Newcastle have ‘already opened talks’ with Barcelona outcast Philippe Coutinho, ahead of the completion of the Magpies’ proposed £300m takeover.
The Brazilian international – who has spent the past season on loan at Bayern Munich – is also of interest to Tottenham and Everton, while Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea have considered launching loan moves of their own.
With his career at Camp Nou almost certainly over, Coutinho needs to find a new permanent home – and France Football claimed that Newcastle is now his most likely destination.
But for a move to take place, the Premier League will need to give the green light to the proposed takeover of Newcastle by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. To date, the deal has been mired in controversy – with alleged involvement in an illegal pirate TV and streaming service, as well as human rights violations, among a number of concerns raised.
The Premier League has stated that the issues are being ‘fully considered’, but there remains optimism that the takeover will be approved.
Should that be the case, a move for Coutinho – who left Premier League leaders Liverpool in a big-money move in January 2018 – to Tyneside looks likely, given the injection of cash that will flow into the northeast.
Coutinho smashed Barcelona’s transfer record when he joined the club for £105m, but has underwhelmed in Catalonia, failing to recapture the kind of form that earned him a move to the club in the first place.
He joined Bayern Munich on loan with an option to buy last summer, but the Bavarians have already decided against exercising that option.
The 27-year-old has made 32 appearances for Bayern Munich – scoring nine goals and contributing eight assists – but has been ruled out of action for the past couple of months through injury.
He’s unlikely to force his way back into Hansi Flick’s plans either, with Die Roten currently on a blistering run of form in his absence.