Chelsea have been linked with a move for Philippe Coutinho this summer, however the Blues would almost certainly do their best to avoid bringing the Barcelona man to Stamford Bridge.
According to reports in Spain by Mundo Deportivo, the Londoners have asked about the Brazilian’s situation at the Nou Camp and could be looking to bring him back to England should Bayern Munich decide not to turn his current loan spell into a permanent stay of execution.
Speaking on ESPN FC, former Chelsea star Frank Leboeuf gave his take on whether the ex-Liverpool man should be a transfer target and after advising Frank Lampard not to make a move, it would be easy to share the same opinion.
Firstly, the Blues do not necessarily have a need for Coutinho as they have a squad full of midfielders that are all capable of playing telling contributions whilst Hakim Ziyech is already on his way to the Bridge as a player who could potentially fill the void left by Eden Hazard last summer.
Taking the current crop of midfield men in SW6, Lampard already has the likes of Mateo Kovacic, Jorginho, N’Golo Kante, Ross Barkley, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and rising starlet Billy Gilmour (per TransferMarkt) available to him to play centrally.
The Chelsea legend also has the likes of Christian Pulisic, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Mason Mount who can play out wide, regardless of whether Willian and Pedro remain with the Blues following the conclusion of the currently postponed season with both men out of contract in the summer.
Furthermore, would Coutinho offer the Blues anymore than what the current crop or the incoming Ziyech would? Leboeuf seems to think he will not and it appears he has a point.
Of course, it is easy to remember what the Brazilian managed to do in the earlier stages of his career whilst with Liverpool, however things at Barcelona and Bayern Munich have hardly risen his stock over the last few years.
During his stint at the Premier League giants, the £63million-rated South American did amass a hugely impressive 54 goals and 45 assists in his 201 appearances (per TransferMarkt) – which would suggest he is suited to football in England – but things just have not kicked off for him in Spain or Germany.
Considering the La Liga behemoths will likely want a figure around €80m and €90m (£74m and £83.1m) for the 27-year-old, it would be difficult to justify splashing out that amount when Coutinho may not be considered an immediate starter in Lampard’s side.
With the options available to Chelsea already, it would be worth looking elsewhere and perhaps spending the money it would take to sign him on another area of the squad.