Newcastle United could be eyeing up a move for Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho after the Saudi-takeover of the Magpies, with contact already said to be made between the player and the new owners.
Newcastle are under new Saudi ownership after a £305million deal was agreed with Mike Ashley and signed off by the Premier League this week.
After the Saudi-backed takeover led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman went through, the club’s new chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan, penned a letter in which he talks about their ambitions and pledged to deliver a team that the fans can be proud of.
Financial analysts calculated that the Magpies will be able to spend well over £200million strengthening their squad in the next three years, without breaching Financial Fair Play rules.
And they appear prepared to cement their ambitions and kickstart their spending spree with the signing of Barcelona flop Coutinho.
The Brazilian is said to have already been approached by emissaries of the Saudi Public Investment Fund this summer, but no progress in a deal was made after the sale of the club stalled, according to SPORT.
But with Newcastle officially under the Saudis’ ownership, the 29-year-old appears to be one of the priority names still on the table ahead of the January transfer window.
The new owners are clear they have to turn Newcastle’s fortunes around as the club currently sit penultimate in the table, facing yet another relegation battle.
The Saudi-ownership look to bring in world-class players and big names with the hope of challenging for a title in the long-term future.
Coutinho signed for the Blaugrana in 2018 for a fee that could rise to £142million but flopped at the Nou Camp.
He has made just 96 appearances for Barcelona and spent a season on loan at Bayern Munich.
The Catalan heavyweights are desperate to ease the financial restrictions and shifting Coutinho, who is thought to earn £200,000 a week, would considerably improve their situation after they revealed they have amassed an astronomical debt of £1.15billion.
Coutinho’s future was called into question this summer and he was linked with a move away from the Nou Camp with the Catalans even offering him out on a loan deal to Premier League sides.
Barcelona were looking to offload the Brazilian in a swap deal with Arsenal that would see the Gunners captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang arrive at the Nou Camp, according to reports by Sky Sports.
While, Lazio were also reported to be interested in a loan move for Coutinho with the option to buy him permanently thereafter for £25million.
But the Brazilian remained at the Nou Camp to survive another season in the blaugrana.
* Credit: Daily Mail