have Covid-19 and not too much money around. What I have is a lot of agents throwing me names, or throwing us names. Everything is in place to move forward but, for me, it is just to concentrate on the game.’
Since his arrival in Spain, Coutinho has made just 76 appearances for Barcelona, netting 17 goals, and is keen to get his career back on track.
Despite winning two LaLiga titles, two Copas del Rey, a Bundesliga title, and the Champions League, Xavi is keen to offload him, and a move back to the Premier League looks likely, with a move back to Merseyside a potential destination.