Arsenal, Tottenham and Newcastle United have joined fellow Premier League side Aston Villa in the race to sign Philippe Coutinho, according to reports.
The Barcelona midfielder, whose contract runs until 2023, is set to leave during the January transfer window as the club look to ease their well-documented financial struggles.
They remain unable to register recent signing Ferran Torres, who arrived from Manchester City on a deal until June 2027 last month, as they are still operating above their wage budget.
Premier League
Tottenham turned up for the derby, Arsenal fell apart - The Warm-Up
13/05/2022 AT 07:20
Coutinho has been on the fringes at the Camp Nou in recent seasons, having joined from Liverpool for £142 million in January 2018.
The 29-year-old has scored just twice in 12 La Liga appearances this season, and has missed their last two matches after testing positive for Covid-19.
Now, it seems the Premier League is Coutinho’s likeliest destination, with a host of clubs circling to secure his signature.
Multiple sources reported yesterday that Barcelona were in talks with Aston Villa over a loan move for the Brazilian - a deal that would reunite him with former team-mate and current Villa boss Steven Gerrard.
Gerrard says the Brazilian is a "special player" but would not be drawn on speculation linking him to the Premier League club.
"Sixty-three caps for Brazil, a serial winner, was incredible at Liverpool, so I can understand why he's linked to a lot of football clubs," he told reporters ahead of Monday's FA Cup third round tie at Manchester United.
"I can understand why a lot of supporters up and down the country are speaking about him. I don't think you get a nickname as a magician if you're not a special footballer, so he's someone I have an incredible amount of respect for.
"But I don't want to add to any speculation, because he belongs to Barcelona."
Sky Sports News report that Arsenal, Tottenham and Newcastle are also in the hunt for Coutinho's services.
Any potential arrival at Spurs could signal the first signing of the Antonio Conte era, while Newcastle are keen to bolster their squad, following their recent Saudi Arabian-backed takeover, as they look to stave off Premier League relegation.
Eddie Howe’s side have been linked with a number of high-profile names in recent weeks, with the arrival of England and Atletico Madrid right-back Kieran Trippier set to be announced imminently.
Arsenal are also expected to delve into the transfer market as they look to secure their first top-four finish under Mikel Arteta.
It is thought Coutinho is open to a return to the Premier League, where he made over 150 appearances between 2013-18, as he looks to revive his career after failing to establish himself in Spain.
Premier League
Aston Villa complete permanent signing of Coutinho from Barcelona
12/05/2022 AT 18:41
Transfers
Pogba in line for shock Premier League switch - Paper Round
24/03/2022 AT 10:55