Philippe Coutinho would be a welcome addition to Frank Lampard’s Chelsea side, former Liverpool ace Jason McAteer believes. Coutinho’s future at Barcelona has been up in the air for well over a year.
The Brazilian has fallen down the pecking order at the Nou Camp, so much so he was loaned out to German champions Bayern Munich last summer.
It’s unclear if Coutinho does indeed have a future in the Catalan capital, though the departure of Ernesto Valverde could provide a route for him to get back into the first team.
In recent weeks, the 27-year-old has been linked with a move back to the Premier League, with Liverpool reportedly interested in re-acquiring his services.
Chelsea are also said to hold an interest in bringing the Bayern loanee back to England.
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I could see him slotting in perfectly at Chelsea, where Frank Lampard is doing unbelievable things trying to reboot that club using a lot of young talent bedding in alongside some experienced stars
Jason McAteer on Philippe Coutinho
And McAteer believes believes he’d fit in perfectly into the Blues starting XI.
He told Racing Post: “I could see him slotting in perfectly at Chelsea, where Frank Lampard is doing unbelievable things trying to reboot that club using a lot of young talent bedding in alongside some experienced stars.
“Coutinho would feel really comfortable in the number 10 role at Stamford Bridge with the protection of N’Golo Kante and Jorginho and an array of young frontmen around him who would thrive working off him.”
As much as McAteer believes Coutinho would be well suited to Chelsea, he doesn’t foresee the west Londoners breaking the bank to acquire his services – especially after splashing out £38million to sign Ajax winger Hakim Ziyech.
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“The sticking point, of course, is that Barcelona would want silly money for him and I’m not sure Chelsea or Manchester United or Spurs would be prepared to break the bank to get him.”
As for a potential move back to Liverpool, McAteer doesn’t believe Coutinho would fit into the current Reds squad, who are on course to end the club’s long wait to win the league title.
He said: “A move back to the Premier League for Philippe Coutinho doesn’t sound too ridiculous but I disagree with those suggesting there’s a place for him back at Anfield.”
“Coutinho served a purpose at Liverpool and was a great player for a period of time – but that time has gone.
“Barcelona came calling and as a South American superstar I absolutely understand why that would look such an attractive move.
“So he wanted away and started to sulk a bit and eventually he went in what turned out to be a superb piece of business for the club, far better than Liverpool would have hoped for.
“He would still grace the top clubs in Europe, as he’s showed at Bayern Munich where he’s done okay – but he needs to be the centre of attention. That wasn’t the case at Liverpool and certainly wasn’t the case at Barcelona.”
Coutinho and his Bayern team-mates will be back in action on Sunday afternoon, travelling to Cologne to take on FC Koln.
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