Fresh reports out of Spain have once again have linked Chelsea to Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho. According to Sport, Barcelona‘s main objective is to trim the fat on the squad this summer, and that means selling Coutinho, with Chelsea as one of the potential suitors
Why Chelsea Shouldn’t Sign Philippe Coutinho
What Are the Numbers?
The Catalans have placed a €90 million price tag on Coutinho, taking a massive hit on the €160 million they paid for him just a few years ago. The fact they’re only asking for just over fifty cents on the dollar shows just how poorly his time at Barcelona has gone and just how desperate they are to sell him.
Chelsea, however, are only interested in a loan. The Blues rate the former Liverpool man far below €90 million and would prefer a loan plus option to buy, especially after seeing his mediocre year on loan at Bayern Munich.
Moneywise, this is where the two sides have clashed. Barcelona are willing to budge and do another loan deal, but only with a mandatory purchase clause inserted. And they’ll take a lower fee, reportedly dropping it to as little as €65 million, once again showing their desperation to sell.
Unfortunately for the Blaugrana, Chelsea want the exact opposite. The London side will happily pay a higher fee for Coutinho, but only if it’s an option after the loan, not obligatory.
Nothing has been agreed to yet and the two sides remain at a stalemate in their negotiations. While those details may get ironed out one way or another, Chelsea must consider something else, a factor even more important.
Does Coutinho even have a place in this Chelsea side going in the direction they’re going?
What Role Would Philippe Coutinho Play at Chelsea?
Coutinho can play wide in midfield or attack in a 4-3-3. He could play as a number 10 in the middle; he can play on the right or left. The Brazilian is a manager’s dream.
Chelsea already have a plethora of other options at all the positions Coutinho could play. Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Christian Pulisic will likely be there for the long haul. Willian and Pedro would also provide stiff competition, assuming they don’t leave after this season. Hakim Ziyech will also join the Blues after this season ends.
Excluding Willian and Pedro, those four are all younger than Coutinho. The only one close is Ziyech, who just turned 27 this past March whereas Coutinho will turn 28 this June, but he cost considerably less. Moreover, he’s left-footed, giving them a different dynamic on the wing regardless of the side he plays on.
Chelsea have shifted towards promoting youth this year under Frank Lampard, not only in attack but in defence as well.
Coutinho simply does not fit their short-term plan and identity the club are trying to build. His stock has plummeted after a horrible time in Spain and in Germany on loan. He costs substantially more than the players Chelsea have and the incoming one. And he’s already 28, when Chelsea are trending towards youth.
What does Coutinho bring that Chelsea doesn’t already have? Not much. He doesn’t seem to provide much bang for Chelsea’s buck.
All in all, here is is the key issues for this deal – Barcelona need to sell Coutinho more than Chelsea need to buy him. Barcelona need to raise cash to buy Neymar and Lautaro Martinez. On the other side, Chelsea don’t really need to buy Coutinho.
Chelsea have the power to say “no” in this negotiation. They can bargain hard and extract as much as they want out of Barcelona as they hold all the power in this negotiation.
In reality, it’s best to just say no now and move on to more realistic options that can benefit the team more. The Brazilian is not one Chelsea need to waste their time on.