Newcastle United 'favourites' to sign Philippe Coutinho

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Philippe Coutinho is holding out for a move to Newcastle United, according to Guillem Balague.

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, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur - with the star 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.

With a move to one of the title challengers thought to be unlikely, Balague has revealed that Newcastle United are favourites to complete a deal, with the Barcelona man watch the takeover situation particularly closely.

A £300million deal is close to being completed as Amanda Staveley's Saudi-backed investment group await approval from the Premier League over their deal to take over the club.

Once that happens, Newcastle United will be ready to make signings and that could be good news for Coutinho.

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Balague said: "Coutinho is waiting for that [Newcastle takeover] to happen.

"He is the kind of player that they can have. His representatives are trying to get Coutinho into the Premier League.

“There have been talks about Arsenal, but nothing has arrived from Arsenal.

"Liverpool on loan? No truth whatsoever, Liverpool are not interested.

"The favourites from the Premier League are Newcastle, if the takeover is done.”

GIVEMESPORT'S Phil Spencer says...

What a move this would be for Newcastle United.

Speculation continues over the potential takeover of the club, but with it being suggested that a deal is close attention will turn to the transfer market.

The new owners would love a marquee signing to get supporters excited and Philippe Coutinho would certainly do that.

The Brazilian has had a tough time since leaving Liverpool which means that a move to an 'elite club' could be difficult to strike.

However if he was to move to Newcastle United he would no doubt be the main man in the first team set-up - a role which would suit itself perfectly to getting the best from him.

The 27-year-old is in his prime and so if the Magpies could strike a deal then it would be a massive coup.

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