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Chelsea cool interest in Coutinho

Despite reports that Philippe Coutinho was on the verge of agreeing a move to Stamford Bridge, Chelsea appear to have cooled their interest in the Brazilian playmaker.

Coutinho, who went under the knife on Friday remove fragments from his right ankle, is widely expected to leave Barcelona in the summer, after failing to impress during his time at the Nou Camp, and in Germany, where he has been on loan since the start of this season at Bayern Munich.

The Catalans have indicated that they are willing to offer him at a considerable discount to the £142 million they paid Liverpool for him in 2018, and Chelsea were widely thought to head the queue of Premier League clubs wanting to sign him.

However, their appetite for spending up to £79 million on a single player, given the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and they have instead turned their attention to Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz, who is also a target for Liverpool.  Havertz is not only seven years younger, but he would also be considerably cheaper than Coutinho.

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