CHELSEA are leading the race to sign Philippe Coutinho ahead of Manchester United if the Brazil international opts to leave Barcelona.
Sport understand there are three contenders to sign the 26-year-old, who has failed to settle at the Nou Camp since his £142million move from Liverpool in January 2018.
In 64 outings for the Catalan giants, Coutinho has mustered 19 goals and 11 assists and is no longer an automatic first choice under Ernesto Valverde.
Barca could choose to cash-in on the ex-Inter Milan schemer while his reputation remains unaffected.
The La Liga champions have slapped a £110m valuation on Coutinho, amid reports he has told close friends he wants out.
Coutinho wants to be the central figure at his next club, a status he is convinced he will never achieve alongside Lionel Messi.
Chelsea are described as the destination which makes the “most sense”, though the move hinges on the Blues defying a Fifa transfer ban due for the next two windows.
United are the other Premier League side reportedly interested, but another major hurdle stands between them and Coutinho.
Having already represented Liverpool, where he played 201 times and netted 54 goals, it is unknown whether the player would be willing to play for such a close rival.
Perhaps the most feasible destination for Coutinho is Paris Saint-Germain, who have held an interest since before he left Anfield 15 months ago.
LATEST CHELSEA NEWS
Neymar reportedly asked the Ligue 1 club to move for the Barca star upon trading Barcelona for the French capital.
Coutinho is understood to be receptive to an offer from PSG though having to share the limelight with Kylian Mbappe could be a potential stumbling block.
The tempestuous relationship between Barcelona and the Parisian club might also prove problematic in getting a deal done.