No smoke without fire they say. The rumours surrounding Jadon Sancho and Philip Coutinho have been coughing up quite a bit of smoke lately, even though actual football remains at a standstill. While there is no confirmation of the credibility of the smoke, the rumors cannot be completely ignored.
Barcelona-based Diario Sport have come up with the idea of Chelsea willing to shift focus from seemingly ungettable Sancho to Barcelona loanee Philippe Coutinho. The report claims that Sancho is still Lampard’s primary target, but the reported price tag of €120 million along with astronomic wages offered by Manchester United have Chelsea looking into alternatives. One of those is Coutinho, who has failed to settle at Barcelona, or at Bayern Munich on loan for that matter, since leaving Liverpool in the 2018 January window.
That said, Coutinho has racked up good numbers while being played both as a midfielder and a winger.
Coutinho's Goal Contribution in 2017-18— Nouman (@nomifooty) April 4, 2020
At Liverpool = 20 in 19 Games
At Barcelona = 16 in 22 Games
Goal Contribution in 2018-19
At Barcelona = 17 in 53 Games
Goal Contribution in 2019-20
At Bayern = 17 in 29 Games
Apart from that 18/19 season, he has been more than decent!! pic.twitter.com/8QZb5VhvCh
Coutinho’s penchant for scoring long-rangers throughout his career would certainly be appreciated by Frank Lampard. Long shots may be statistically less useful than shots from inside the penalty area, but they can often be the key to unlocking packed defences — a problem Chelsea have had to endure for a while now. Plus, Coutino already knows the league, and would thus presumably need little to no re-adjustment.
Additionally, it is being reported by SoccerLink (ed.note: who?) that Marina Granovskaia has already contacted Barcelona President, Josep Bartomeu for the services of Coutinho. Apparently Granovskaia was already interested last summer, to help replace Eden Hazard, but the transfer ban put a stop to any such plans. It’s been reported elsewhere that Bayern do not wish to redeem their buy-option on Coutinho, while Barcelona may be willing to lower their asking price in order to ensure a sale and gather funds for Neymar’s return or the signing Lautaro Martinez, another one of Chelsea’s targets this summer.
We could do with a Premier League-proven player with good end product. All eyes on the price now.