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Philippe Coutinho: What Premier League club is leading the race for Barcelona flop?

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Philippe Coutinho has been EXILED by Barcelona and now looks destined for a Premier League return after agent revealed 'genuine interest'... but with Chelsea, Spurs, Arsenal, Leicester and Newcastle linked, who's in pole position to get him?Philippe Coutinho is set to leave Barcelona this summer on loan or permanentlyBarca want to sell him but may be open to a loan if they can't get a suitable offer Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal, Leicester and Newcastle have all been linkedSportsmail assess each club's chances of signing the Brazilian star this summer 

Philippe Coutinho would never have envisioned his Barcelona career going so pear shaped that two years later he would be searching for a new club.

But that is the reality of his situation. Barcelona want to put the expensive mistake behind them and reclaim as much of the £145million they spent on Coutinho as they can while Bayern Munich, who had the Brazilian on loan last season, are not interested in signing him permanently. 

Now, a summer move back to England appears the most likeliest option with his agent Kia Joorabchian admitting that there is 'genuine interest' from several Premier League clubs.

Sportsmail take a look at the teams in the race for Coutinho and assesses the likelihood of them signing him.

Barcelona want to offload Philippe Coutinho again this summer with English clubs interested

Bayern Munich rejected the chance to sign the Brazilian permanently after his loan there

Mikel Arteta is desperate for new recruitments this summer but funds will be low and Barcelona are hoping to get Coutinho off their books for a sizeable figure.

A loan deal may be possible if Barcelona cannot receive an offer in the region of their valuation of the player. 

Barcelona are hoping to sell Coutinho permanently but are aware that clubs may not be able to part with a significant transfer fee in this current financial climate and could instead look to loan him out for another season.

Arsenal have been linked with a loan offer worth £27m but face competition from other clubs who can offer him Champions League football.

As things stand, the best the Gunners can do is offer Europa League football after they won Saturday's FA Cup final against Chelsea. Even so, it still might not be enough.

Likelihood: 6/10 - Coutinho will need some persuading while Arsenal may not have the financial resources to make a deal happen

Arsenal hopes were bolstered by their FA Cup win but it may not be enough to entice Coutinho 

Coutinho looked destined for Stamford Bridge at one point but Frank Lampard seems to have pressed on with other targets since. 

Bayer Leverkusen's Kai Havertz is their No 1 target now and is on the brink of sealing a deal to join German compatriot Timo Werner at Chelsea.

Unless there is a last-minute collapse of what seems to be an already done deal then a move for Coutinho will likely not happen.

With Hakim Ziyech already signed, sealed and delivered, if Havertz does end up following him through the door then there will be little room in Chelsea's midfield for someone like Coutinho too.

Chelsea have already spent big and will prioritise the rest of their budget on Havertz and Leicester full-back Ben Chilwell, leaving Coutinho having to consider other options.

Likelihood: 4/10 - Chelsea would have been a good fit for Coutinho but they have chosen Havertz instead, who looks certain to join. A deal very unlikely now.

Chelsea have distanced themselves from Coutinho with Kai Havertz their priority now

Had they secured Champions League football for next season, then Leicester could have found themselves a real frontrunner to sign Coutinho.

But a final-day defeat against Manchester United saw them surrender a place in the top four and settle for the Europa League.

Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers is ambitious though and will not let that deter him from trying to lure some of the best talent to the King Power.

He managed to convince Youri Tielemans to ignore interest from Untied last summer to sign for Leicester and will hope he can pull another rabbit from the hat by persuading Coutinho to join his exciting, young side.

Leicester may not be willing to fork out as much as Barcelona are hoping, but they will certainly have the pulling power to match Arsenal in terms of a loan offer. 

Likelihood: 7/10 - They have a good chance of signing Coutinho but will not be his first option. Rodgers will need to work his magic to get him to turn down other sides.

Brendan Rodgers is an ambitious manager and will hope to persuade Coutinho to join Foxes

Despite some being of the opinion that Jose Mourinho has tarnished his reputation on these shores over the last few years, his name still carries weight. Players will still jump at the chance to work with him and for Coutinho, this must be an attractive prospect.  

Tottenham endured a tough campaign but can offer the attacking midfielder European football next season and also an amazing new stadium to call home.

Signing someone of Coutinho's ilk may also help Tottenham in their bid to keep hold of star man Harry Kane, who is desperate to win trophies.

Tottenham are a club who have established a reputation for bargain hunting and although Coutinho would not fit in that category, having the chance to sign someone as talented as him is too good an opportunity to turn their noses up at.

If Spurs want Coutinho enough, they could also be his best bet for a lesser pay cut.

Likelihood: 8/10 - Probably leading the race for Coutinho right now. If Tottenham want him enough, getting a deal completed should be fairly straightforward.

Tottenham may be able to get Harry Kane to stay if they bring in someone with Coutinho's class

Had Newcastle's Saudi Arabia takeover gone through, then they would have undoubtedly been the most appealing buyers to Barcelona.

The £300m takeover bid was gridlocked for months and has since been called off with the Saudi buyers withdrawing their interest.  

Ever since it emerged that the Saudi-led consortium was interested in buying the club from Mike Ashley, Coutinho has been the one player continuously touted with a move there.

He is one of the best players available and in desperate need of a new challenge. Newcastle has been hopeful of being able to offer him that. But with no takeover on the horizon, it is tough to see any way this deal happens.

The club cannot afford Coutinho or his wages right now. It's that simple.

Likelihood: 3/10 - Never say never but this one appeared to depend wholly on Newcastle's Saudi takeover going through. Now it won't be happening, the dreams of an A-List overhaul in the north east could put paid to Coutinho's arrival.

Newcastle's bid to sign Coutinho was dependent on their Saudi Arabia takeover going through




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