Philippe Coutinho to Chelsea transfer boost, Man Utd target £81m Spain pair, Lionel Messi

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Tuesday, February 25

  • Several clubs have received a boost in their pursuit of Barcelona playmaker Philippe Coutinho
  • Man Utd, Liverpool, Chelsea, Man City and Tottenham are all interested in the Brazilian
  • Bernardo Silva would love the opportunity to play alongside Barcelona star Lionel Messi
  • Man Utd are monitoring a quartet of La Liga players including Ferran Torres and Carlos Soler


  • Barcelona news LIVE: Lionel Messi PlayStation claim, £100m transfer

Manchester United quintet

Manchester United are monitoring a quintet of La Liga players and sent scouts to watch them in action on Saturday.

That’s according to El Diario Vasco, who claim United representatives were in attendance to watch Real Sociedad’s comfortable 3-0 victory over Valencia.

The report claims United officials were there to watch Valencia’s Spanish duo Ferran Torres and Carlos Soler, who are valued at £36million and £45m respectively and could arrive in a combined £81m deal.

It’s said Norwegian midfielder Martin Odegaard, striker Alexander Isak and former Tottenham and Chelsea target Willian Jose are all on United’s radar too.

Philippe Coutinho latest

Several clubs, including admirers Chelsea, have received a boost in their pursuit of Barcelona playmaker Philippe Coutinho.

And that’s because Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is still unsure whether to trigger an option to make his season-long loan spell permanent.

The Bundesliga champions can secure Coutinho’s signature for £102million at the end of the current campaign – but Rummenigge has publicly criticised Coutinho for his inconsistent displays.

“He has played well in some games. Sometimes he gives the impression that he’s inhibited,” Rummenigge told Bild. “Everyone tries to support him. We must hope that he will become an important factor in the decisive weeks to come.”

That could be good news for Premier League sides because Express Sport understands that Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham are all interested in the Brazilian.

And if Bayern Munich decline their option, Barcelona will allow Coutinho to leave for a cut-price £77million this summer.


  • Man Utd news LIVE: Ed Woodward set to announce summer transfer plan

Bernardo Silva admission

Bernardo Silva would love the opportunity to play alongside Lionel Messi.

Silva made the honest transfer admission came just weeks after UEFA issued Manchester City with a two-year Champions League ban, which sparked fears of a player exodus.

Asked if he would like to play with Barcelona icon Messi, Silva replied: “Of course.

“I play with Cristiano in the national team and if I played with Messi, being able to say that I played with the best in history would be a pleasure, but it is a complicated matter. At City or in Barcelona it will be welcome.”

Jack Grealish transfer deadline

Manchester United have reportedly stepped up their interest in Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish and want to complete a deal by the end of the week in a similar move to Chelsea, who are also looking to do their business this month.

Frank Lampard moved quickly to complete the £37million deal for Ajax midfielder Hakim Ziyech last week.

And now United are looking to do likewise to avoid the situation which happened in the last two transfer windows.

According to the MEN, the Red Devils have made Grealish a top target and are ready to move for the 24-year-old this week.

It is thought Grealish would be open to moving to Manchester as he is often captured socialising in the city.


  • Real Madrid star Eden Hazard ruled out of Man City and Barcelona match

Eden Hazard injury

Zinedine Zidane is not sure if Eden Hazard will play for Real Madrid again this season.

The former Chelsea playmaker is facing another lay-off after fracturing an ankle in Real’s surprise defeat to Levante in LaLiga last weekend.

It was only the Belgian’s second appearance since November after recovering from another injury to the same ankle.

The loss of the 29-year-old, who is yet to make his mark since his £89million move from Stamford Bridge last summer, is a big blow to Zidane at the start of a crucial week.

Real host Manchester City on Wednesday in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie before facing arch-rivals Barcelona, who leapfrogged them to top spot in LaLiga last weekend, on Sunday.

“He loves playing football and while I can’t tell you what is in his eyes, I can see he is not happy,” Zidane said. “It’s important he stays positive but, of course, it’s difficult. It’s a bad moment, it won’t be easy and he will feel like that for a while.

“I do not know if he will have to go through an operation. It is not my area and I don’t know if his season is over, but I hope not.”

We’re on the right track – Woodward

Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward believes the foundations and plans are in place for long-term success with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The big-money January arrival of Bruno Fernandes has increased optimism around the club and Woodward, who has been the subject of chants and saw his house attacked by some disgruntled fans last month, believes United are on the right track.

“We are pushing for a strong finish in the Premier League, the Europa League and the FA Cup as we enter the final third of the season,” he said.

“We have continued to make progress on our squad rebuild, with many changes in terms of players that we have brought in and players that have come through our academy.

“The foundation for delivering the long-term success that we are all working towards is in place as we implement our plan and our footballing vision with Ole.”

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