KEY POINTS

  • Barca asking for £70 to 80 million for Coutinho
  • Coutinho unlikely to fit in Chelsea
  • Coutinho struggling in Barcelona

All signs point to a potential transfer for Philippe Coutinho who has been struggling this season. Currently on loan to Bayern Munich, it appears Barcelona is ready to deal with the 27-year-old to interested teams. But as expected, the asking price of Barca is not cheap.

According to the Evening Standard, Barca will only sit down and talk with teams who are willing to shell out between £70 to 80 million ($85 to 98 million) for the midfielder. So far, two teams have been linked to the Brazilian footballer - Chelsea and Manchester United. It appears the move is in preparation for the club's target signees - Lautario Martinez and former top star Neymar.

Coutinho has not exactly been doing great and Bayern Munich is likely to pass on the £105 million ($128 million) option to buy the midfielder. It was in 2018 when the Brazilian was acquired from Liverpool for a whopping £142 million ($174 million).

Compared to how much he cost back in 2018 and the asking price of Barcelona right now, the price tag seems reasonable. But given that his level of play has been inconsistent, some may end up bargaining to bring the price lower. Also, there is the current coronavirus pandemic to consider.

With football action suspended indefinitely, leagues are now left in a spot to figure out how to approach the current season. It was previously mentioned that they would finish the season that was originally set to restart on Apr. 30. But with the worsening condition, those plans have now been shelved.

Like other leagues, a big problem for most is the financial hit that the league and teams will be absorbing. It places players with expiring contracts in a bind with clubs likely to pass off on issuing big paychecks for obvious reasons. The camp of Coutinho is expected to encounter the same rough financial sailing.

Between Man Utd and Chelsea, the former may have the inside track. Blues legend Frank Leboeuf believes that Frank Lampard may be of no help to Chelsea. He admits that Coutinho did well with Liverpool but his performance has been questionable with Barcelona and Bayern Munich, ESPN FC reported.

"I don’t know where his place would be. If I was the chairman, if I was the coach, I would be very hesitant to pick him up," Leboeuf said.