Tottenham Hotspur are ‘most likely’ to sign Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona this summer, according to reports.
The Lilywhites have been linked with the former Liverpool forward for several months as recent reports revealed that Barcelona are prepared to pay a portion of his wages if he leaves the Nou Camp in the summer transfer window.
Coutinho has spent the past season on loan at Bayern Munich but Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has made it clear that the German champions do not want to sign him on a permanent basis. The Barcelona exile knows that he has no way back at his parent club, who are looking to cut their losses.
Given the gravity of the situation, Barcelona will want to recoup as much of the £145m they spent on the playmaker as they possibly can, with a summer return to England currently on the cards. His agent Kia Joorabchian has admitted that there is “genuine interest” from Premier League clubs amid links with Arsenal, Chelsea and Leicester City.
Jose Mourinho has bemoaned the lack of creativity in the midfield this season and Coutinho could provide the quality that Tottenham need to challenge for silverware next season.
While the 28-year-old has largely failed to hit the same heights that he enjoyed with Liverpool, he has still managed to win La Liga twice, although he lost his place to Antoine Griezmann after Quique Setien took charge at Barcelona.
The Brazilian played 23 games in the Bundesliga this season, scoring eight goals, supplying six assists, taking 2.5 shots per game, averaging 1.3 key passes and successfully completing 1.4 dribbles on average (via WhoScored).
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has earned a reputation for being notoriously tight-fisted in the transfer window and he may be unwilling to splash the cash on a player who has struggled for form in recent years.
Regardless, the prospect of working with Mourinho must carry some weight, as his CV more than speaks for itself. Coutinho will not come cheap, in all likelihood, but he is still a world-class player with bags of experience at the top levels of the game who could act as a mentor to some of the younger members of the squad, which would surely be an added bonus.
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