Barcelona set aside £130m to sign Chelsea & Liverpool stars: La Liga side confident of completing massive summer transfer deals
Barcelona are looking to the Premier League as they draw up their plans for a major spending spree in the summer, with Liverpool and Chelsea stars on their radar.
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According to the Daily Mirror, the Blaugrana will reignite their long-standing interest in Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho. The Brazilian is a known close friend of Neymar, one of the LaLiga giants’ current stars, and he has never hidden his desire to lure the midfielder to the Camp Nou.
It is believed Barcelona are looking for a replacement for Andres Iniesta, with the 32-year-old hinting he may leave the club at the end of his current contract, which expires at the end of next season. Paris Saint-Germain star Marco Verratti is also said to be on the list of potential targets.
Signing Coutinho would be a huge statement of intent ahead of what is likely to be a transitional phase for Barça. Manager Luis Enrique has already announced his intentions to leave at the end of the campaign, meaning a new man will have to be found.
But the links to the squad do not end with Neymar. Luis Suarez also has a good relationship with the 24-year-old having played together for 18 months at Anfield, and it is likely that he would be open to a reunion. But his standout performances under Jurgen Klopp this season mean he will have a hefty price tag on his head.
Most Premier League tackles won in the final third this season:— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 21, 2017
N'Golo Kanté (9)
Philippe Coutinho (8)
Alexis Sánchez (7)
Josh King (7) pic.twitter.com/LWkzQ9ZLEN
Coutinho has developed into one of the Premier League’s best players since joining the Reds from Inter in an £8million deal in January 2013.
Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante is the next man on Barcelona’s radar, having enjoyed a second stellar season in the Premier League. After helping Leicester to the title last season, he moved to Stamford Bridge for £32million last summer, but has only improved under Antonio Conte.
The Frenchman is a traditional play breaker and would be the clearest sign yet of a change in identity at Barcelona if he joined. He is more than capable on the ball, has not been brought up on the principles of the club, which centre on possession, like Iniesta or Sergio Busquets have.
Many believe Kante to be the main factor in Chelsea’s rise to the top of the Premier League. Conte’s men are ten points clear and look all but certain to clinch their second title in three years, despite finishing 10th just last season.