Former Sky Sports and BBC journalist Guillem Balague says that Newcastle are leading the race to sign Barcelona attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho.
There have been claims that the Brazilian is angling for a move back to Liverpool, while Arsenal have also been mentioned as a potential destination, but Balague thinks the Magpies are the favourites if their takeover goes through:
“The biggest effort Coutinho’s representatives are doing is towards the Premier League and the idea is for him to go to the Premier League.”
“There has been talk of Arsenal but nothing has arrived from them, and also talk of going back to Liverpool on loan. No truth whatsoever. So we don’t need to talk about it any more, do we?”
“Liverpool are not interested, no offer has existed and I understand that the work the representatives have to do is to make it look like there is an auction but there isn’t such a thing at the moment.”
“The favourites, if you have to choose from the Premier League, are Newcastle if the (takeover) bid comes in and if they make an offer for him of some kind that Barcelona is happy with.”
The Saudi-backed takeover of Newcastle is surrounded in controversy for a number of reasons and it remains to be seen if the Premier League will approve the deal.
Liverpool are apparently not keen on bringing Coutinho back, no matter the circumstances, with some reports suggesting that there is still some bad blood after the way he left the club.
With Arsenal unlikely to have the finances for the transfer, it does suggest that Newcastle would be the 28-year-old’s likeliest next club, although that very much depends on the takeover going ahead.