Chelsea move for Philippe Coutinho 'not a priority'

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Philippe Coutinho is regarded as a 'fall-back' option for Chelsea this summer, according to Oliver Harbord of Football London.

The midfielder is available after being deemed surplus to requirements by Barcelona.

A number of clubs are said to be interested in a move for the Brazilian - most notably Chelsea and Newcastle United - who is reported to be available for a cut-price fee of £44.5million.

The Spanish side would also entertain a player-plus-cash deal in order to cut their losses on Coutinho, who cost them around £142million.

But while Chelsea are monitoring the 27-year-old, Harbord has revealed that a move for the Brazilian is not a priority.

He wrote: "(Philippe) Coutinho is likely to be moved on by Barcelona, on loan with an option to buy, with Bayern Munich not taking the chance to sign him.

"Chelsea would like to have more permanent signings this summer, but Coutinho could be an option as a fall-back.

"Not likely to be a first option, however."

He added: "Forwards have always been on the agenda for Lampard, as he made clear in the January transfer window.

"With (Hakim) Ziyech coming in and (Timo) Werner set to join, that is a strong place to be in. With Willian and Pedro set to leave, another forward could be wanted."

GIVEMESPORT'S Phil Spencer says...

The future remains unclear for Philippe Coutinho who could be set for a big summer.

His move to Barcelona certainly hasn't gone to plan, and after a mediocre spell on loan with Bayern Munich this term, it certainly feels like his stock has fallen.

But that could play into the hands of a number of Premier League sides.

The fact that he's available for just £45million could prove to be something of a coup for a player who is very much in his prime.

Coutinho has plenty to offer, and personally I think it'd be great to see him back in the Premier League.

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