Report: Manchester United leading the race to sign Philippe Coutinho

Philippe Coutinho

According to reports from Catalan based newspaper Sport, Manchester United are leading the race to sign Phillipe Coutinho from Barcelona in the summer transfer window.

Coutinho joined Barcelona for a reported fee of £142m in the January transfer window of 2018. The Brazilian has turned out to be a major flop for the Catalan club and is currently playing on loan at Bayern Munich.

He has scored eight goals in 22 Bundesliga games this season but the German giants are highly unlikely to sign him on a permanent deal.

Barcelona are ready to offload him in the summer, with a host of Premier League clubs including Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City joining Manchester United in the race to sign him.

The Brazilian still has three years left on his deal and Barcelona are expected to demand a high transfer fee for him.

The report claims that the Red Devils are confident of landing the midfielder this summer.

According to European football expert Guillem Balague, Coutinho was close to joining Tottenham last summer. The 27-year-old had agreed to join the north London club last summer but the deal fell through at the final hurdle because of Spurs chairman Daniel Levy.

“There’s been a story in the media recently, this week, that [Mauricio] Pochettino didn’t want Coutinho, that Daniel Levy was going to do a big effort for him, and that’s definitely not the story, definitely not the story,” Balague said on his YouTube channel.

“The story in fact is that Pochettino did want Coutinho but right at the end when the negotiations had been advanced, Daniel Levy decided to not so much pull the plug but to reduce some of the agreements, financial agreements, that had been reached.

“So then Coutinho felt that he didn’t want to go to Spurs, the money was not enough to make the move and things didn’t happen.

“So Pochettino did want Coutinho and it was Daniel Levy who wanted to, perhaps as he always does, do a little bit of financial wizardry but didn’t work out in this situation and Coutinho didn’t go to Spurs.”