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Chelsea steal march on Arsenal & Man Utd after holding talks to sign £80m star

Chelsea have stolen a march on Arsenal and Man Utd after holding secret talks over a deal to sign Barcelona attacker Philippe Coutinho this summer

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Chelsea have stolen a march on Arsenal and Manchester United after holding secret talks over a potential deal to sign Barcelona attacker Philippe Coutinho this summer, according to reports in Spain via the Mirror.

Coutinho struggled to settle at the Nou Camp following his £142m move from Liverpool in 2018 and was shipped out on loan to Bayern Munich after being jeered by some sections of his own fanbase at times last season.

The 27-year-old has enjoyed a solid campaign in Germany as he’s shown glimpses of the form he produced during an excellent six-year spell at Anfield with the attacking midfielder providing 9 goals and 8 assists in his 32 appearances so far for Bayern.

However, the German giants have decided against triggering their option-to-buy clause this summer so Coutinho is on the look out for a new club as he’s highly unlikely to be given another chance to resurrect his career at Barcelona.

The Mirror claims that Barca are willing to sell for around £80m and a return to the Premier League could be on the cards as the newspaper says Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United are among the clubs to have registered their interest.

Arsenal could be eyeing Coutinho as a potential replacement for Mesut Ozil as the German playmaker’s future at the Emirates Stadium is in doubt but the Gunners may struggle to compete financially for the £80m-rated South American.

Man Utd obviously have the financial muscle to sign Coutinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is expected to be busy in the market this summer trying to build a side capable of challenging for major honours next season.

However, it looks like Chelsea have stolen a march on their rivals as the Mirror as citing a report from Sport that claims the Blues have already held secret transfer talks with Coutinho over a potential move to Stamford Bridge.

The Spanish outlet suggests that Chelsea have spoken to the Brazilian international’s representative Kia Joorabchian and are hoping their close ties with the super-agent will help secure a deal this summer.

Frank Lampard’s side currently sit fourth in the Premier League table so they are well positioned to qualify for the Champions League – assuming the 2019/20 campaign is eventually completed following the enforced break.

Playing in Europe’s top tier will no doubt be important for Coutinho so he could be tempted by a switch to West London and Chelsea will pull off something of a coup if they’re able to beat the likes of Arsenal and United to his signature.

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