According to Spanish sports tabloid Sport, Chelsea and Barcelona are in “open negotiations” over a potential loan deal for attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho, and there is “optimism” regarding an agreement, at least in part.
It should be noted that this runs contrary to the latest prior report, which claimed that there had been no official interest from anyone. Back channels are always open of course, not that the rumor mill would ever care about any of that anyway.
The part where there is supposed agreement is the year-long loan with a total financial commitment of €30m, which would include both a loan fee and Coutinho’s wages — reported previously as €13.5m. While a €16.5m loan fee sounds much better than the previously reported €30m, it’s still ridiculous.
Meanwhile, Barcelona are keen on adding a mandatory buy-option for next summer, set at an even more ridiculous €65m. Chelsea obviously would want any buy-option to actually be optional, regardless of how much Barca are willing to discount from the immensely stupid €145m (or whatever exact number) they spent on Coutinho in January 2018, or the €90m they’re said to be looking for now.
While the report again mentions other options in England, including Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, and even Leicester City, Chelsea appear to be the front-runners in the rumor mill.