English Premiership

Chelsea leading the race to secure Philippe Coutinho's services

Philippe Coutinho (Getty Images)
Philippe Coutinho (Getty Images)

Barcelona are reportedly willing to send midfielder Philippe Coutinho to Chelsea on a season-long loan, provided the London club agree to sign him on a permanent deal at the end of his loan spell.

The Catalan giants would prefer to sell the Brazilian in the off-season, but their £80million valuation is unlikely to be met.

Coutinho has been on loan at Bayern Munich this season, and Barcelona will reluctantly accept a similar deal for the upcoming campaign.

The 27-year old has been linked with a return to the Premier League, with Spanish outlet Sport claiming Chelsea are leading the race.

The Blues would have to cover Coutinho's £11.5m salary for the 12-month loan and Sport claim Barcelona will demand a mandatory purchase clause is inserted into the deal.

Frank Lampard's side will in that case be able to sign Coutinho for £53million the following summer.

Barcelona paid Liverpool £142m when they signed him in January 2018.