Barcelona playmaker Philippe Coutinho has the preference to join Chelsea despite the interest from a number of other Premier League sides, a report from Mundo Deportivo claims.
The Brazil international is presently on a season-long loan at Bayern Munich, where he has managed to register an impressive tally of nine goals and eight assists from 32 appearances in all competitions.
The German champions have the option to sign him permanently for £105m at the end of the season but they are expected to ignore the clause, particularly with the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
In recent weeks, the likes of Leicester City, Everton and Newcastle United have all been credited with an interest in Coutinho but Mundo Deportivo cites that the 27-year-old has his sights on joining Frank Lampard’s Chelsea.
The same publication adds that the Blaugrana could demand between £72m to £81m for the Brazilian’s services and they would be willling to accept offers from any interested clubs.
Lampard’s side landed the signature of Hakim Ziyech from Ajax earlier in the year and the Moroccan will be available to play for them from the beginning of the 2020/21 campaign.
Still, they are likely to pursue another attacking player in the transfer window as both Pedro and Willian could leave as free-agents when their contracts expire in the coming months.
With valuable Premier League experience, Coutinho should not take much time to adapt to the competition on his comeback but it remains to be seen whether the Blues are prepared to meet the transfer demands of the Blaugrana.
The former Liverpool man has preferred to play in the number 10 position during the prime phase of his career and he could potentially take up the position of Mason Mount in the starting XI, should he make the switch to the west London giants.
Coutinho is currently on the sidelines after undergoing an ankle surgery in late April. He could be out of action until mid-June at the least, meaning that he will miss the majority of the remaining Bundesliga matches.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com